What I've been thinking and what I've been reading for you to compare notes.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Encouragement of Discipline

DAY TWENTY THREE: Thursday, November 6, 2008

Read Hebrews 12:1-13

"But you have forgotten that the Scriptures say to God's children, 'When the Lord punishes you, don't make light of it, and when he corrects you, don't be discouraged.'" Hebrews 12:5 (CEV)

Question: What's the best way to keep from losing hope when God is correcting you?

Answer: Remember that He loves you!

When we're going through the pruning process (See John 15) it is easy to think that God doesn't love us. So the writer of the book of Hebrews gave three proofs that spiritual discipline comes from the heart of a loving Heavenly Father:

1. The Scriptures.

Hebrews 12:5-6 is a quote from Proverbs 3:11-12. Instead of giving in to Satan's whispers to be discouraged or to our own fear that God doesn't love us when we sin (and are consequently disciplined by God), we should read, remember, and rely on the promise of God's Word.

2. Personal Experience.

Hebrews 12:7-11a remind us of our human parents and the experience of being disciplined by them. If they had not cared enough to correct us we would have become so undisciplined that our lives would spin out of control. Our attitude toward testing should be thankfulness that our Heavenly Father cares enough to enter our lives when we're drifting away from a healthy spiritual lifestyle.

3. Good Results.

Hebrews 12:11b-13 points out that God is interested in our long-term happiness more than our short-term pleasure. If we will work with Him, we will be happier and more peaceful after His correction.

Action step for today: Cooperate with God with a good attitude about those needed changes that He's making in your life through the process of spiritual discipline.


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