Chastisement

“And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives’ ” (Hebrews 12:5-6).

When we place our faith in Christ, many wonderful things occur. God declares us innocent of all sin. He adopts us as His children. We receive a new nature and begin to take on the spiritual and moral qualities of God. He also grants us eternal life with the promise of a future resurrected body dwelling in a perfect heaven.

But children must be disciplined, or they will wander from the Father’s will. God loves us too much than to allow us to wander off from His chosen path without administering some helpful discipline.

Discipline does not feel good at first. Ask someone who began a diet 3 days ago how much fun they’re having. Or ask the recommitted, but out-of-shape person, how much he likes his workout regimen. God warns us that not all discipline seems pleasant (Hebrews 12:11). But what does it produce? It always produces what God intended, such as “the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).

Our parents trained us based on what they thought best. Some parents put in more effort than others, but none of their efforts can match God’s fatherly care for us. He wants to work in our lives in order to produce spiritual qualities. But sometimes we get distracted or fall spiritually asleep. When this occurs, God applies loving discipline so that we will wake up to Him and see the importance of serving Him.

People often fall into two mistakes:

1. They “regard lightly” the discipline of the Lord.
When they lightly regard God’s discipline, they pretend it’s not coming from God. Maybe it’s a coincidence or some random act, but remember that all of us require discipline. When God speaks to us through loving discipline, we need to listen!

2. They faint when disciplined.
The Bible indicates that God will not give us more than we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13), and what we experience, others have experienced as well (1 Peter 5:9). God chastises every child He receives (Hebrews 12:6). You need never feel alone and must not suppose that God is singling you out for some special punishment.

God’s loving discipline of us indicates that He cares about our spiritual well-being. He does not leave us to the wolves around us, but instead nurtures and brings us along according to His will for us.

 

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