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Discipline

Posted by David Griffin on

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,

nor be weary when reproved by him.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 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 12:5-11

There is nothing you can do to make God love you any more
AND
There is nothing you can do to make God love you any less.

God gave me this truth when I needed it most. I was really struggling with my understanding of what a truly healthy relationship with God would actually look like. In God’s perfect timing, a friend gave me a book titled What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Phillip Yancey, and my life has never been the same.

Up until that point, I thought that God’s love for us was granted in direct proportion to how well we performed. If we were faithful, then he would reward us, but if we were unfaithful, then he would simply write us off and no longer love us. Now, the funny thing is that this mentality had the noble result of causing me to behave. When you are afraid of getting smote (that’s a good KJV term) then you tend to mind your Ps and Qs. Not because you love God, but because you hate pain.

Now, as we can see above, it is certainly true that God will discipline those whom he loves, but it isn’t for the purpose of getting even, settling the score, or paying us back. The end goal of discipline is to win us back. We have a God who uses every means possible to woo, beckon, call and perhaps even seduce us. He pursues us because we are his children, his spouse, his family. Therefore, he who lovingly “did not spare his own son” will assuredly not spare our business, our happiness, our wealth, or even our health in order to win us back.

The truth is that his love for us never waivers, because he loves us and he is love. You can’t earn it, nor can you lose it. Your actions may very well determine how he expresses his love for you, but it will not change. This is because he is unchangeable. He is faithful, even when we are not.

There is nothing you can do to make God love you any more
AND
There is nothing you can do to make God love you any less.

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