Friday, January 22, 2016
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My friend, Jack, has a short list of people he totally respects. At the top if his list? His Dad. He told me once, "Don't think that meant that I always did what he said when I was a kid. In fact, the usual script was like this. Dad told me to do something or not to do something, and because I'm stubborn, I'd go ahead and I'd do what I wanted. After which my Dad would spank me. And then I would end up doing it Dad's way."
I began to think, "You know, Jack, the story always ends the same way. You end up doing what your Father said anyway." So he concluded, "Either you do it when he says it, or you do it after you get spanked. But either way, you do it." So he said, "Here's where my scientific mind sets in. Why not skip the middle steps where you get spanked and just do what he says." I do have some brilliant friends!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Avoiding God's Spankings."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Hebrews 12:9-11. Here's what God says, "We have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best, but God disciplines us for our good that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace to all those who have been trained by it."
Now, the day you put your personal trust in Jesus Christ to be your Savior from your sin, you are born into the royal family of God. And God becomes that always loving, always fair, always there-for-you Father that your heart has been hungry for. His love for us is expressed in His gifts to us, care for us, His leadership, and through His discipline. When we're out-of-line, God in His love spanks us. Notice it says here that He does it "For our good." It isn't fun when God spanks you, but it helps shape you into the person He redeemed you to be and you end up with the peace that comes from making no-regrets decisions because of what you learned from the discipline.
Now, about Jack's brilliant conclusion: When you know your Father is going to spank you if you stubbornly do it your way, and you're probably going to end up obeying him in the end, why not skip the spanking? Why not do what your Father is telling you to do now without the painful persuasion?
You may not have considered what's happening to you right now as a spanking from your Heavenly Father. But that might be the reason, especially if you've been resisting Him in some area of your life. It's not just a matter of God having His way. It's that any way but His road is a road to disappointment, regrets and scars, aborted happiness.
So He's bringing some discipline into your life to get your attention and to change your direction. If that's the case, you miss the point of the pain and just keep going your own way you know what's going to happen. God isn't going to give up. He loves you too much for that. He'll just turn up the heat, escalating the pain until you obey your Father.
The ultimate outcome will probably be the same no matter how you respond to the spanking. You'll ultimately submit to God's way sooner or later, after a little pain or a lot of pain.
You know, pain and hurt and dark valleys have been God's tool across the ages to get the attention of some of us who have never really considered making God the God of our life – Jesus, the Savior for our sin, our personal Savior. And it may be that right now He's been knocking on the door of your heart. You know some people who know Jesus. You're all religious. You've got all this Christian stuff, but you've never really given yourself to Jesus; the man who gave His life for your sin, who walked out of His grave under His own power so He could walk into your life.
Today, the reason for the hurt is so He can come in and begin to forgive and heal and make you a brand new person. If you're going to get the pain, get the point. And the point very well being, coming to Jesus Christ. I'd love to help you do that if you go to our website today ANewStory.com.
Why not eliminate any more pain. Why not do what God says to do now, because it's the road you were made for anyway. Is it really worth all this pain?