TODAY'S WORD FOR Tuesday, September 01, 2020:
Training to act in accordance with rules; the training effect of experience; punishment inflicted by way of correction or training; instruction; correction.
He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
In Hebrews chapter twelve there are some wonderful, expressive and powerful words concerning the discipline we need in our lives as believers. This passage, beginning with verse 1 (above) talks about the discipline needed for a long-distance race and relating it to the discipline we need in our daily lives.
The previous chapter gives us the experiences of all the godly men and women in the Old Testament and how they ran their race in life. They achieved victories in their lives in spite of difficulties and oppression. They all had one thing in common -- FAITH! Faith is what we must have to live victorious lives. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus and never lose sight of where we are headed. Living the Christian life involves hard work. It takes discipline on our part to keep our eyes on Jesus.
In verses three and four of Hebrews 12, we are reminded that we are in an all-out fight against sin and we may have to suffer hardships. Some have suffered more than others but no one more than Jesus. He went through the suffering and agony of the crucifixion, dying to pay the penalty of our sins.
Then, in verse 5 the author of Hebrews reminds us not to feel sorry for ourselves when we get disciplined by God. He asks if we have forgotten how good parents treat their children and that God regards us as His children. He writes: “my dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but do not be crushed by it either. It is the child He loves that he disciplines; the child He embraces, He also corrects.”
These verses go on to remind us that when God disciplines us, He is educating us and treating us as dear children whom He loves. He is not punishing us through His discipline but training us just like we as good parents train our children. We respect our parents when they train us so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live a life blessed by God. God is doing what is the very best for us, training us to live God’s holy best.
In verse eleven the purpose of discipline is given to us. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, bur painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
The author of Hebrews goes on to challenge us to not to sit on our hands and drag our feet, but to clear the path of all obstacles that hinder us in living a victorious life in Christ. God’s discipline strengthens us so we can help those who are weak and struggling in their faith and make sure no one gets left out of God’s generous offer of eternal life.
Discipline in our lives make us better people and better representatives of our Lord. Just as God uses discipline to correct and to make us better, parents must discipline their children to correct them and make them better children. God disciplines us because He loves us. Discipline is an act of love. Lack of discipline puts a child on the path to destruction. Discipline must be given justly, lovingly and promptly.
Our memory verse for this week is found in I John 1:9.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
First of all, we thank You for the discipline that our parents gave to us. We also praise You that because You love us You discipline us to make us righteous and mold us for the purpose You have for us in our lifetime on this earth. Help me to live for You today and to learn daily from Your teachings and by Your discipline that I may be the servant You desire me to be.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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