God Corrects His Children
"If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?" (Hebrews 12:7)
It was August, and the Ellisons' air conditioner had broken down. Mrs. Ellison called the repairman, who tested the unit and took it apart. To his surprise, he found large quantities of sand in the outdoor fan. Mrs. Ellison asked her children if they knew how the sand had gotten in. Sadly, they admitted that they and their neighbor friends had made a game of throwing sand into the fan and running away before it could blow back into their faces.
Mrs. Ellison reminded them of the rule they had broken: sand was not supposed to be thrown or removed from the sandbox. Because of the children's disobedience, the family would spend hundreds of dollars to replace the broken fan. The Ellison children would do extra cleanup in the yard as punishment, and a trip to Six Flags would be cancelled so that the money could go toward a new air conditioner. The Ellison children learned to take better care of property and to obey authority.
Mrs. Ellison also asked the neighbor children not to throw sand into the new fan. She explained about the damage, but she did not punish them. They went to their own yards and threw dirt and sand into their air conditioning fans. Soon other families were calling the same repairman and buying new air conditioners.
Why didn't Mrs. Ellison discipline the neighbor children? They had knowingly broken the rules along with her children. But they were not her children, so she did not punish them.
Like an earthly parent, our Heavenly Father corrects His children. When He chastens us and teaches us not to sin, it is a sign of His love for us and of our place in His family. Although we do not enjoy chastening while it is happening, we should be thankful that He cares for us and wants to help us become more holy, more like Him.
"Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law." (Psalm 94:12)
God's chastening reminds us that He is our loving Father.
» Am I truly God's child? Does He chasten me?
» Do I accept His correction gratefully, recognizing it as a proof of His love?
Truth In Real Life
J Gresham Machen
"The more we know of God, the more unreservedly we will trust him.”
John Gresham Machen was born into a wealthy, well-known family on July 28, 1881. His father was a lawyer and his mother was a writer, which meant John had every ability to “do something important” with his life. Woodrow Wilson, the twenty-eighth President of the United States, was a personal friend of the Machen family.
But God had even higher, better plans for J. Gresham Machen than just making him a “wealthy man.” God chose Machen to serve Him – making this service the “something important” Machen chose to do with his life. He studied the Bible, and by age 12, he had already gained more knowledge of Scripture than many men have learned when they finish seminary studies. Machen continued to grow up, and he attended the best schools in the world to learn as much as he could about God and the Bible.
In 1914, Machen was ordained to preach. Soon he found himself engaged in one of the most important battles in Christian history. He was not involved in a physical war – although World War I had begun. Rather, he was involved in the battle over the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Machen opposed the worldly religions and opinions of that day and age, ungodly systems of teaching that taught that people did not need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in order to be Christians. Machen also opposed so-called Christians who were living in known sin and acting just like unsaved people.
Machen started Westminster Seminary (in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Even though he was offered many important jobs that could have made him very popular, he refused them because those positions would not have helped him to honor Jesus Christ. He chose instead to defend the faith and to do what he believed was right – no matter what!
How old do you need to be before you really start studying the Bible? Machen believed children were not too young. He was only 12, after all, when God began to use him and his knowledge of Bible teachings in a wonderful way! It is never too early for you to begin learning God’s truth – and you are going to need a good foundation of His truth if you want to be strong enough to fight spiritual battles and stay faithful when false teaching comes up against God!
Luke 12: 34 – “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”