Hebrews 12 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Do you see what this means - all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running - and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed - that exhilarating finish in and with God - he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4 In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through - all that bloodshed! 4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
5 So don't feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? My dear child, don't shrug off God's discipline, but don't be crushed by it either. 5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 It's the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."
7 God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?
8 the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.
9 We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live? 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!
10 While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.
11 At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
12 So don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! 12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.
13 Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it! 13 "Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
14 Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you'll never get so much as a glimpse of God. 14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
15 Make sure no one gets left out of God's generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
16 Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God's lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. 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 You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God's blessing - but by then it was too late, tears or no tears. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.
18 Unlike your ancestors, you didn't come to Mount Sinai - all that volcanic blaze and earthshaking rumble - 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 hear God speak. The earsplitting words and soul-shaking message terrified them and they begged him to stop. 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 When they heard the words - "If an animal touches the Mountain, it's as good as dead" - they were afraid to move. 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned."
21 Even Moses was terrified. 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear."
22 No, that's not your experience at all. You've come to Mount Zion, the city where the living God resides. The invisible Jerusalem is populated by throngs of festive angels 22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,
23 and Christian citizens. It is the city where God is Judge, with judgments that make us just. 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,
24 You've come to Jesus, who presents us with a new covenant, a fresh charter from God. He is the Mediator of this covenant. The murder of Jesus, unlike Abel's - a homicide that cried out for vengeance - became a proclamation of grace. 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
25 So don't turn a deaf ear to these gracious words. If those who ignored earthly warnings didn't get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings? 25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?
26 His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time - he's told us this quite plainly - he'll also rock the heavens: "One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern." 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens."
27 The phrase "one last shaking" means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered. 27 The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken--that is, created things--so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Do you see what we've got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
29 He's actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won't quit until it's all cleansed. God himself is Fire! 29 for our "God is a consuming fire."