I <3 God’s Discipline

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I’m doing Wendy Blight’s Bible study on the book of Hebrews and one of my answers for chapter 12 may be a bit long, so I’m writing it here instead.

I know when most people think of discipline, they think of being punished for doing something wrong, but it’s so much more than that. Yes, there are consequences for our sins, because our sin separates us from God. God’s discipline comes when we break the Laws He has so graciously given us, so that we may have life and live it to the fullest.  His discipline also comes before we commit sins.  Think of Proverbs 4:11, “I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.” His discipline isn’t all about just punishing His children whenever we’re bad, but about guiding us, pointing the way back to the path of righteousness.  Let me explain by breaking down the Law here for you; go a little LCMS on you for a moment.

God’s Law does three things for us: Instruct, Condemn, and Protect.

Instructs: The Law tells us what God expects all of His children to do…or not to do.  Ex: Don’t put your hand in a fire, or you will get burned.

Condemn: It shows us that we are sinners and that there are consequences for that sin. Ex: You stick your hand in the fire and yes, you’ll be forgiven, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get burned!

Protects:  Now this is the part so many people forget about when it comes to God’s Law.  God didn’t give us His Law so He could go around punishing us for our sin; He doesn’t take joy in that, His joy is in seeing His children redeemed, but that isn’t a function of the Law.  His ways are so much higher and better than that and above all, we know God is LOVE.  The Law He provides us is given so that we can be protectedThink about just the 10 Commandments.  Who’s life has been improved due to murder, thievery, adultery, deceitfulness, casting God aside…?  No one!!  How amazing is God that He would so graciously give us rules that are intended to keep us safe, living a life full of joy just as He intended?!  So Lord I cry out to you, “Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior! ” {Psalm 25:4-5a}

So how then do I answer question 6 which states:

6.  Share a time in your life when you received God’s discipline.  How did you respond?  How has God used that time in your life to correct and refine you?

  • God uses His Word to draw me close to Him, leading me on the path that He has laid out for me.  There are times when I ignore His instruction and come up against some destruction.  He then uses that opportunity to refine my heart, carving out, sometimes very painfully, things that would hinder my walk with Him.  There are other times when He has spoken very gently to me, warning me not to continue on a path that leads me away from Him, that would lead me to a place of darkness, an absence of His presence with me…though never an absence of His love.

The Law can do nothing to rescue us from our sins and I would hate to end this little post without sharing the hope and forgiveness we have through Christ Jesus.

The Gospel: This message is simple.  There is nothing we could do to redeem ourselves from our sinful condition, nothing we could do to make things right with God, and be permitted back into His presence.  But God wanted more for us, He created us for more.  He knew we could do nothing to wash away our sin, so He did it for us.  He sent His one and only Son Jesus to die on the cross to redeem us through the shedding of His blood.  Three days later God rose Him from the dead to reign at His right hand as our High Priest, intervening on our behalf.  We are now washed clean, sinless in the eyes of God because of Christ Jesus.  We are now heirs to His heavenly kingdom where Christ is preparing a place for us with him for all eternity.

Here’s an old school song that I love, which I think fits perfectly with this week’s chapter.  Feel free to leave a comment below if you’d like.

4 responses »

  1. Awesome! Thanks for sharing. :-) So many times people carry this idea that God is this higher being who enjoys punishing us every time we misstep. It is good to be reminded that he is our Father who loves us enough to give us Laws and consequences and above all grace.

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  2. Thanks Heather! I was struggling with this question because I’ve lived so many of my saved life with a condemnation mentality. So I immediately thought, when did God punish me. And I thought most things I brought on myself so that was me reaping what I sow. Then I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me that God disciplines me through His Word, and letting me know when I’m not living according to His Word. Wendy confirmed this because I thought I was way off:). Then I read your beautiful words and again the Lord is confirming what He told me. Thank you for sharing, it’s so wonderful!

    (((hugs)))
    ~Lakeisha

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  3. I am not sure if you will be able to read my comment on this post of several months ago. Today is 6/30/12 I am doing Wendy’s Blight’s study on the book of Hebrews. I was sooo struggling with question #6 in chapter 12. I thank God for you Heather. His Spirit led you to blog your answer. It has helped me to understand God’s discipline in a new light. Thank you.

    Blessings & Peace
    MaryG

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