Posted by: Heather | November 20, 2008

some more rambling thoughts. Hang on, could be a bumpy ride :)

A few weeks ago, I had been contemplating God’s holiness, and the fact that I deserve his wrath. To follow my thought process, see this video:

As I was contemplating this thought, I watched as a father corrected his child. It was beautiful. The child was following it’s natural sinful tendencies. The father put the child on his lap, and gently introduced a new thought to the child’s mind. The child accepted the correction, and the father hugged the child. As I watched the hug, I realized the father’s arm had been around the child the whole time. The hug started before he even started talking.

I realized at that point that this is what God’s correction to his children is like. I was awestruck by the fact that God has chosen to adopt me as a son, when I fully deserve His wrath. I should have been squashed like a bug. Instead, He puts me on His lap, puts His arm around me, introduces truth to me that I am incapable of coming up with on my own, and when I accept this correction, He hugs me.

Then I was shamed by the realization that even though I am the recipient of his loving correction, sometimes I grumble or complain about the correction. I resist or argue. I was so embarrassed at my ungratefullness. The God of Heaven takes the time to give me his attention and correction, and I balk and fuss; even argue. “I don’t deserve this, why are you bothering me? Darn right I don’t deserve it, but horror to think of what I do deserve.

At that point I prayed and thanked God for the awesome grace of his correction. The favor He is bestowing upon me when he lovingly corrects me. I told Him that from now on I want to eagerly accept His correction. I want to listen carefully and try to understand exactly what He is telling me when I am corrected.

The next time I noticed being corrected was on election day when I found myself fearing Obama, and even hating him. I posted about that before in “what is your cornerstone”

This brought me to the concept of persecution and suffering, as I have been discussing in the past few blogs.

However, today I came to a rather surprising realization:

Any one recognize this quote?
“For whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, and whips every son whom He receives.”

want to know the context?

Let’s look at the verses directly surrounding this quote:
Heb 12:5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which He speaks with you, as with sons, “My sons, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor faint while being corrected by Him.
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, and whips every son whom He receives.”
Heb 12:7 If you endure discipline, God is dealing with you as with sons; for who is the son whom a father does not discipline?
Heb 12:8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become sharers, then you are bastards, and not sons.

Hebrews 12, Isn’t that the chapter about being surrounded by a cloud of witnesses? And running the race that is set before us with patience? Something about Jesus being the author and finisher of our faith?

Yup

Here is some more context:
Heb 12:1 So therefore we also, having so great a cloud of witnesses lying around us, having laid aside every weight and the easily surrounding sin, through patience let us also run the race set before us,
Heb 12:2 looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith, Jesus, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, “and sat down at the right” of the throne of God.
Heb 12:3 For consider Him who had endured such gainsaying of sinners against Himself, that you do not grow weary, fainting in your souls.
Heb 12:4 You did not yet resist unto blood, wrestling against sin.
Heb 12:5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which He speaks with you, as with sons, “My sons, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor faint while being corrected by Him.
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, and whips every son whom He receives.”
Heb 12:7 If you endure discipline, God is dealing with you as with sons; for who is the son whom a father does not discipline?
Heb 12:8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become sharers, then you are bastards, and not sons.

But this was the real shocker to me. I went back into the end of chapter 11. You know, the “Hall of Faith” chapter.


Heb 11:35 Women received their dead by resurrection; but others were beaten to death, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.
Heb 11:36 And others received trial of mockings and of floggings; yea, more, of bonds and of prison:
Heb 11:37 they were stoned; they were tried; they were sawn in two; they died by murder of sword; they went about in sheepskins and in goatskins, being in need, being afflicted, being ill-treated;
Heb 11:38 of whom the world was not worthy, wandering in deserts, and mountains, and caves, and the holes of the earth.
Heb 11:39 And having obtained witness through the faith, these all did not obtain the promise,
Heb 11:40 God having foreseen something better concerning us, that they should not be perfected apart from us.

The direct context of this statement of the Lord disciplining those He loves is – get this – persecution.

You might be wondering what this “revelation” I had was. Well you are probably bright enough you knew this already, but God had to hit me on the head a few times to get through. The shocking realization was this:

God’s loving discipline of his sons, (you know, the hug I watched, and said I would eagerly accept) is PERSECUTION!

Folks, we have two choices. We can endure the wrath of man that passes in a moment, or endure the wrath of God. However, the other side of the coin is this: we can enjoy the fickle and fleeting “love” of the world, or we can enjoy the everlasting and unconditional love of our father.

Heb 12:2 looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith, Jesus, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, “and sat down at the right” of the throne of God.

Count me in.

I mean it.

Come quickly Lord Jesus.

Craig

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