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For Your Good

“For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Hebrews 12:10-11

It is a compelling thought to consider the perfect discipline provided to us by the Lord. Discipline in our minds often involves a parent verbally lashing out at their child because they did something they weren’t supposed to do. It can be good, it can be effective, but it doesn’t always come from the purest place of concern for the development of the child. It’s incredibly challenging to issue discipline with a pure heart. The offender may have embarrassed us, angered us, injured us somehow, or just gotten on our nerves.

Discipline from God is never marked by such inconsistencies. He is always good, He is always right, and every act of discipline carried out to His children is for the sake of yielding the peaceful fruit of righteousness. That means that turbulent consequences result in peaceful outcomes. The painful turns into pleasant, the harshness to holiness. Correction of sin does not lead to just being happier, or wealthier, or healthier. The result is much greater, as it leads us to become holier.

The goal of the Christian life is the glory of God, and our narrow path to holiness by His power is one of the greatest ways to give Him glory. As we step off the path, we are disciplined. It is often firm, but it is always fair. Today, let’s praise our loving Father for perfectly leading us to a peaceful righteousness found only in Him.

Posted by DJ McMoil with 0 Comments

The Christian Life

The Christian life is not all hardship. Paul and Barnabas were in Salamis, a city in Cyprus. The leaders of the Synagogue actually asked them to preach. Paul ended his sermon with this: "Through [Jesus] forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.” Acts (13:38). They should've been booed off stage, right? Insisting that Jesus could forgive sins and that the Law of Moses wasn’t enough? Here’s the crowd’s response: “[they] begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas…” (v. 42). “The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.” (v. 44). 

But this isn’t always how the life of a disciple goes either. The Christian life isn't all outward victory. "[The Jews] were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him.” (v. 46).

"But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district.” (v.50) This may have been physical harm or just preventing them from speaking.

Whether we're a part of jaw-dropping displays of the power of God, or are being pushed down and pushed out by persecution or suffering, there's one thing that the Christian life always is: joy. “…they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” (vv.50,51)

The Christian life is not all hardship. It is not all outward victory. But the Christian life is all joy. During times of victory, ask God that He alone would be the root of your pleasure. In times of pain and loss, ask Him to overflow your heart with satisfaction in Him so that you can say, “It is well with my soul."

Posted by Grayson H. with 0 Comments

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