Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Mid-Week Message - Love Displayed Through Discipline

I can remember a time from my childhood that I got in trouble with my mother.  I don't remember what it was I did but I do remember that she took me to my bedroom and sat me on my bed and told me to stay there.  As soon as she turned her back, I stuck my tongue out at her.  She immediately turned around and came back into the room and gave me a swat on my backside.  When I asked her what it was for she said it was for sticking my tongue out at her.  That made me a believer that she really did have eyes in the back of her head.  Now, as an adult and having gone through child rearing personally, I know it had nothing to do with her seeing me, but with her knowing me.

My mother wasn't being mean to me that day.  She was disciplining me because she wanted me to develop respect and to learn that obedience comes from the heart.  Because she was my mother, she knew my likely response would be anger rather than acceptance and understanding.  It was an attitude of strong-willed rebellion rather than a willingness to learn.

We have a Father who loves us enough to discipline us when it is necessary.  For some of us, that discipline comes more often because we are slower to learn from our mistakes or because we continue to insist on living life our own way rather than asking for and following in His guidance. Obedience involves laying down our own willfulness and humbly walking in the way that He lays out before us, trusting that He knows better and will only do what is best for us.  Like our earthly parents, He want us to conform.  But not for earthly reasons.  His desire is to create in us righteousness so that we can be holy as He is holy.

Are you in a season of discipline?  

Hebrews 12 (NIV) states:

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,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 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.

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