As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.Revelation 3:19(KJV)
Christ's advice to the church at Laodicea was that their whole value system needed to be changed - their values, their attitudes, and their focus. They needed to look away from the things they highly esteemed in this world and set their hearts on the spiritual. They needed to cherish that which is of eternal worth, and pursuing the treasures of heaven rather than the trinkets of earth. They needed to fix the eyes of their heart upon Jesus, their Saviour and Lord.
Like all God's children, these worldly-minded believers are loved with an everlasting and jealous love by God Who wants the best for them, but Who knows that their current value system will harm them. As God's children, they will be chastened, chastised, taught, and trained by the Spirit, for as God's children we are all disciplined by our Heavenly Father - for He knows the plans He has for us all, and they are for our good and not for evil.
God's discipline towards all of His children is an evidence of His great love and should NEVER be interpreted as punishment. Chastening from God is not punishment, but an expression of His deep love for us and God will discipline any of His children that He sees straying into the wrong values, wrong attitudes, and wrong focus.
Discipline is also exhortation and encouragement to change. To change our values, attitudes, and focus; to change from whatever we know in our hearts is causing God to use His gracious rod of discipline upon us. Repentance simply means to turn and as we turn towards Jesus, it causes us to turn away from everything else. The very act of looking to the Lord Jesus causes us to turn from wrong values, wrong attitudes, and a wrong focus.
Let us look to Jesus – the Author and Finisher of our faith – today.
Heavenly Father, thank You so much that You love me enough to discipline me when my focus strays from what is acceptable to You and beneficial for me. Help me to value what is important and to keep the focus of my heart always on You. In Jesus' name, AMEN.