Monday, November 22, 2010

Hebrews 12:14-24

14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.

18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”

22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

Questions to consider:
  • List the commands the author gives and the reasons for each.
  • How does your relationship to God affect your attitude toward others?
  • Under what circumstances have people in the past approached God? What have been their reactions?
  • Where do people meet God now?
  • What is your response?
Possibilities for prayer:

What does it mean to live in peace with everyone? That seems like a pretty large challenge...since “everyone” is a pretty large group of people. Peace is a word that is thrown around fairly regularly, and has maybe lost some of its power and intensity. Of course, there are different ways of interpreting the word. Many would suggest that peace is the absence of conflict, but what if God is calling us to something more than simply an absence, but rather a presence-- the presence of contentment, of tranquility. So today, let’s pray about how we can make peace an active thing and ask God what can we do in our lives to bring peace and live in peace, with everyone.