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Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Discipline

Yesterday I wrote about a wall I felt existed between a friend and myself. I wrote about seeking God about what I might have done, and how hard it was not to know. I had one friend in mind never realizing that God was about to work a miracle in my heart. Oh, it was not about the friend I had in mind. It was about another friend from years ago.

I discovered that something I did not do years ago hurt my friend. I had assumed she understood something she did not understand. That assumption was my failure. I had wondered for awhile why she was gone from my life, but yesterday I finally realized the reason. As she finally told me, I knew that God was disciplining me. I knew my failure.

When faced with this sudden knowledge of my failure, I remembered these words from Hebrews 12. “Have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, 'My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child'” (Hebrews 12:5-7, NLT).

At the moment I knew I had failed, I felt His correcting hand upon my life. Realizing the devotional that I had just written, I was totally overwhelmed at His power and love. I asked His forgiveness. I told my friend how sorry I was, and she said she had already forgiven me years ago. I not only felt His loving forgiveness. I knew His forgiveness through her.

“As you endure this divine discipline,” the writer to the Hebrews continues, “remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 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. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 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” (Hebrews 12:7-11, NLT).

God is my father, and He loves me enough to discipline me. Without His discipline and guiding hand in my life, I will never grow spiritually. I have learned a great lesson. It is one that will mark my life. And my greatest reward is that my sweet friend is now back in my life.

I will not be discouraged and allow the enemy to batter me over this failure. I will move on in Jesus Christ. “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees,” the writer to the Hebrews concludes. “Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong" (Hebrews 12:12-13, NLT). I will strengthen my weak knees, and share my story this morning. I will mark a straight path and pray that others will learn something from what I have shared. It is never the end like Satan would like me to believe. Discipline is always the beginning. It is always hope.

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