This week, spend time in meditation over this passage. Follow the instructions below the passage as your guide.
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,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”[a]
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.
You will be reading this passage three times following the guidelines below:
1. First reading. Read the passage through, one time, slowly. Pause between each clause. After you finish this first reading, be silent for a minute or two.
2. Second reading. Read the text slowly once again, pausing between phrases. But this time pause even longer and be aware if any of the words or phrases that catch your attention, or seem to stand out in some way. Make a mental note of those. After you finish the second reading, write down those special words or phrases.
3. Third reading. Reread the passage up to the word or phrase that touched you in some way. When you reach that word or phrase, stop and repeat it a few times.
4. Pondering. Reflect for a while on the phrase that moved you. Repeat it a few more times. Let the words interact with your thoughts, your memories or any other Bible passages that come to mind. Let it touch your heart, desires and fears. Begin to wonder, “What might God want to say to me specifically”?
5. Prayer. Turn that last question into a prayer, asking God, “What is the word you have for me in this passage, God? Is there anything you want to say to me today?” Listen. Write down anything you sense God might be saying to you.
6. Rest. Be still and silent for a while. Enjoy being in the presence of God. In this step you move from doing to being. Simply be for a while.
7. Response. Ask yourself and God, “What am I being called to do as a result of the word I have been given?” Perhaps you are feeling challenged to love God more, or to accept some aspect of who you are, or to serve someone you know or to begin changing some aspect of your character. Whatever it is, write it out. “Today God is calling me to be a more ______ person. Be with me God and teach me how.” Thank God for the word and the calling you have been given.
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