Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Discipline From God

Discipline From God

Listening to this program, I could honestly relate to the first caller. I suspect hundreds, even thousands of more people could relate also. She asked about the verse in Hebrews, about God disciplining the one He loves. She mentioned that the word "Scourge" gives the connotation of 'flaying out', as in pretty much filleting the skin. This verse has been used by many legalistic churches to heap guilt on someone. God doesn't punish us for our sins; He punished Jesus. If there was still punishment left for our sins to be had, then Jesus didn't do a very good job of providing the ultimate sacrifice. However, it's easy to see where folks can get mixed up. How often have our own parents threatened to "tan our hides" for misbehaving? How many times, especially with the older generation, were whippings, sometimes to the point of beatings gotten, all in the name of discipline? Why wouldn't we think that God would do the same thing?

What then, is the correct meaning behind the verse in Hebrews 12? The Father indeed disciplines His children. Turning to another example, we look to the athletic runner. Before he or she runs the marathon, they warm up by stretching. Some of those stretches can be most uncomfortable. The coach isn't making the runner stretch in order to punish him/her, but rather, so the runner isn't harmed during the actual race.

When God disciplines us, it's because He loves us. Love is patient, kind, longsuffering, gentle, etc. If the discipline seems rough, it's normally because of our willful pride not wanting to accept it. When has God ever left us? No, once we go through His discipline, we can rest, knowing that it will work together for good, when it's all said and done.

Have a listen, and see what you think!

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