He Disciplines Those He Loves

Everyday with God

He Disciplines Those He Loves
In a well-ordered family, we can easily see how a healthy respect for fatherly discipline is consistent with the assurance of fatherly love. The children have a healthy respect for their father's discipline, but they are not afraid of him. They don't live in dread of either physical or emotional abuse, but they know that will-full disobedience will bring punishment.
 
I grew up in a home where I never questioned my father's love for me at the same time I never questioned his commitment to discipline me when he felt I needed it. My mother's most fearsome words to me were, "I'm going to tell your father when he gets home."
 
When I was small, four or five years old, my father led the congregational singing in our small church. While the pastor was preaching, my father sat on a platform facing the congregation. Sometimes when I would get unusually wiggly, I would suddenly feel his eyes upon me. I would look up and see him looking at me with that stern look and I would immediately stop wiggling. The prospect of an after-church spanking was all I needed for a deterrent. Yet I never doubted my father's love.
 
Many Christians seem to disregard the prospect of God's discipline. They apparently don't believe that stubborn and persistence continuance in sin will invoke the father's displeasure. They mistake God's grace for a license to live as they please, on the assumption that God's forgiveness is automatic and unconditional. I recall an acquaintance of mine who in the midst of leaving his wife for another woman said, "I know this is wrong, but God will forgive me". Unfortunately, pastors hear this kind of statement all the time. Many people are strangers to the idea of living their lives in reverent fear.
 
And what about us? Though our disobedience may not be as crass and obvious as that of the man leaving his wife, we can exhibit this same attitude in a more subtle way. Anytime we sin with a thought lurking in the back of our minds that God will forgive us, we aren't living in the fear of God. God will never judge true believers for their sin, but he will discipline us if we persist in an unrepented attitude toward sin. Lest this last sentence cause anxiety in the mind of someone who struggles with some persistent sinful habit, let me emphasize that God's discipline occurs because of an unrepentant and irreverent attitude, not because of failures in a sincere struggle with sin. There's a vast difference between the attitude of a person who's struggling to put away some sin, and the attitude of one who thinks, "I know it's a sin but God will forgive me."
 
Father in heaven, thank you for your compassionate and gracious discipline. Please continue to train me with it. Teach me to follow you and confess sin as you reveal it by your Holy Spirit.
 
Great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Psalm 57:10
 
You, oh Lord are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15
 
How priceless is your unfailing love! Psalm 36:7
 
*I Give You Glory, O God by Jerry Bridges.
In I Give You Glory, O God, Bridges offers you the best reasons and the best words for bringing honor to your awesome, incomparable God.
In his third powerful volume of the Private Worship Trilogy, this beloved author gives you the encouragement, motivation, and specific guidance you seek for your private, individual worship of God. As a result, you can better see and understand what it really means to glorify God. To fear God. To live as his child. To follow his wisdom day by day. And you can begin to experience the blessings God promises as you truly live for him.
 
Available on Amazon: ISBN 1578566290
Ministry Development | Linda Miller 

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