Hebrews 12 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
Faith Directs Our Lives
12 Since we are surrounded by so many examples of faith, we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us. We must run the race that lies ahead of us and never give up. 2 We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Now he holds the honored position—the one next to God the Father on the heavenly throne. 3 Think about Jesus, who endured opposition from sinners, so that you don’t become tired and give up.
4 You struggle against sin, but your struggles haven’t killed you. 5 You have forgotten the encouraging words that God speaks to you as his children:
“My child, pay attention when the Lord disciplines you.
7 Endure your discipline. God corrects you as a father corrects his children. All children are disciplined by their fathers. 8 If you aren’t disciplined like the other children, you aren’t part of the family. 9 On earth we have fathers who disciplined us, and we respect them. Shouldn’t we place ourselves under the authority of God, the father of spirits, so that we will live? 10 For a short time our fathers disciplined us as they thought best. Yet, God disciplines us for our own good so that we can become holy like him. 11 We don’t enjoy being disciplined. It always seems to cause more pain than joy. But later on, those who learn from that discipline have peace that comes from doing what is right.
12 Strengthen your tired arms and weak knees. 13 Keep walking along straight paths so that your injured leg won’t get worse. Instead, let it heal.
14 Try to live peacefully with everyone, and try to live holy lives, because if you don’t, you will not see the Lord. 15 Make sure that everyone has kindness[a] from God so that bitterness doesn’t take root and grow up to cause trouble that corrupts many of you. 16 Make sure that no one commits sexual sin or is as concerned about earthly things as Esau was. He sold his rights as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterwards, when he wanted to receive the blessing that the firstborn son was to receive, he was rejected. Even though he begged and cried for the blessing, he couldn’t do anything to change what had happened.
18 You have not come to something that you can feel, to a blazing fire, to darkness, to gloom, to a storm, 19 to a trumpet’s blast, and to a voice. When your ancestors heard that voice, they begged not to hear it say another word. 20 They couldn’t obey the command that was given, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that even Moses said he was trembling and afraid.
22 Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to tens of thousands of angels joyfully gathered together 23 and to the assembly of God’s firstborn children (whose names are written in heaven). You have come to a judge (the God of all people) and to the spirits of people who have God’s approval and have gained eternal life. 24 You have come to Jesus, who brings the new promise[b] from God, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better message than Abel’s.
25 Be careful that you do not refuse to listen when God speaks. Your ancestors didn’t escape when they refused to listen to God, who warned them on earth. We certainly won’t escape if we turn away from God, who warns us from heaven. 26 When God spoke to your ancestors, his voice shook the earth. But now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the sky.”
27 The words once more show clearly that God will change what he has made. These are the things that can be shaken. Then only the things that cannot be shaken will remain. 28 Therefore, we must be thankful that we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Because we are thankful, we must serve God with fear and awe in a way that pleases him. 29 After all, our God is a destructive fire.
Hebrews 12 New International Version (NIV)
12 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 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
God Disciplines His Children
4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 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 spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 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 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,”[b] so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
Warning and Encouragement
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.
The Mountain of Fear and the Mountain of Joy
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.”[c] 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”[d]
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.
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 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.”[e] 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 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 for our “God is a consuming fire.”[f]