February 24, 2009
The Love of The Father
“For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.”
Hebrew 12:6 (AMP)
"This hurts me more than it hurts you." These were the exact words my mother and father used before they disciplined me. Have you ever heard these words? Have you ever said these words?
As a child it was hard to understand how my parent's correction and discipline could hurt them more than it hurt me. After all, I was the one on the receiving end of the pain and suffering! I had many mental conversations with myself on this very subject. How can they say that when I am the one confined to my room for the week?
Growing up I thought I would only use positive reinforcement as disciplinary tools to raise my children into civilized, well-behaved members of society. My plan worked perfectly until I actually had children. Then I begin to re-think my mindset and seek the counsel of the Word as my guide for disciplining my children, as well as for receiving my own discipline from the Lord.
As a young mother correcting her children, my heart began to understand the Father’s correction. It helped that I had already made the decision to allow God to be the Lord of my life. I was surrendered to His leadership in my life. Surrender meant accepting and submitting. Accepting His unconditional love and undeserved grace for my sin and submitting to His correction and discipline in my life. Trusting Him to use His Word to shape me into the person He wanted me to be. I was and I am today the object of His great love.
The Lord's correction and discipline is given to everyone He loves, accepts, and cherishes in His heart. According to Ephesians 1:5, through Jesus Christ we are adopted as sons of God. Therefore, as His children we are entitled to His great love and His loving hand of discipline.
Admittedly, it took me some time to willingly submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord. At times, the process was painful and difficult, asking me to give up things I took pleasure in. When I obeyed though, I always saw a positive result. Two truths came to life: discipline is good, and discipline is necessary to help me become like Christ.
I felt His great love as God would tell me, "No honey, don’t watch that show anymore" or "Wendy, that relationship is not really beneficial to you. It would be in your best interest to break away from it." When I submitted to the discipline, I could see that He really loved me and wanted what was best for me.
As a young mother, I began to understand how giving the discipline really does hurt more than receiving the discipline. How? Because of the love. The giver loves so deep and in a way the receiver cannot understand until the discipline is accepted and applied, and the receiver matures. Eventually, the one receiving the discipline and correction realizes that discipline brings what he or she has always longed for: security, comfort, and peace.
The next time you need to accept discipline, remember the love of the Father who uses correction to shape you into the person He has designed you to be.
Dear Lord, help me to accept and apply Your loving discipline to my life. Thank You for loving me enough not to overlook my faults. You want me to be all that You have planned. Forgive me when I stubbornly stand in the way of the work of Your great love. It warms my heart to know that You accept and cherish me in Your heart, even enough to discipline me when I need it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
i am not but i know I AM by Louie Giglio
Pierced By the Word: 31 Meditations for Your Soul by John Piper
Out of the Mouths of Babes by Wendy Pope
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Read Hebrews 12:1-12. Look for and write down all the benefits of God's discipline.
How do I typically respond to God's discipline?
Do I really believe that discipline means love? Why or why not?
How does discipline really provide security, comfort, and peace?
Job 5:17, "Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” (NIV)
Proverbs 10:17, "He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray." (NIV)
Hebrews 12:11, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." (NIV)
© 2009 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 24 February 2009.