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Monday, November 11, 2019

Proverbs 3:11-12

Proverbs 3:11-12 (KJV)  11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Proverbs 3:11-12 (NLT)  11 My child, don’t reject the LORD’s discipline,
and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
12 For the LORD corrects those he loves,
just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

Proverbs 3:11-12 (CEV)  11 My child, don't turn away
or become bitter
when the LORD corrects you.
12 The LORD corrects
everyone he loves,
just as parents correct
a child they dearly love.

Hebrews 12:5-13 (NIV)  5 And 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.
6 For the LORD disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 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. 9 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?
10 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. 11 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.
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

Job 5:17 Blessed indeed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
discipline - מוּסַ֣ר (musar, mū·sar) - Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 4148: Chastisement, reproof, warning, instruction, restraint

His reproof - בְּתוֹכַחְתּֽוֹ׃ (towkechah, bə·ṯō·w·ḵaḥ·tōw) - Preposition-b | Noun - feminine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8433: Chastisement, correction, refutation, proof

This is one who no one likes to talk about. We really don't want to face discipline. What child goes to his parent and says, "Daddy, spank me. Mommy, make me stand in the corner"? We don't like to face consequences of bad choices. But, disciplining a child is what will make a smart and responsible adult. Not disciplining a child makes a spoiled adult who is not able to function in the real world and in relationships. I'm sure examples have come to your mind already of a well adjusted and responsible adult you know. And, of spoiled, maladjusted adults you know.

The older a child gets, the harder it is to start disciplining them. A small child can accept discipline easier and is easier to handle. But if you wait too long, and the child is older, they can defy you and get away with it. You can't spank a 15 yr old because they can turn on you and attack you. (Have you ever heard of examples of elder abuse?) What we see too much of today are whiney, spoiled, maladjusted young people who weren't disciplined as children and never learned how to play well with others, how to share, or how to have sympathy for others. They are now too old to try to discipline. They run wild. The results are they can't have a longterm meaningful relationship like a marriage, parent/child or even friends! They don't work well with others in jobs so they have a hard time holding down a job. They can't budget or make wise choices. They are mentally handicapped due to lazy parenting. They are stuck in the toddler stage but in adult bodies, never having advanced in mental reasoning processes. They are flat thinkers, not being able to comprehend complex, multilayered thinking. It's like our country is being led by the children in the Lord of the Flies!

People are so averse to consequences they try to make what is wrong, right. They try to remove the consequences of their bad choices and force everyone to acknowledge they are right even when we know they are wrong.

A drug/alcohol addict loves his drug of choice more than anything in life. All they want is for everyone around them to make it easy for them to take their drug and have no consequences from drugging themselves. Heaven help you if you try to get between them and their drug. Heaven forbid you should ever make them feel bad for being drunk or drugged out of their minds. No, you are supposed to stand out of the way and just give them money to buy their drugs. And you are suppose to take care of all responsibilities so they don't have to sober up. They don't want to see any disappointment on your face. They don't want to see any tears in your eyes. They don't want you to yell at them to try to wake them up. They don't want to feel bad, responsible or guilty. They don't want to face what they are doing to themselves and other people. The rest of us are suppose to smile, sit in a corner, take care of all the responsibilities in life, and shut up so they can drug themselves, or drink themselves, into oblivion and go to hell in a handbasket.

Same with homosexuals, and other sexual perverts. They have tried to re-write the Bible so they can practise their sin without consequences. They have tried to force the entire population of the world to accept their perversions as a "lifestyle choice" and the rest of us are suppose to smile, pat them on the back, and give them the keys to the kingdom. If anybody doesn't follow the homosexual party rule, they are labeled haters and homophobics and are despised as though we'd committed a crime. They have forced their lifestyles into every realm of society whether it's appropriate or not. Even churches are being forced to make policies regarding homosexuals in their congregations and in leadership positions. Churches are being forced to decide if they should allow homosexual weddings, homosexuals as preachers/priests, homosexuals as youth leaders or to take care of babies in nursery. How do preachers counsel homosexuals? These are decisions that should be biblically made but pressure from homosexuals is forcing churches to either confront or capitulate. Another instance, in our town, we have had "transgender" men in full bizarre makeup and disguise to force the public library to allow them to read homosexual children's books to children. Why are there homosexual children's books? Why are there sexual children's books at all? Why do transgender men want to dress up like clowns and focus on children with these readings? There are several reasons. First, they want the attention. Second they want to groom children into their lifestyle for future victims. Third, they are trying to justify their sins in the eyes of the world. They want acceptance so they can have their cake and eat it too. They want to practise their sin with no consequences and no guilt. Just like the addict, everyone else is supposed to stand aside, smile, pat them on the back, give in to their every whim and take all the responsibility off of the sinner so they can sin and enjoy it. And by doing that, we are coddling them all the way to hell in a silk-lined handbasket.

You see, there are consequences to sin. ALL sin has serious consequences, the worst being eternal damnation. If we refuse to call sin, sin... then we have allowed people to think they are OK with God and they don't need a Savior. There is no repentance and no forgiveness. The end result is eternal damnation in hell. Even those of us who are saved, face consequences of our sin. God forgives and wipes the sin away and we go to Heaven. But we face consequences here on earth and we lose rewards in Heaven. God loves us too much to let us get away with our sinful behavior. And we should love others enough to try to point out the end result of their bad and sinful choices.

Do I hate homosexuals? NO! Homosexuality is a sin. Do I hate drug addicts and alcoholics? NO! Addiction is idolatry and sinful. I'm a sinner too, just different sins. I deserve eternal hell too. But Jesus Christ saves me from the wages of sin and He cleanses me and gives me eternal life. A homosexual and drug addict can also be saved, cleansed, forgiven and go to heaven. But if we sin, we still face consequences for our sins. As a Christian, we no longer are bound by sin unless we so choose. And the consequences of choosing sin affects us. We all do it, so I can sympathize with another sinner, homosexual or other. In sympathy, I care about homosexuals because I have my own weaknesses to sins and I make bad choices too. But I will not tell you homosexuality is not a sin because that would by lying and deceiving someone into indulging in sin and multiplying the consequences. I can tell someone firmly, but lovingly, they are in trouble and could avoid the trouble if they stopped what they are doing. I can love them and pray for them. After that, it's between them and God.

So we are beginning to see why God disciplines us. He gave us the parent/child relationship so we could understand why discipline is necessary. I need discipline and chastisement, even as an adult. God loves me as His very own child. Therefore, when He sees me getting into trouble and falling into sin, He will lovingly discipline me by allowing consequences so I can learn from my experience. If I learn the lesson easily, the discipline may not have to be severe. But if I'm a hardhead and keep doing the same thing regardless, the discipline of consequences may get harder and harder. For instance, if Mama tells me not to touch the hot stove and I listen, I won't have to experience the pain of a burned hand. If I put my hand near the heat, I can feel the heat but still haven't burned my hand. I could stop there. I've had a verbal warning and a sensory warning. But if I ignore these and think, "Nobody is going to tell me what to do. I'll do what I want!" ...I'm going to end up with a burned hand, a lot of pain and a scar. If I keep putting my hand on that stove, I will lose my hand altogether.

Let's say that your weakness is making fun of people. It makes you feel powerful and better than someone else. So you make fun of people who aren't as pretty or handsome as you are. You hurt people's feelings but you just can't stop. You like being the center of attention, getting laughs from others, feeling powerful, feeling pretty/handsome. You are a Christian and God tries to get your attention. When you make someone cry from the cruel remarks you make, it should make you feel guilty and want to stop doing it. But you don't stop. So God escalates the discipline. Now the teacher has called you out for bullying and you face discipline at school. Then they call your parents and get you in trouble at home. Next you are suspended from school for bullying. But you get on the internet and keep going. By now, you just love stirring up trouble and hurting people. You keep going and you will be ostracized and become the butt of other people's jokes. But you keep making fun of people for being ugly and calling them names because it makes you feel better about yourself. If you don't learn God's lessons, it may end up in severe discipline and one you would never have wished on anyone... you get old. That's right, you get old and you get wrinkles, lose your hair, put on weight or lose too much weight, your breasts sag and your remaining hair goes white. Now who is ugly? You didn't age well and now you feel what others felt when you made fun of them. God allows you a little dose of your own medicine so you can finally know how devastating your cruel comments were. If you are smart, you will fall on your knees at any part of the discipline process and beg Jesus' forgiveness and let Him change your heart. If you refuse you just may become one of those people who is bitter or becomes obsessed with plastic surgery in pathetic attempts to stay "beautiful". God loves you, He's trying to lead you in the way that is best for you. Try to learn to listen to Him and accept His discipline early on so you don't have to suffer. When you resist Him, you are just making things worse for yourself!

God is a loving Father. He disciplines us because He loves us and He knows what is best for us. Have faith in it and look for ways to cooperate with the process rather than resist the process.

I don't want to leave this subject before pointing out that not all bad things that happen are because of some sin you committed. All bad things do happen because of sin in this world. Death, injuries, illnesses, brutality, crime, natural disasters are all due to sin in the world. But it may not be due to your particular sin. For example, you get lung cancer even though you never smoked. Cancer is a result of sin in the world. Sin brought death. This sinful world brings bad things to good people. Maybe you were around secondhand smoke from people who refused to give up smoking, therefore making it an idol in their lives. Or maybe your cancer is due to the sin of greed in the corporate world. In reading the book of Job, we learn that Job suffered terrible things and it wasn't due to his sin or even the sin of anybody around him.

If you are suffering... First, look in your own life and see if there is something God is trying to get your attention on. Do a spiritual inventory. If God is pointing at something in your life, do your best to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in you and turn away from it. Second, if you honestly don't feel God pointing at something in your life, then know, either way, God is perfectly capable of taking our suffering and turning it to good. He promises to do that. He may be allowing your suffering because it will bring out good in your life and in the lives of others. Just like a goldsmith will put gold under high heat to bring out the waste mixed in with the gold. It rises to the top to be skimmed off. It makes the gold pure and bright. It is another form of discipline. It's not so much a spanking for wrongdoing as a strengthener and purifier.

We can always trust God loves us and is working for our best interests and to make us more like Him (which, indeed, is our best interest). His discipline is actually a blessing. One we don't always appreciate but we should.

  • What was the first thing that came to your mind when you read the scriptures at the beginning of this post?
  • Do you use consistent, thoughtful and loving discipline on your children? Why? What is your goal when you discipline your children? Is it to just make them shut up because they are getting on your nerves? That's not the long term goal of godly discipline. So think about it. What are you trying to accomplish when you discipline your children and are you doing it the right way?
  • Each child is different, each family dynamics is different. If you have children, start a page for each child. Underneath, write the problems you are seeing in that child. Pray for them. Make a list of goals you feel your child needs to reach. Then meditate on this scripture. Now begin to journal how you feel God is leading you to train, teach, discipline that child. Then go on to the next child and do the same. What works to teach one child to reach his potential may not work for the next child. A controlled and careful spanking may work for one child but not your other child. One child may respond well to charts and stars while another one responds better to a words of praise and high-fives! So it's important to know each child, and pray. Ask God for His wisdom in training up your child to be a good adult.
  • Back in the day, some parents couldn't control an unruly child so when they reached adult age, they sent them to the military to learn discipline! If you were wealthy and had an unruly child, you sent them to a military school. Did that always work? No, unfortunately a lot of really rebellious young people learned how to thwart even the military discipline. They usually end up in a miserable life, causing mayhem wherever they go - or - they end up in jail (or both). Have you ever seen, read about or heard of a child that was so rebellious that their parents couldn't control them? What were your thoughts about the situation?
  • Have you ever put yourself in the parents' shoes and what would you have done differently?
  • How does that affect how you try to raise your children?
  • Think about good, godly discipline and make a list of how it can help a child as they become an adult.
  • Had you ever thought of discipline as a blessing?
  • Now apply today's thoughts to your relationship with God. Can you see where God has disciplined you in the past? Have you resisted or cooperated? What have been the results?
  • Have you come to the place where you can honestly say, "God do with my life as You will"?
  • Have you come to the place of such trust in His love, that you can obey without asking why and demanding explanations from God? I don't know that any of us can say we have really accepted that as totally as Jesus Christ did. But where are you on the scale?
  • Could you be like Jesus? He woke up each morning without an agenda, a schedule, a job, money, a home, a family to define Him. He woke up each morning, with a yawn and a stretch, and started walking down a road. He knew God would direct Him and provide for His every need. He didn't take a camper, any suitcases, backpacks, lunch baskets and picnic coolers with Him, He didn't know what He would eat, where He would sleep, where He would end up, who He would meet and what He would say. He just trusted God and took things as they came. He fully trusted in God's love for Him and in God's wisdom and guidance... even when it came to the end of His ministry and things got bad. When soldiers arrested Him, lied about Him, mocked Him, tortured Him and crucified Him, it could have looked like He had misplaced His trust and God had left Him in the lurch. But Christ knew God had bigger plans than anything on this earth and He continued to submit to the Father in every way even to His death. And, wow!, what a blessing to us that He did! We are saved because Jesus was obedient even unto death. God did have a greater plan in motion than any human being could have deduced!

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

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