March 24, 2005
Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.
--1 Peter 1:17
There are two reasons that I want to be holy and live a life that is pleasing to God. Number one, because I love Him, and number two because I fear Him (in a healthy and wholesome sense) and because I know that He is a holy God and He expects my life to be conformed to Him.
When your under the judgment, chastisement, and discipline of the Lord, you know the thing to do is to get as close to Him as you can.
When I was a little boy, it seemed like I was constantly getting a spanking. When my mother did the switching, it was like an execution, because I would have to go out and pick my own switch. I thought I was being smart by picking the smallest switch I could find because it wouldn’t hurt, but those little ones hurt more than the big ones.
She would get a hold of me with one hand and she had the switch in the other, and round and around in a circle we’d go! I didn’t know anything about centrifugal force, but I soon figured out that when we were going round and round, it was better to get up around her knees and get as close as possible.
When you face the chastisement and discipline of the Lord, don’t run, try to hide, or resist what’s coming. Just move close to the Lord and tell Him that you love Him. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).
God’s desire in disciplining us is not to hurt or harm us, but to make us whole. There are rough edges in the lives of each one of us that need to be knocked off. Thank God for his chastisement, because His ultimate purpose is to make us more like Christ.
“TWAS GRACE THAT TAUGHT MY HEART TO FEAR,
AND GRACE MY FEARS RELIEVED…”
--JOHN NEWTON, 1779