God’s Loving Discipline
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline;
therefore be zealous and repent.”
(Rev. 3:19; NASB)
There is an important truth in Christianity that seems to have been ignored or misunderstood by many in the church today. This truth, as this week’s verse states, is that God disciplines His people. This discipline is because He loves us. Because of the deep love He has for us, He wants to give us the opportunity to change our ways and grow closer to Him.
The Bible tells us: “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him” (Heb. 12:5b). To be “reproved” means to be convicted or corrected. Because we have lived sinful lives, separated from God prior to being saved, we can easily fall back into our sinful ways without realizing it. God lovingly convicts us of that behavior. Then it is our job to listen and be obedient. If we resist the conviction and correction, His discipline will become more severe.
Hebrews also tells us: “He scourges every son whom He receives” (Heb. 12:6b). The word “scourges” means to flog. That’s pretty drastic! Obviously, it doesn’t mean the Lord arranges a physical flogging for every believer. What it shows us, however, is that His discipline could be severe. For instance, if a believer continues to cheat on their taxes (willingly with knowledge) after they have surrendered to Christ, their correction may come in a very expensive and embarrassing way. This correction does not come out of nowhere. He will convict us of our wrongdoing first, giving us an opportunity to repent and stop whatever’s offending Him. If we ignore the conviction, there will be correction.
The writer of Hebrews goes on to tell us: “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained
by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11). The Lord’s discipline is never pleasant, but it is fruitful if we allow ourselves to be trained by it. This means not getting mad after being caught in a sin, or when we meet up with unpleasant circumstances. These corrections are to teach us how to live holy lives.
The last part of today’s verse says to be “zealous and repent.” This means that as we are convicted of our behavior, it should excite us that God loves us enough to discipline us. We should then turn from the sin He has shown exists in our lives and be thankful it was exposed.
The next verse in Revelation says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20). Seeking His heart and being obedient to and grateful for His correction, will open that door. What an exciting thought — to dine with Jesus.
Pray for the Lord to draw you close. This will involve some correction, but the result will be far more glorious than you could ever imagine.
Have a great week and God bless.