Saturday, September 5, 2009

If our earthly fathers did it, how much more will our heavenly Father?

Okay so I read Hebrews 12 this morning before starting my day and I came across some awesome verses in this chapter.

First off, there is not conclusive proof on who wrote this great book of Hebrews which is sometimes considered the 2nd most important book of the New Testament behind the book of Romans. But most people believe it was Paul or Luke writing from things he heard of Paul. That being said this chapter wreaks with evidence that Paul at least influenced this chapter, and that may be a little understated here.

Either way the verses that struck me are:

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 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.

Hebrews 12:2-11 NIV-

Notice how the writer of this chapter brings up God's correction of us. I love the use of the word here in the NIV of discipline and the word the KJV uses chasteneth. God will correct, discipline and chastise the ones he loves. Like it says here, our earthly fathers disciplined us for their respect so we should expect our heavenly Father to discipline us as well. I know when we talk of God we speak so often of his love. As amazing as his unending love is do we consider correction an act of love?

I would say that if we don't we might need to consider this point. I remember my parents when they would correct me telling me this is going to hurt them more than it hurts me. Of course I never believed them, but why would it hurt them, its my backside that is getting the attention not theirs. Now of course as I get older I realize that the pain of punishing and correcting their own flesh and blood is indeed hard for parents because they have to chastise the ones they love the most. This might not cause physical pain but it causes internal pain. So why do it if it just hurts all parties involved. Simple, because they would rather correct their children then have them grow up not knowing right from wrong. They would rather punish their children then have the long arm of the law punishing their children. They want the best for their children and will do anything for them so they can have an easier go at life even if some of the rough spots are brought about by the parents disciplinary actions. It goes the same way with God, he would rather suffer us a little while then let us suffer eternally.

The flip side is if your are not being corrected at anytime in your life by God then you are illegitimate children of God. Another words, you don't have a heavenly father because you don't believe in him. That is dangerous ground for your salvation. We should desire that God correct us that way we could take joy in his new understanding that was revealed to us during our time of discipline.

This is the message that we must take to people, particularly the lost, when they ask why does God punish people, I thought he was Love. We can tell them that only a parent who does not care about his or her child would not correct them for doing wrong. It shows true love to punish the ones you gave life because it not only affects them but also you as a parent. But the great news is the benefit of this correction and discipline is a strong and loving son or daughter of God!

Take this message forward to those who could use it. Have a great Saturday and long weekend all, God Bless!

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