The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Tuesday, April 4, 2017
"For Our Good"
Message summary: Consider a tremendous truth that we do well to settle deep in our hearts: "God disciplines us for our good." There is an intentional purpose in God's design to bring about good results from His discipline. This purposeful good result is "that we may share in His holiness." But during the season of discipline it can sure be hard!
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"Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews 12:7-11).
Among the clearest of Biblical mandates for a father is the discipline of his children. In fact the daily text presumes that readers had a knowledge and experience of a father's discipline. "Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best." What a sign of our decadent times that so many children have never experienced the discipline of a father, in fact many have never even met their biological father!
In hindsight we are both thankful for the discipline our earthly fathers used in our upbringing!
Our heavenly Father also disciplines His children. Consider a tremendous truth that we do well to settle deep in our hearts: "God disciplines us for our good." There is an intentional purpose in God's design to bring about good results from His discipline. This purposeful good result is "that we may share in His holiness." But during the season of discipline it can sure be hard!
We know at times His discipline (not to be confused with punishment) may certainly be unpleasant and may even be painful. This verse expresses a simple truth commonly experienced by all of us. Even a young child can attest to it: "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful." The context draws a parallel between the discipline of a loving earthly father and that of our loving heavenly Father.
"Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Especially note the two words "later on". "Later on" is unspecific as to the timing and this is what makes the season of discipline so very hard. Many are waiting for that "later on" to come to pass but they don't know when. In the Book of Galatians Paul shares this truth as well, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9).
But God's Word is sure and His promises are steadfast. "God disciplines us for our good."
Lawrence Richards comments on this passage: "Two things reassure us when God disciplines. We remember that Jesus suffered first. And we remember that God has graciously explained His motive for discipline. One thing that bothers us is not knowing “why.” We lose our job, and in our fears about the future cry out, “Why?” We lose a loved one, and agonize, “Why him, and why not me?” We suffer from a lingering illness and, try as we may, we can find nothing “good” in it. We begin to doubt Romans 8:28, and again we ask, “Why?” But God doesn’t give us reasons for specific hardships.
But He does explain, carefully, what He is doing. God is treating us as any good parent treats his own children. God is disciplining us “for our good, that we may share in His holiness.” Don’t expect an economic benefit from the loss of a job, an emotional benefit from the loss of a loved one, or a health benefit from a serious illness. But do expect a spiritual benefit from any hardship. If you and I submit to God, He will work in our lives, and through suffering we will grow in holiness. Even more, we will reap a rich “harvest of righteousness and peace” from the training hardship is intended to provide."
Some of you are in the very midst of a discipline that is by no means pleasant. In fact you may be wincing with pain even as you read this message. Perhaps you feel let down and are experiencing great disappointment. You just can't figure out what God is up to in your life. You may even feel forsaken. At this time you don't have any idea how your situation will ever work out. (I've experienced all the above.)
Consider those words "later on" and the wonderful promise of God that follows. Let it minister to your heart. Let it renew your hope and let it further encourage you to diligently wait for the "later on" to come to pass. The promise is this: Our heavenly Father's discipline "produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
Farther along we'll know all about it
Farther along we'll understand why
Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine
We'll understand it all by and by
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, when our earthly fathers discipline us, it is intended for immediate correction and future application. At the time it is painful and a humiliation of sorts. And with You, Father, Your discipline is not pleasant at the time but painful, though it transforms our thinking, shapes our values, and adapts our behavior so that we become more and more like Christ. May faithfulness, self-control, endurance, patience and other fruit and character traits be evidenced in our lives as we undergo discipline and training in righteousness. We pray for Your work to be done in our lives because we know that "later on it will produce a harvest of righteousness and peace". Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Farther Along" Video Dailey and Vincent
"Build Your Kingdom Here" Video Rend Collective Ester volunteered last night at a Rend Collective concert in Manheim, PA. This is one group that Ester enjoys a lot and so do we! Their sound is different and their message is clear!
"My Lighthouse" Video Rend Collective
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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