Putting God's Word into Practice…

Hebrews 12:5-11 Discipline and Love

on August 8, 2013

Returning yesterday from nearly two wonderful and refreshing weeks of vacation, I realized it was time to update the blog! I’m going to try to make sense of the notes I have from what I learned in my daily Bible readings and type them up today.

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.  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”  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.  If you are left without discipline in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 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? 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. 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.

  • Moses was disciplined by God.
  • The Israelites were disciplined by God.
  • Samson was disciplined by God.
  • David was disciplined by God.
  • Barak was disciplined by God.

If the great “heroes of faith” who’s deeds were counted to them as righteousness were disciplined when their actions and attitudes went off course, should we not also be disciplined for sinning against a perfect God?  Discipline is a gift of love that restores our fellowship with God.

  • God’s discipline is for those He loves and who belong to Him. (vs. 6)
  • God’s discipline proves to us that we are His child and He is our Father. (vs. 8)
  • God’s discipline causes our respect for Him to grow. (vs. 9)
  • God’s discipline is for our own good. (vs. 10)
  • God’s discipline makes us more like Him in holiness. (vs. 10)
  • God’s discipline is painful in the moment. (vs. 11)
  • God’s discipline has a purpose–yields peace and righteousness. (vs. 11)
  • God’s discipline trains us for running a better race.  Training prevents injury and enables endurance. (vs. 11)

Our response to discipline is to take it seriously and not grow weary of it (vs. 5).  

I tried to think of ways that I had been disciplined by God and came up with a few simple ways that I have received “spiritual spankings” over time.

  • There have been several specific times when I experienced anxiety, fretfulness, fear over finances and the very day it peaked I received a check in the mail that covered the need.  Which means, God was taking care of the need before I was anxious about it.  The anxiety was completely unnecessary.  Lesson learned:  God loves to provide for His own and He is always faithful!
  • Some days when it seems like everyone needs a piece of me, I have gotten a complaining, grumbly spirit towards people and started down the path to a pity-party.  Then several people will call and cancel appointments and my day is freed up.  Lesson learned: If I don’t want to do the work that God has planned for my day, He will give it to someone else who will receive the blessing of serving and ministering to others.
  • When I have grumbled and complained to someone and they point out the silver lining or give me a spiritual truth.  It hurts momentarily, but it snaps be back to reality.  Lesson learned: Grumbling and complaining is not necessary when we have such a good God, and everything He allows in our lives has a refining purpose.
  • When I have been “whispering” about someone and they walk up behind me at that moment. Lesson learned: never speak negatively about others, only speak what gives grace and builds up people.
  • Having a guilty pleasure TV show and being called out on it’s offense to the Lord.  Several years back I was secretly watching The Bachelor.  My husband would go into a different room, and I would spend time justifying my actions. Midseason, a women that I know started talking about how evil a show like The Bachelor is in the eyes of God, and I felt a deep pang of truth in my spirit.  Lesson learned: when we try to hide sins from God, He knows and there is no amount of justifying that can cover it up or make it right.
  • When I pridefully start thinking that I can “conquer the world” in my own strength, and God uses sickness to slow me down and remind me of my need for His strength and direction.  Lesson learned: Apart from God I can do no good thing.
  • Last spring I lost my temper with my son, he has responded with gentleness quickly diffusing the confrontation.  When I spoke with him after, he shared with me the verse he learned from Proverbs 15:1 in his morning Bible reading.  Lesson learned: Anger can be diffused with a gentle answer just like God’s Word says.  God’s ways are always best. We don’t need to lose control to prove our points.

So how do we know when we are enduring the discipline from God and not merely experiencing “life?”  His discipline will always line up with truth from His Word (2 Timothy 3:16), it will realign our lives with godliness (10), and will result in peace (11).


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