Hebrews 12:11; Matthew 16:21-28; Lamentations 3:32; Various
A Bit of Discipline
Hebrews 12:11; Matthew 16:21-28, James 1:3; Romans 5:3-5; Lamentations 3:32; Various
Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.
I believe God is trying to tell me something. Perhaps he is trying to tell you something too. It has to do with pressing ourselves and learning new things… getting out of our comfort zone. It’s funny how we all like the word disciple. We want to be a disciple. We want to follow Jesus. Disciple which literally means staying in step. We want to stay in step with the teacher… Jesus.
It reminds me of when my daughter was a little girl. We were outside on a snowy day and I was just plowing through the snow taking big steps. I heard a little voice calling behind me… daddy….Daddy…DADDY. So I turned and saw her trying to follow in the steps I had just made. The snow was too deep for her little body to plow through so she was staying in my steps. When I became aware she was behind me I started taking smaller steps and going slower.
As disciples we are trying to stay in the Master’s steps. He has plowed a way for us and it is easier to walk in his steps. But we are going to make mistakes, turn at the wrong place, fall behind or just plan fall away. It is at this time that Jesus disciplines us. He tells us what we are doing wrong, makes us try again, and again, and again. He wants us to get it right.
Yes, we like the word disciple but we don’t like the cousin to that word, discipline. No one likes discipline. In fact, Hebrews 12:11 says, “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.” The Greek word used here in Hebrews 12:11 is παιδεία (paideia - pahee-di’-ah) which brings up the image of rearing up little children with training that helps them develop to full maturity. It sometimes involves correction, a rebuke, or chastisement. It’s always embarrassing to be chastised but it helps a person grow.
I remember a time when KJ was little and he wanted to help in the kitchen. We kept telling him not to put his hand on the stove because it was hot. There were even times he had to rebuked… something about that red burner fascinated him. But that ended after he put his hand on the burner and got severely burned. After first aid, a chastisement, and some loving he didn’t want to do that anymore.
Peter kind of got burned too. It happened only a short while after Peter recognized Jesus as “the Messiah, the Son of the living God” what we sometimes call Peter’s good confession. Jesus gathered his disciples around him and explain to them that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter tried to rebuke him for saying such a thing. Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Mt 16:21-28). I imagine those words stung Peter pretty hard. But sometime later Peter would understand why this was necessary and important. God’s whole plan for the salvation of mankind rested on Jesus going to the cross for our sins.
Discipline hurts. But it it necessary. Out of the ashes of our humiliation comes understanding. Lamentations 3:32 says, “Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.” The Lord disciplines those whom he loves.
In fact, In Revelation 3 we read of Jesus searing rebuke of the church of Laodicia. He tells the christians there that there is nothing good about them. They are luke-warm… pitiful, poor, wretched, blind, and naked. I can’t think of anything harsher than being told that nothing you do has any value. But Jesus then tells them “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” It’s tough love.
The reason I told you that I believe God is trying to tell me something is because I have been thinking a lot lately about areas where I need to be more disciplined and learn new skills. Then this morning my daily devotional was Hebrews 12:11. I think God is trying to tell me that I need some discipline too…. some tough love.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God, Sometimes we want our walk with you to be easy. We want you to do all the work. But in order to learn we have to have a bit of tough love. So we ask you right now, Lord, to show us our weaknesses. Be brutally honest and help us to take our lumps so that we can learn and grow in our walk with You. We love you Lord. Thank you for this beautiful day that is full of potential and opportunities to serve you. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Hebrews 12:11 is another great verse to memorize. Have you picked out some verses for our challenge. I keep repeating the challenge to learn four new verses by June 31 but no one stopped me and said there are only 30 days in June! Talk about feeling silly!
I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.