By Judson Cornwall
HOW OUR HEAVENLY FATHER CORRECTS AND INSTRUCTS US
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Heb 12:5-11).
Even in the best of families, there are times when the children become unruly and disobey their parents. They try to test the limits that have been set for their conduct. They want to find out for themselves if their parents really mean what they say. At such times, it is necessary for the parent to “chasten” their children. To chasten means to discipline with a positive purpose in view. The purpose is to restore order in the home and develop godly character. Such discipline is truly needed to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Prov 22:6).
What is true in our earthly families is also true in the family of God. There are times when God must bring correction to His own unruly children when they want their own way. Such stubborn disobedience in the lives of Christians brings much disorder in the Church of Jesus Christ. Rebels must be disciplined before there can be peace in the house of God.
TO KNOW GOD AND MAKE HIM KNOWN
David declares that “our God is the God of salvation” (Ps 68:20). God does far more than give salvation to His people. He actually becomes their salvation. We are not just saved from our sins, but for a restored and ongoing relationship with God. It is a going and growing process in life – the life of God.
This was God’s plan for Adam before he fell. Because of Christ, that is still today God’s purpose for you and me. God is our Restorer. His desire is to restore us back into the image in which we were created – in His image – before sin did so much damage to us all. God wants us to grow in our knowledge of Him. He wants us to become more like Him in our thoughts, words and deeds – in our attitudes and actions.