For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.Hebrews 12:10(NASB)
The training and discipline of earthly parents which is given during infancy and childhood, is compared and contrasted with the perfect instruction and chastening rod that we receive from our heavenly Father.
The correction given by earthly parents is, too often, far from perfect, even though they try to rear their offspring in the way they think their children should be brought up. The Bible tells us that our parents disciplined us for a few years, in the way that each one thought fit, but our heavenly Father does it from the point of our salvation, for our certain good, in order that we may become sharers in His own, holy character.
Although parents generally try to do the best for their children, the correction we receive from our earthly mother or father is far from ideal. Even though parents may attempt to train their child wisely, and correct them in a manner they think is most fitting, earthly parents do not always succeed in their endeavours - but God's discipline is perfect. It is not only given for our eternal good, but is also given for His greater honour and glory.
While earthly parents may try to teach their children obedience, kindness, and other important character-forming attributes, the Lord's discipline brings a rich and fruitful harvest of spiritual graces... peace and patience, faith and submission, goodness and grace, righteousness and love. "For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but the Lord disciplines us for our eternal good, so that we may share His holiness."
We have all had earthly parents and we have all been corrected by them, and those in authority and during our life we remained under their charge and subject to their jurisdiction. Some of their correction may have been too severe while at other times their discipline may have been lacking. But love and respect for our parents is an important part of being human. How much more, therefore, should we love and respect God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who saved us from our sin on Calvary's Cross.
How much more should we embrace His chastening rod and recognise the need to be under His justified jurisdiction, as we surrender ourselves to His leading and guidance. As children of the light, who have been saved from the slave-market of sin and adopted into the family of God, how unwise we are when we resent His correction - for the Lord disciplines those He loves, just as an earthly father admonishes the son in whom he delights.
God has an eternal perspective in view when He corrects and chastens us. Divine discipline is the well-trodden road to sharing in His holiness. The chastening rod that comes from the Lord is a life-long training programme, which is designed to increase our faith in God and strengthen our dependence upon Him. It is intended to bring us to the point of absolute surrender to His Spirit's leading. It is designed to bring us to the point of willing obedience to do His will. How important to accept that God's correction is carried out for our greater benefit and for His eternal praise and glory.
If as new believers we quickly learned to surrender our lives to the Lord, and to present ourselves daily as a living and holy sacrifice to Him, we would quickly respond to the lessons that God would have us learn - but too often we follow our own imperfect will and our own fretful desires. We are called to be holy for God is holy.. and the discipline, chastening, and child-training we undergo from the Lord, is designed to transform us into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
Let us not kick against the pricks of God's training programme. Rather, let us learn willing obedience and joyful surrender to do His will and follow in His ways, by the things we suffer - so that at the last we may stand before His throne - unashamed.
Heavenly Father, thank You for placing us in families and for the parents You gave me, and thank You that I am Your child and part of that great, heavenly family, that has been saved by grace through faith in Christ. I did not always want to learn the lessons that my parents tried to teach me, and I have too often resisted Your own, perfect, chastening hand. Help me to be willing to learn the lessons that You would teach me, quickly and thoroughly, for I desire to be holy as You are holy. I pray that I may learn to be obedient to Your voice and submissive to Your leading and guidance. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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