Posts Tagged ‘discipline’

  

“My child, don’t reject the LORD’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you.” (Proverbs‬ ‭3:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

Just when you thought that you’ve heard it all…

According to a report in the International Business Times on 8.28.15, two sisters in India, one of whom is only 15-years-old, have been “sentenced” to rape as “punishment” after their brother had an affair with a married woman. An unelected all-male village council in Baghpat district, Uttar Pradesh, ordered that Meenakshi Kumari, 23, and her teenage sister will also be paraded through the streets naked, with blackened faces, as they are made to pay the price for their brother’s alleged transgressions. And this is the norm for how this council has operated for years. Ugh

According to our text, God does bring punishment for sinful behavior, but never a heinous thing like this! Our God is a loving Father that desires for all His children to do right, like a good Dad should. While His correction fits the sin, it has an ultimate goal: not to bring suffering, but restoration of relationship. 

Good parents and right government should both have fair and firm corrective policies. You can’t love without it, otherwise you are only enabling. But I’m grateful that our wonderful Father cares enough to do it the right way and bring our hearts back home! You are loved! 

  

“Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem.” (Luke‬ ‭13:22‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

It is an epidemic that has been spreading around the world. MILLIONS are caught in its clutches. It is costing people some $600k a day. It is creating health issues, loss of jobs, and even the UK has reportedly seen rehabilitation centers open up new wings to bring needed treatment to give people their lives back! What is this infernal presence that’s taking over the world and ruining lives?! It’s nothing other than that sinister ploy called… (spooky music intro inserted here)Candy Crush!

We’ve all seen people’s lives devastated because of life-controlling issues and addictions. While some seem worth the outrage, the simple or petty things, like social media or video games, still cause not only significant damage in personal lives, but spiritually too! Too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing.

Just as Jesus made sure He was moving towards His life purpose (crucifixion) while He lived among us, so we must do the same thing. Play time and hobbies are good stress relievers, but if it is keeping us from our life objectives (to know Him and make Him known), then the enjoyable has become an enemy. Live your purpose, not your pleasures! Eternities hang in the balance! You are loved! 

  

  

“Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭1‬ NKJV)

Last April, Mary Beth Sammons lost her job as a vice president for an Internet company where she made about $110,000 working 50 hours a week. Today, Sammons works more than 60 hours a week at two jobs — one at a preparatory high school and another for an online magazine — and is barely making $50,000. While Sammons, 52, would rather be working one job, as a single mother, with one child in college and another kid heading there, she said, “I take work wherever I can get it.”

Sacrifice suggests an action that must take place regardless of will or even against our preferred desire. As Christians, there are often times when we must sacrifice personal desire in order to achieve God’s desire for us. The hardest part is denying personal wants of the immediate, even though we know that God’s eventual accomplished plan works out even better for us. What must happen must happen. 

Be a person of sacrifice for what is right. Whether family or spiritual, some goals are definitely worth it. Do what you’ve got to do and you’ll see what you need to see! You are loved today! 

  

“Love each other as I have loved you.” (John‬ ‭15‬:‭12‬ NIV)

I stood at the chain link fence, watching the football coaches work the high school boys hard. I say “work”, but my sons might say “punish”! It was a grueling workout. But the coaches knew how to win, themselves having been “punished” by their coach years ago that turned them into champions. 

God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so. Now He commands me to show that same love to others, to those that can be hard to love. It’s easy to love those that are easy to love. But what about those that act towards you the way you act towards God, good at some moments but not so much most of the time? Like the coaches, we must give as it was given to us, if we would see Christ truly exemplified. 

As you start your week, do it with God’s love in mind. We deserve nothing but punishment for falling short of God’s reachable marks of holiness. And yet, He bears with us, not wanting to destroy but to refine, having seen in us the true champion caliber of Christian we can be. Love & be loved today! 



But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.” (John‬ ‭1‬:‭12‬ NKJV)

In the first inning of the April 25, 1976, Chicago Cubs game at Dodger Stadium, two individuals tried to burn an American flag in the outfield. Rick Monday, outfielder for the LA Dodgers, saw the incident and snatched the flag away, deeply grieved as a former soldier that this would take place. It was a battle of the Right of Free Speech vs the Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. 

As Christians, our heavenly rights do not match our human rights. As members of a Church, we might expect the right to have a voice. As Americans, we demand much more. But as Christians, there are essentially two rights that we can cling to biblically: the right to become a child of God and the right to be filled with the Holy Spirit. When we pick up the cross to follow Jesus, we forfeit many other rights. 

Our rights are based upon our need to protect self and self-interests. But by carrying a cross, we are purposefully denying self for a greater cause: That Christ would guide our life and provide for what we need. As John the Baptist said in his own self-denying moment, “He (Jesus) must increase, and I must decrease.” (John 3:30) Choose the greater, better, harder path of discipline. Choose the life of Heavenly Rights! You are loved!

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Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy.” (Isaiah‬ ‭64‬:‭7‬ NLT)

Joe Young, one of my previous members from years past, had shared a story of intercession with me. His son was a fighter pilot during the Korean War. Joe awoke one night with his son’s safety burdening him. He knelt in the living room, praying fervently for a couple of hours until he felt a release that all was well. Later, his son told him that at that very moment, he was involved in a dogfight with several enemy planes and barely survived the ordeal, thanks to his Father’s urgent prayers.

The work of intercessory prayer is what causes God’s hand to move among us. But what happens if it’s not being done, we being too busy and hoping someone else will? Who suffers because we don’t?

Hear Andrew Murray’s perspective from years ago: “The need of God’s people, and the call for God’s intervention, is as urgent in our days as it was in the time of Isaiah. There is now, as there was then, as there has been at all times, a few who seek after God with their whole hearts. But, if we look at Christendom as a whole, at the state of the church of Christ, there is infinite cause for beseeching God to rend the heavens and come down.” This world needs God, and God needs you and His few praying so that He can move. Listen for the urgent call of intercession! Your prayers matter & you are loved!

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Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.” (Acts 26‬:‭14‬ NLT)

In 2010, unintentional firearm injuries caused the deaths of 606 people. From 2005-2010, almost 3,800 people in the U.S. died from unintentional shootings. That’s almost as many victims as the number of American soldiers killed in the first seven years of the U.S.-Iraq War! And the greatest shame is the key word of this study: unintentional victims.

In the Christ Life, we reflect this same sad scenario. We “shoot ourselves in the foot” by trying to live for God on our own terms. Oswald Chambers says it this way: “Stubbornness and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit. Whenever we are obstinate and self-willed and set on our own ambitions, we are hurting Jesus.” To our shame, this is how many of us approach our spiritual walk and ministry.

When Jesus called out to Saul/Paul on the road to Damascus, Saul was serving God and disobeying Him at the same time. God calls to each of us to make sure we are doing this right. If the Spirit convicts you, please listen. The saddest casualties to see are those of self-destructing, self-willed, unintentional inflictors of spiritual harm. Live for God on His own terms! It’s much healthier for you! You are loved today!