There are some interesting theologies being tossed around in the mainstream church these days. That’s not to say there aren’t some excellent, Bible-based preachers and teachers, because I know there are. But often, like leaven, these false ideologies are pervasive and rise quick throughout the entire body of believers. There’s not anyone person that teaches this particular belief, but it is a common model for the “seeker sensitive” movement and it really detracts from the most amazing quality of God because it paints only half of the picture about His love, leaving out the most important, integral part in a Christians life.
God’s love is something I think a lot of us hear about, but do not truly understand. Love is such a basic word in our language and we toss it around so frequently that too often its meaning get’s glossed over. But when used in context with God there is no comparison because God’s love is the Highest Form of Love. Like all of His other attributes, our finite minds cannot grasp this. What we commonly hear are phrases to create a warm and fuzzy feeling in our hearts. Don’t get me wrong, “Jesus loves you” should create in us a level of humbleness so great that we fall before His cross worshiping Him with everything we have.
But there’s more to His love, so much more that’s not frequently taught. To even begin to understand the love of God, we have to look beyond what we want to feel from His love and look toward what we need to receive from His love. Likely, the methods of those I mentioned earlier tickle our ears by teaching us to look at what we want from God’s love, essentially anything that will enhance our personal lives. Christians, these concepts are weak and do no justice to God’s love. Instead, what each of us needs to hear is that God disciplines those He loves. This great aspect of God’s love has been left out because it’s less appealing or may not attract large numbers to a church because nobody wants to think of a God that hands out discipline. The sensitive seeker would prefer to ignore repentance, ignore the guilt placed on us by the Holy Spirit, and completely disregard the chastisement of God.
That mentality waters down the love of God, to say nothing of the ramifications it has on ones Christian walk. Hebrews 12:4-11 is such a great passage that speaks on God’s discipline towards those He loves:
4In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
How loved we should feel when we receive the discipline of God. To know that He loves us so much, that when “all we like sheep have gone astray” the Good Shepherd uses His rod to correct us and bring us back into the fold. Do not think it harsh dear Christian, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 What special attention the lamb that wanders receives when the Shepherd breaks its leg for its own corrective good. How cared for that sheep is that the Shepherd then carries that little lamb on His shoulders with such love.
Do not run from the Lord’s discipline Christian, embrace it. When it comes cherish the disciplining love of the Lord, thankful for this special attention. When He needs to use His rod to break your wandering legs, let it bring you broken before the cross so that like the lamb, Jesus will carry you too on His shoulders. Oh to know the wonderful love of God, the Highest Form of Love.
Prayer: Thank You Lord for Your discipline. Thank You for loving us enough to chasten us. Thank You that when we think we have it all figured out on our own, You correct us and break us, so that all of our dependence is on You. Lord I pray for those running from your discipline. I pray for those who push aside the guilt brought on by the Holy Spirit. Awaken them to the power of Your love, that they may they welcome Your loving discipline that brings forth righteousness and peace.