Post #11 for August 7
Have you ever caught your child doing something dangerous which you’d made clear was not allowed? What do you do? Say it’s a three-year-old running into a busy street to get a ball, or a teenager using drugs. How do you react?
We want to teach children to obey for their own safety, but often they think we’re meanies. In spite of their reactions, we love them and so we discipline them. In like manner, God disciplines us.
God’s people, Israel, rebelled against him; therefore he gave them time out in Babylon for 70 years. During that exile, they learned to trust that God means what he says.
Judgment comes for us also, if we rebel against the Lord who created us and redeemed us. But even the judgment of God is merciful. His purpose is to teach us the right way to live—in a right relationship with him.
Arrogant pride, adulation of men instead of God, selfishness, and social injustice are a few common sins. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23).
God is love. Yet, his judgment is necessary. Loving parents ought to get angry when their children put themselves in danger by refusing to follow their rules. If they didn’t get angry, it would be a sign of indifference. “The Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son [or daughter],” (Hebrews 12:6).
When God disciplined me, I was relieved that the discipline—although painful—wasn’t as severe as I had feared. It reassured me of God’s involvement in my life. He hadn’t abandoned me as I’d thought. Rather, his discipline helped me repent and trust God. I reasoned that since he kept his promise to discipline me, he must be planning to keep his promises to bless me, also.
With this new attitude, I studied the scriptures more thoroughly. The Prince of Peace whom Isaiah foretold was actually God, come to earth in the person of Jesus Christ the Messiah, in order to reconcile humankind with himself. Jesus was and is Immanuel (God with us). After he arose from the dead and returned to Heaven, he sent his Holy Spirit to be Immanuel, (God with us,) and he is with us today in the midst of our trials and tribulations of daily life.
Because he is Immanuel, I’m never alone. When I need comfort, wisdom, advice, direction, inspiration, companionship, or even conviction, God is present with it.
Jesus will come again someday in glory and power, victorious over our enemies: sin, death, and the devil. We who are his people will thereafter live in perfect joy and peace with him without any more sin, trials, or tribulations. If we are centered in him, (if we put our trust in Jesus Christ and follow him obediently), we have no need to fear.)
by Judith Vander Wege.
11th in the series: How God Rescues Us From Our Messes, To be continued:
Here’s a URL to a sermon by Tim Conway relating to God’s discipline:
a beautiful song by Point of Grace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyGV9vi8WIo,
and another sermon about God’s love: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt1sps2T800