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God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.
Esquire magazine published the article “25 Skills Every Man Should Know.” Some of the skills included were how to kill a moose, shine your shoes, and carve a turkey. Also included in the list was how to buy clothing for a woman. The secret to this skill: Don’t try!
The writer of Hebrews would add one more skill to the list: the ability to accept discipline. Today’s reading reminds us that discipline is not always easy to accept. Nobody likes to be told that they are wrong. But correction is necessary if we are to change.
The author offers two important reminders to those growing discouraged under God’s discipline. First, whatever their discomfort, they have not yet died, unlike many who first believed were martyred for their faith. Second, and more important, the motivating factor in divine discipline
The writer points to our common experience with parental discipline to make his point. When God disciplines us, He is treating us as His children. The struggles God allows us to experience are not punishments. They are a form of training. If we bear up under the imperfect discipline of earthly parents, how much more willing should we be to submit to a perfect Heavenly Father?
Every parent can appreciate the honesty of verse 10: “They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best.” This is all that a parent can do. We do the best we can. The difference with God is that He actually knows what is best. He is working toward our holiness. The aim of the perfect Father is to bring us to perfection. Even if we do not understand His intent in our present circumstances, we can trust His ultimate purpose.
Apply the Word
One area where some fathers in the Bible failed was in the area of discipline. As we’ve seen this month, Eli and David failed to discipline their children, and the results were disastrous. Two resources that may help you with this challenge are Journey of a Strong- Willed Child (Moody) and Parenting with Love & Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility (NavPress).
Pray with Us
In conclusion of our prayers for Moody Distance Learning, please add its Product Development team to your prayer list: Kevin Mahaffy, Mary Oprea, Philip Brown, Richard Lin, and Sandra West. May their service bless Moody students around the world.