Bible Reading: Hebrews 12:3-17

“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives (Hebrews 12:6). He disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.” (Hebrews 12:10)

Back in the day when we were but little boys and girls, you might recall the moments our parents disciplined us. Maybe you can remember how your dad made you go to bed strictly at 8 pm or how your mum scolded you when you didn’t put your shoes back in the right place (maybe she still does today). The thing is, back then, if we were told to go to bed early, we would complain and winge, “I want to stay up!”. Now that we have grown up a little, we really understand just how precious sleep is and how much our bodies need it. Our parents were never wicked in tucking us into bed early, as we would have thought back then, instead, they were doing us a favour out of love, one that we did not understand. 

So it is with our Heavenly Father who disciplines His children. To all those He loves, He will discipline through His Word and His providence in our everyday lives. God disciplines us for our greatest good which is holiness. 

Holiness for us is probably not our first choice. Our society dislikes the idea of purity. It seems too bound by “you can do this’ and “you can do that”. The world wants to be free; the world wants to follow her own heart. Yet, these ideas are entirely opposite to God’s original plan. 

God’s idea of “good” for us is holiness. God longs to work in us and purge our sinful ways and old selves that followed its heart and the world. For God, freedom is not found in satisfying selfish desires — that is sin. 

Freedom is being sanctified and made holy. Freedom is being released from the bondage of sin and living a new life in the light of God. Freedom is returning to God’s original plan that we would be able to relate personally with Him and serve Him with our whole lives. Holiness is God’s good will for us, and He disciplines us that we may be shaped in holiness. 

When it comes to discipline, like a young child, we love to reject and block our hears from the personal and heart-piercing truths about ourselves. In our pride, we frequently refuse to hear God’s discipline. Matthew 5:3 reveals how it is the “poor in spirit” that inherit the “kingdom of heaven.” Do not reject God’s soft voice lest He pursues us with more significant means. God will not relent in disciplining us because that is the nature of His abounding love. Listen to Him. 

Let us continually introspect ourselves with God’s Word. Are my thoughts, actions and desires pleasing to God? Humble yourself and open your heart to God’s gentle discipline every moment of your day. 

What are your thoughts, attitude, and response to the circumstances God has given you in His providence? Whether it be our studies, relationships, or ministries to which God has entrusted us, are we able to “rejoice in the Lord always” as Paul commands?

In humility, return to God’s ways. Surrender ours and trust in His. It may seem unpleasant and hard for us, yet God promises “the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by [discipline].”

Lord, please forgive my stubborn and proud heart that does not want to listen to Your discipline. You want only what is good for me. You want to make me holy that I may see You and know You and behold Your glory. I want what You want for my life. Thank You that You discipline Your children who you love. Please discipline me. Reveal to me my sins and rebuke me. Do not show me Your wrath but instead clothe me in Your love and change my heart. Teach me to love You and Your Word even more. In Jesus’ name, amen.