PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. 7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. 26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” 27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. 28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire. Hebrews 12
There are so many good lessons in Hebrews this morning. I love the clarity of the teaching on discipline, it’s powerful, it’s straightforward and understandable. It’s a lesson that helps me both as a parent and as a son to a heavenly father. As a father to a 14 and 12 year old the reminder of the need to discipline couldn’t be more timely. Discipline isn’t my favorite thing. I don’t enjoy the confrontation, the emotion and the pall it creates in the house, but what is the alternative? A child without proper discipline is spoiled and ruined for life. It’s a child who is ungrateful, feels entitled, lazy and unmotivated. If I truly love my family – both my wife and my kids – I will discipline my children.
As a son, I need to be disciplined. I have faults and I sin and I am far from perfect. We all get away with so much because of God’s grace and I must not equate His mercy with thinking that it’s okay to sin. His discipline comes to save me, just like the discipline for my kids, to make me a better follower, so that I can better please my creator and while it’s not pleasant while I’m in it, it’s for my own good. The other point that really caught my attention was the idea that the earth would be shaken and all of those things that weren’t foundational, solid or of Him, would be destroyed. I heard this morning that there was yet another earthquake in Japan, which is a sobering and very real example how we must put our faith in He who is unshakeable. I must also become more solid and put off those encumbrances that weigh me down and keep me from God’s very best. We don’t know when the book will end, but we certainly know that we are in the last chapters. The world will shake around us, literally, and I must serve the only one who cannot be shaken.
Dear Heavenly Father, I ask for Your discipline and love. Help me to accept and endure it so that I may more pleasing to You. In Jesus name, Amen