Heb 12:14-15 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
BITTER ROOT. A “bitter root” refers to an attitude of deep-seated resentment in one’s heart that continues to grow and has consequences for others. Here it may refer to an attitude of bitter resentment toward God’s discipline instead of humble submission to his plans for our lives. Bitterness can also be directed toward other people in the church. It corrupts the person who is bitter, making him or her unfit to approach God in prayer or to grow spiritually. If not dealt with, a bitter root can spread within a church congregation and corrupt an entire community of believers, destroying the holiness without which “no one will see the Lord” (from Fire Bible, Global Study Edition)
When was the last time you made “every effort” (verse 14) toward anything? That means really trying, exerting yourself. Different translations read “follow peace”, “work at getting along”, “work at living in peace”, “strive for peace”, try to stay out of quarrels”, and there are others. The message is clear though, it’s not to be taken lightly. See to it that no one misses the grace of God
And we are to be holy, desiring to make our ways like his way, living the example left to us. To be set apart, dedicated to God.
Deut 29:18-21 Don’t let down your guard lest even now, today, someone — man or woman, clan or tribe — gets sidetracked from God, our God, and gets involved with the no-gods of the nations; lest some poisonous weed sprout and spread among you, a person who hears the words of the Covenant-oath but exempts himself, thinking, “I’ll live just the way I please, thank you,” and ends up ruining life for everybody. God won’t let him off the hook. God’s anger and jealousy will erupt like a volcano against that person. The curses written in this book will bury him. God will delete his name from the records. God will separate him out from all the tribes of Israel for special punishment, according to all the curses of the Covenant written in this Book of Revelation.
(from THE MESSAGE)
We are to stay focused on God, on his ways and watch out for one another and encourage one another. As Russell recently said, “we are to have each others backs!”
I was really struck by the depth of these verses as I read them recently. I know many could write much more in depth than I am able to do, still, I hope you will take time to Read Hebrews Chapter 12 and do some deep thinking on it.
God bless you all.