“Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord.” --Psalm 94:12
“My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”
“And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?”
“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word….It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”
--Psalm 119:67, 71
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”
“But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.”
--1 Corinthians 11:32
These selected verses remind us that God will employ whatever righteous means necessary to transform His people: teaching, reproof, correction, training, discipline, etc. At times, God's discipline is light; at other times, it is severe. Yet, it is always administered with love & with our greatest good in mind—conformity to his will and the image of his Son, Jesus Christ.
This week, let’s remind ourselves or learn anew what it means when the Bible speaks of the Lord’s discipline.
1.God disciplines you because he is a loving Father. But his discipline is the grace of correction, not you paying the penalty for your sin. Jesus meant it when, in John 19:30, he said, “It is finished.”
2. If God's your Father, he will discipline you, but his discipline is never a sign of his rejection. Rather it's a sure sign of his affection. Only in the gospel, then, do we find a God who constantly delights in his children, even when he has to discipline us.
3. One of the greatest evidences of true salvation / conversion & sonship is divine discipline leading to holiness. On the flip side, a great evidence that our faith is false is that we are able to live in sin and remain unscathed by divine discipline (Hebrews 12:7-11).
4. Your Savior will confront, rebuke, correct and discipline you….but he’ll never turn his back on you (Heb. 13:5-6). As his child, God doesn't just discipline you. No, he daily forgives, enables, transforms, and delivers you as well.
5.There is no contempt in the Father's discipline (Pro. 3:12). In love, God has committed Himself to His children. He will encourage, instruct, & discipline them so that they might share in His holiness. God’s discipline isn’t an angry reaction, but rather a restorative plan, designed to produce a harvest of righteousness in us.
6. Through the Word and the Spirit, trials, and discipline, God is conforming us into the image of Christ. Our progress in sanctification is often three steps forward and two steps back, it will be real progress. Although there will be times of pruning and divine discipline, there will be victory and fruitfulness. The goal is worth the pain required. Although
7 . Don’t indict the Lord for your discipline, he may be digging a pit for the wicked (94:12-13). So, as we read God’s word, let us pray, “Teach me, O Lord. Teach me!” Pray for a tender heart that responds well to the faithful discipline of your loving Heavenly Father.
8. We should be more perplexed by God's blessings than by His discipline of us. Pruning is the evidence of our union with the vine, discipline is the evidence of our adoption as sons, and sanctification is the evidence of our justification. One does not exist without.