Devotional Pondering – “This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you!”

In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline,
    but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines;
    the child he embraces, he also corrects.

God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children.” 
Hebrews: 12:4-10 (The Message) 

No likes to be disciplined.
I remember as a kid getting in trouble with my mother and she sent me to my room.  Then she said that horrifying phrase: “Wait until in your room until your father gets home!”  I remember sitting there on my bed, empty pit of a stomach just dreading the punishment that I knew I had coming to me.  I contemplated many things while waiting.  I thought of the various phrases I would say like, “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t mean it“, or “I’ll never do that again!“…they all sounded hollow and empty.  Humorously (not then though) I also contemplated things about my punishment, like “how many books can I put in my underwear without my father noticing so that my spanking won’t hurt?”  I was very dramatic then.  

No one likes to be disciplined.  I didn’t then and I still don’t enjoy the moments when it happens today.  

Wait until your Heavenly Father gets home!
God has a way of shifting us from our own private spaces of ignorance and sin into correction and discipline.  It hurts.  It’s not fun.  It is most certainly not enjoyable and yet it needs to take place.  

Just as a parent disciplines and shapes a child so that when they grow up they have learned their lessons and are good people, so too God disciplines us (His Holy Children).  Did you know that you’re a child of God?  He loves us so deeply and He longs for us to grow up as health and strong righteous men and women who are worthy of being called HIS!

Sometimes He disciplines through the words of a friend or an elder.  These truthful words can be painful to hear and they strike directly at the heart.  But these moments are never to wound us or harm us, they are for our correction and growth.  

There’s something about  a Rose Bush:

Image

In order for a rose bush to grow the next season following autumn and winter is for the gardener to prune and cut it back.  So the gardener cuts the branches and the excess away despite the sharp thrones this plant is beautiful and magnificent when it blooms.  The gardener knows this and so takes great care to cut just enough away in order to make room for the rose bush to grow again.  When the next season comes around the rose bush thrives in the sunshine and the rich soil that the gardener has placed it in, and because of the pruning process it flourishes and grows even more beautiful.  Soon roses bloom in full and the scent of its aroma fills the air and many people come and admire the beauty of this rose bush.

Stand firm in your pruning!  

Image

 I believe that God is not done with us yet!  There is still more to prune from us.  Sometimes the pruning process is painful.  Sometimes there will be tears as He corrects us, but He does this so that we will bloom and grow until we are Holy just as Christ is Holy.  When we allow stand firm and allow Him to prune us through His discipline we are able to flourish and produce the kind of love that has a sweet aroma of God.  Without the pruning process in our lives, we cannot grow, we will be stunted and limited in this life.  

Discipline hurts for but a moment and then when we allow it, God brings to us peace of His presence and the assurance that we can bloom and grow in His holiness.  

 

 

Questions to consider:

 

What pruning has God done in your life so far?
What is He teaching you through this discipline?
What still needs to be pruned?
Are you willing to stand firm amidst His loving correction? 

Prayer:  Dear Lord, thank you for loving me so much that you seek to discipline and correct me.  Forgive me when I have been stubborn and refused your correction on my life.  Show me what your holiness looks like in me and how I must change and surrender that which stunts my growth in you.  -Amen.  

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