Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Lord's Discipline

Hebrews 12:3-11 (ESV)
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. [4] In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. [5] 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.
[6] For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives."
[7] It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? [8] If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. [9] Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? [10] For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. [11] For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

“Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself so that you may not grow weary or faint hearted.” That would be Jesus. He is the one who suffered, more than we will ever know.
Do you grow weary? I suppose I do. I suppose we all do. Life isn’t always easy. It can be very difficult even. We live though. And even if our blood is required of us, we have life in Christ who shed his blood for us, at our very hands. I don’t know why, but we always think that life should be going better for us. Christians do this. I do it. I know better, but it doesn’t stop me. Who doesn’t chafe at discipline? Oh sure we can talk about how it builds character etc. But no one really likes it. It wouldn’t work if we liked it. And then we think that somehow we are better than to require discipline. Why now Lord, what are you punishing me for? Of course it may not be punishment at all. It may just be discipline, God preparing us for that which is to come. Now there’s a cheery thought. Yet we Christians should no better than to think that life will go better for us if we are Christian. Christ suffered, so will we. But just as Christ rose from the dead, so will we.

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