“I don’t do it often,” Stan began, “but something in the letter to the Hebrews caused me to think back over a certain area of my life this morning.”
“What were you thinking about?” I asked.
“The matter of discipline,” Stan replied. “As a child, I was not disciplined very much. I was allowed to do just about everything I wanted.”
“When I moved into adulthood,” he continued, “I did so largely as an undisciplined person doing what I wanted, when I wanted. The results weren’t always real pretty!”
Continuing, Stan said, “What I saw this morning in the letter to the Hebrews highlighted for me the change that occurred when I became a Christian. Conversion was the beginning of being disciplined. And being disciplined opened me to the truth of why God disciplines me.”
“What truth?” I asked.
““In the first instance,” Stan replied, “God disciplines me because He loves me. He knows what is best for me, and He disciplines me in that direction. In addition, He disciplines me so that I will share His holiness.”
“Share the holiness of God?” I replied.
“That’s it,” Stan said. “That’s what the writer of Hebrews says, and it makes perfect sense to me. God placed in me His Holy Spirit, with the emphasis on ‘Holy’, for the very purpose of leading, guiding, guarding, helping, and counseling me in being disciplined in holiness.”
“What if you don’t want to be disciplined in holiness?” I asked.
“My choice and my loss,” Stan replied. “I can either choose to grow in the likeness of Christ, or I can choose not to do so. It’s my choice, it’s your choice, and it’s the choice of each person.”
“However,” he added, “my experience of being drawn ever closer to God in a deepening relationship as I submit to His loving discipline has shown me the only choice I want to make. The choice of being disciplined by God is the only one that makes any real sense to me!”
“If I am going to be a disciple, it requires discipline. Same root word, discipline and discipleship. They go hand-in-hand.”
For they (earthly fathers) disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He (God) disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. Hebrews 12:10.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for loving me. Thank you, too, for disciplining me in love so that I will share your holiness. Thank you for providing your Holy Spirit, living in me, to help, guide, and counsel me in being disciplined in accord with your will. I confess that too often I do not submit to your discipline because I prefer to live on my own apart from your will. Please forgive me. And please help me in following your lead in choosing to submit to your loving discipline so I will be the disciple you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click on the link below to be taken to an article that points out how discipline can lead to discipleship: