If you are a parent, you have had to discipline your children for their disobedient behavior, disrespectful tones, and damaging words. If you are anything like me, it breaks your heart to discipline your children (Space does not permit me to talk about all the ways we can discipline our children). Why do we go through such pain? We discipline our children, not because we get some sick satisfaction out of it or because we love seeing them miserable. We discipline them because we love them and desire to see them grow up into godly and healthy children. It should not surprise us, then, that our heavenly Father, through a number of methods, gives us loving and corrective training that leads to maturity and responsibility on the part of us who experience it (Hebrews 12:5ff. ).
Our Father disciplines us because he loves us (Proverbs 3:11). Discipline is painful and not very fun. Though he can use them and sometimes does, God does not always use illness, financial reversal, disasters or calamity to discipline or punish his children. How, then, does God discipline his children? I believe the most preferred method of discipline our Father uses is his Word. Our Father, through the Holy Spirit, uses his word to teach us how to live for Christ. We don’t always get it right, however. We’re stubborn and rebellious children, aren’t we? We fail God in so many ways on so many days.
It is during these times when God uses a message from the platform, a teaching in small group, a passage from our devotion time with God, or a gentle rebuke from a friend reminding us of God’s truths, to convict us so we can set things right in our lives. Paul says that the Bible is useful for teaching, conviction of sin, setting things right in our lives and discipline in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). If we hear his word and respond to the sharp prick of his word with repentance, then we share in God’s holiness, bear fruit of right living and look more and more like Jesus. (Hebrews 12:7ff). If we don’t respond to his word favorably, then God might have to resort to using other methods of discipline (I will discuss other methods God uses in my next few posts). Even then, he sometimes delays his discipline to give us a chance to turn from our sin and run to him. Lord, thank you for your grace! Next time: How God uses the knowledge of his grace to discipline us.
In what areas have you sensed God’s loving and corrective training (discipline) with his word in recent days? How have you responded to his correction? What have you learned?
Popularity: 12% [?]