October 27  

Responding to God's Discipline  

Hebrews 12:5-7

Sin always leads us away from God and hinders His work in our lives. The Lord will not allow sinful patterns of behavior to continue without divine correction. The purpose of His discipline is to train us in personal holiness (Heb. 12:10).

Some Christians equate the word discipline with punishment. But Scripture tells us that Jesus took our punishment upon Himself at the cross. He paid the required price for all sin and experienced God's wrath on our behalf so that we might be forgiven. Once we receive Christ as Savior, we are a new creation and no longer under condemnation (Rom. 8:1).

Discipline by our heavenly Father is corrective, not punitive. He uses trials and circumstances to turn us away from unholy practices and teach us the way of godliness (1 Tim. 4:8). So when experiencing His discipline, we should understand that we have sinned, examine our wrongdoing with the Holy Spirit's help, and take His correction seriously. Instead of losing heart, recognize that the Lord is treating us as a loving Father would—looking out for our best interests and disciplining us for our own good. Instead of fighting the process, we are wise to cooperate with God and keep our eyes fixed on the promised harvest of righteousness and peace.

Not all hardships are a result of sin; they can also derive from natural disasters, mental or physical illnesses, or someone else's actions. But if your troubles are a result of your own ungodly actions, then confess them and
accept the discipline of a loving Father to His precious child (Isa. 43:4).
 

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Some days it seems as if a spirit of anger is permeating the entire world. News stories of violence, road rage, and international discord fill the airwaves. If that were not enough, our families are also being torn apart by unresolved conflicts. Where do we turn for peace in this angry world? 
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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.