Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Jesus Christ Fully Human and Fully Divine
Hebrews 12: 1-13
V 5” Because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son’.
In this chapter, we see how Paul discusses the role of discipline and endurance in a Christian’s life.
The Lord’s discipline (V5): In our life, suffering and persecution must be seen as corrective and instructive training for our spiritual development as his children. He uses a variety of methods to teach and correct us, but if we don’t recognize what He’s doing, we’ll miss out His valuable training.
We too often equate discipline only with punishment, but the Lord disciplines us in positive ways as well. For instance, “training” in 2 Timothy 3:16: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness”. This means the Bible is one of God’s instruments of discipline in the believer’s life. When we obey His instructions, we are trained to live righteously, thereby avoiding the pain of chastisement, which comes to those who ignore His Word. God’s discipline is to rebuke and punish us, it also includes nurture, instruction, and training in holiness and righteousness (Heb. 12:10-11).
God’s punishment (V6): God chastens us in order to correct our faults. Unfortunately, we sometimes mistake God’s discipline for punishment. Every area of life is an opportunity for God’s training. Sometimes we experience affliction because we’ve sinned and the Lord wants to draw us back to obedience. But on other occasions, our trials may actually come while we are walking obediently with Him. This is what happened to Paul. ( 2 Cor. 12:7-10.) The “thorn in the flesh” was a tool to protect the apostle from pride. God also used it to teach Paul and us that divine power is perfected in human weakness.
Both of these situations can be defined as God’s discipline because they accomplish His purpose: “that we may share His holiness” (Heb. 12:10). Now, when God chastises us, He has a definite and good purpose for it. The trials He puts us through are not designed to destroy us, but to build us up and make us better than we were before. Now we know that our trials are from God who loves us, and who uses them to purify and shape us to be conformed to God's own righteous and holy image.
God treats us as sons (V7): God’s discipline is evident that we are his children. Far from being a reason for despair, discipline is a basis for encouragement and perseverance. Discipline is the evidence of his love and a prerequisite of our son ship. The Lord’s discipline is proof that we are His dearly loved children (Heb. 12:6-10). But we are to be encouraged because God disciplines the one He loves and chastises every son whom He receives.
So how can we discern whether our troubles are divine discipline or merely the result of living in a fallen world? There’s no reason to see every problem or pain as punishment for sin; but on the other hand, we don’t want to miss the correction our loving heavenly Father sends our way. Before we can perceive it in our life, we must understand what God’s discipline is and what He intends to accomplish through it.
Thank You Lord for your firm disciplines on us that strengthens us with perseverance for the journey. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.Thought for the day
“Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty”. Job 5:17
Sherly Thomas, St. Thomas MTC, New York.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church