January 13: “The Comfort of God’s Punishment”

Today’s Bible Reading:

Genesis 28:1-29:35
Matthew 9:18-38
Psalm 11:1-7
Proverbs 3:11-12

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Proverbs 3:11-12 (NLT): “My child, don’t reject the LORD’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” 

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

I didn’t particularly appreciate being disciplined as a child. 

I remember one particular occasion when I was in middle school. I jokingly called one of my red-headed coaches “carrot head” from the safety of a school bus as we were about to leave on a field trip. I suspected that he would forget what I called him. He didn’t. The next day, he called me into his office and applied the board of education to the seat of learning. All of my buddies in the gym clearly heard the interaction. 

There were also plenty of occasions when my parents felt the need to discipline me. Something I said or did was deemed to be wrong. Discipline was applied to discourage me from continuing in what was considered to be bad.

There are certainly people in authority who discipline for wrong purposes. They might punish someone to release their own anger. Maybe they discipline as a form of revenge. Perhaps they just like the powerful feeling they get when they hurt someone.

However, discipline can be an incredible act of love. Imagine that young children are playing in the street. Vehicles are passing, having to drive around the children to get by. Their mom sees what is happening and frantically yells for her children to get out of the road. If her children disobey, discipline should come quickly and memorably. Why? Because the mom’s love for her children would rather inflict undesirable, controlled, temporary punishment than have something far worse and more permanent happen to the objects of her affection.

God loves His children. He loves us a lot! That’s why He disciplines us.

Proverbs 3:11-12 (NLT): “My child, don’t reject the LORD’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.”

So when you sin, and something happens that you believe to be God’s discipline for having committed that sin, take heart. That discipline is an act of love from your Heavenly Father. He would rather inflict temporary punishment than have something far worse and more permanent happen to the object of His affection.

But don’t presume upon God’s love. God’s discipline demonstrates His love for us, but it also reflects His hatred of sin. He disciplines us because He doesn’t like what we did or are doing. So let His discipline remind you of how much He desires for each of us to passionately pursue holiness.

Finally, if you can sin continually and never experience heavenly punishment, you need to “examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine” (2 Corinthians 13:5). If God never disciplines you when you sin, you may not belong to Him. You may be headed for Hell when you think you’re headed for Heaven.

Why might this be the case? Because God disciplines His children but does not necessarily punish those who are not His children (Hebrews 12:5-9). Their judgment will come on the Day of Judgment.

If you don’t experience discipline when you sin, drop to your knees today and ask the Lord to save you. Believe me when I say that you would much rather have Him discipline you as a Father today than judge you as a holy God in one of your tomorrows!

Photo by Laurent Peignault on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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