Week 9 Day 4
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Hebrews 12:11 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.
How would a person “make light of the Lord’s discipline?” Perhaps by seeing it as random, chance events. Perhaps by thinking God is unfair to you, or unaware, or uncaring of what is happening in your life. Maybe it is by trying to “tough it out” and to refuse to be bowed down by the discipline. How might a person “lose heart” because of the Lord’s rebuke in their life? Maybe it would it be as a result of them concluding God does not really love them because if he did he would not deal with them in this way. But fathers who love their children are willing to discipline their children. Children in the moment of discipline may not feel loved by it, but if the child has a good father then his discipline is a very high form of love. Disciplining a child is hard for the father and the child. They would both prefer to enjoy “easier” expressions of love. But when discipline is needed, the loving father does not run down the easy path. Is your heart conflicted? Has God been treating you as a son or daughter through loving discipline? We are delighted when he is delighted in us. We love it when God is not ashamed to be called our God. But even when he is unhappy with our choices, he is our Father. We experience his love when we feel his pleasure and when we feel his displeasure. Not every trouble that comes into your life is because of God’s displeasure. But when God does bring discipline in order to reorient us to himself, we must not hide from him. It is unlikely we will ever enjoy “being” disciplined, but if we understand what is happening and pay careful attention to the outcomes, we will know the joy of “having been” disciplined by God. Fathers want their children to learn to be disciplined because liberty is only available to those who know when and what to say “no” to and what to say “yes” to. Disciple and discipline are children of the same word family. A disciple is disciplined in order to be near the one he loves. When your Father disciplines you, it is because he wants you to share his holiness. He wants you to share his very life. Close the gap on faith and love. Endure hardship as “discipleship”; God is treating you as his beloved child.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.