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This is the last session in this current series. My hope is that you will have found reassurance and encouragement as we have made our way through the Scriptures. Discipline, in whatever form it may take, is an evidence of God's love for us.

Series:   THE DISCIPLINE OF GOD    Reading:  Hebrews 12/1-11     Session No. 5

Question: Is there one particular aspect of what we have studied that has, more than any other, given you a fresh perspective on some experience in your life?

WHY IS DISCIPLINE NECESSARY?

To get the answers, let’s go back to each of the 6 passages that occupied our attention in Study sessions 2, 3 and 4.

A. Hosea 6/1-3

According to these verses, the intention of God in disciplining His people was to heal….to bind up their wounds…to revive them….to restore them…that they may live in His presence….that they may acknowledge Him – re-prioritize their lives.

We have great difficulty in reconciling this apparent contradiction that the same God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ would wound and injure us and then turn right around and heal those wounds.

B. Malachi 3/1-5

To purify them…to refine them….to make them righteous in conduct & practice….to make them to be those who offer acceptable sacrifices. The people to whom Malachi wrote had grown spiritually insensitive; to the point where their questions revealed just how far they had drifted from the true faith. They were offering to God the "left-overs" rather than the first fruits - and they just did not see that reality until Malachi challenged and exposed their condition.

Question: Would you take time to read the first chapter of Malachi (and the second if you have time) and compare those insights with the opening verses of chapter 3?

C. Matthew 3/11,12

To get rid of the worthless stuff in our lives, leaving only the quality material of His workmanship.

D. John 15/1,2

To produce a greater harvest of Holy Spirit fruit in our lives. The goal is not simply to prune away the deadwood but to facilitate the growth of quality fruit in our lives. Galatians 5 lists for us the fruit of the Spirit. It is to increase the growth of those qualities in our lives and churches that the Gardener (John 15) applies the pruning shears.

E. 1 Cor.11/27-32

To bring us to forgiveness & protect us from judgment along with rest of the world. Notice how Paul links judgment and discipline in v. 32?

F. Hebrews 12/5-11)

  • To demonstrate His love and our relationship with Him (5,6)
  • To enable us to share His holiness (10)…….
  • To produce a harvest of righteousness & peace (11)

NB:  The season of discipline may be painful but necessary if we are to mature (James1/2-4)

        Don’t lose sight of the ultimate goal because of the immediate process (Heb.12/2)

APPLICATION:

There are great implications for us as individuals and as a Church in this teaching

God will discipline/refine/rebuke/correct His people when

  • We allow our hearts to be hardened through unbelief so that we resist the ministry of the Holy Spirit (Acts 7/51,52)
  • We try to live in the non-committal wasteland of mediocrity… where we try to ‘fence-sit’ ….to live in a spiritual Switzerland of neutrality while Kingdoms are in conflict.
  • We allow attitudes of criticism, unforgiveness, resentment to choke out love
  • We allow lukewarmness & complacency into our lives. (Rev.3/14-19)

1. God loves us too much to allow destructive words, thoughts & actions to go unchecked

2. Major problem in this process is to accurately recognise source

    a. We may be the victims of our own foolish decisions & choices

    b. Satan may exploit season to bring us down

    c. Sometimes Satan can be instrument God uses – Job, Peter…and Jesus (Lk.4/1-13)

3. We can minimize seasons of discipline if we engage in self-correction – deal with negative attitudes etc. quickly – confess, seek forgiveness from God & others

4. Let humility and repentance be prominent in our walk with God & others

5. Our loving Father is quick to compassion and slow to anger.

 

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