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Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Hebrews 13 : 9-25

“So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.” -Hebrews 13:12-13[ESV]

This epistle is written to the Jews though saved, were pulled in the direction of their traditional beliefs. After having established the superiority of both the priesthood and the atonement of Jesus Christ, this concluding exhortation encourages them to continue in love and to share with others; to have confidence in their spiritual leaders and pray for them to live well before God. (Heb 13:17-18)

The key verse is an invitation to step outside of our comfort zone and be where Jesus is.  It is a call to fulfill the commission Christ gave us to preach the gospel to all nations (Matt.28:19).  We are called to bear the reproach He endured.  We are to offer to God the sacrifice of praise through our lips that profess His name (Heb 13:15). The world is not our home- our eyes should always be seeking the city that is to come (Heb 13:14).

Reproach means an expression of disapproval through rebuke, being put to shame, reproof, scolding, criticism, censure, disapproval etc. When we live a life that is Christ- centered (forsaking the ways of the evil world) and witness about the goodness of God in our lives (as a means to take Christ to others), reproach will come our way in diverse manners. Our family may forsake us, our friends may ridicule us, and our enemies will try to harm us by shredding our reputation, and so on.

Death on the Cross was a reproach which Christ endured for us. It was the most shameful punishment in the Roman Empire. He was punished for our sins not His. So we cannot allow the fear of reproach to keep us from being effective for Christ. 


Watch out for the effects of reproach

A reproach of shame or disgrace when allowed to creep into a person’s spirit, can affect every aspect of their life. Reproaches are demonic devices that leave us feeling disgraced and unworthy.  It can change the way we see ourselves.  Psalm 44 reveals how reproaches work to surround us with the lies of the enemy: “My dishonor is continually before me, and the shame of my face has covered me, because of the voice of him who reproaches and reviles, because of the enemy...” (Heb 13:15-16)  They establish a mindset of shame that is contrary to the way God sees us. The shame and despair that the enemy can bring in — even sometimes using God’s people — can destroy their future.  


Roll away the effects of reproach

Though many Christians struggle with reproaches, the finished work of Jesus on the cross can roll these dark clouds away and release them into the fullness of their future.  Freed from reproach, they will gain joy and strength to go on.  With the mindset of shame now broken, they will cross over with renewed hope into their inheritance. We as fellow Christians should arise as one man and roll away the reproach and help set such a person on their feet again so that they can reach the destiny ordained by God and not by the enemy.  Galatians 6:2 asks us to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”  Heb. 12:1-2: “…let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the author and finisher of the faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Don’t give in to the fear failure, rejection, incompetence, ridicule, for this will keep you away from witnessing.  Remember witnessing is merely one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread!


Think on:  

“Hear Me, you who know what is right,

you people who have My law in your hearts:

Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults.”

-Isaiah 51:7

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