5 Minute Read
To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.
Today’s Bible Reading:
Listen to the Lord
Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.
Hebrews 12:7-8 (NLT): “As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.”
Reflections from Scripture:
These verses provide yet another way that we can know that we are truly saved. If we sin and continue in it, we need to observe whether or not God sends “discipline” our way as a form of lovingly bringing us back to Himself.
If discipline doesn’t happen, then we aren’t God’s kids.
If discipline does happen, then we are God’s kids.
Discipline can come in many forms. It can be deep-seated guilt in our minds that leads to repentance. It can show up as the removal of God’s blessings (or Himself) from our life. It can appear as the natural consequence of our sin. Yet, in all of this, we know that God is behind the scenes, orchestrating these things to bring us back.
Friend, God loves you and me far too much to allow us to venture into a disobedient lifestyle that will harm us and rob Him of glory. So, we should expect Him to do what is in His and our best interest.
He really does love us. That’s why He disciplines us.
So, strive to live in the power of the Holy Spirit and abstain from sin. But, when you disobey Him, and God brings discipline, find a measure of comfort in that discipline. It affirms that you belong to Him.
Spend Time in Prayer
Lord Jesus, I don’t like discipline. I also don’t like the personal disobedience that would require discipline. So, help me, Lord, to find comfort in the fact Your discipline is a clear reminder that I belong to You. Yet, help me live in such a way that You rarely have to send discipline my way. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.
Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.