The LORD Disciplines His Loved Ones
"My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?" (Hebrews 12:5b-7)
Melody was playing an old vinyl record, listening to the story of the Three Little Pigs. She laughed at the part where the older, smarter brother-pig (the one who built his house out of bricks) was punishing his younger, silly brothers for their foolishness. They had made their houses out of straw and sticks, mostly so they would have more time left in the day to goof around. They mocked their brother for working all day.
The voice of the older-brother-pig was a gruff, matter-of-fact voice. Melody decided it was a great voice for that character. If she had not heard the beginning of the story, she would have thought he was being awfully mean to his little brothers. But now that she knew how silly they were, she began to wonder if he might be going too easy on them! He was always having to help them get out of trouble with the Big Bad Wolf!
How foolish the little pigs were! They thought their brother was boring and old-fashioned. They just wanted him to relax and play all day with them. They laughed at their brother for always worrying about danger and the Big Bad Wolf. All they could see was how he worked all day building a house that was safe, and he never wanted them to have any fun. They did not understand that he loved them and did not want the Big Bad Wolf to get them.
Do you take it seriously when God disciplines you? Do you understand what it means when He allows you to get in trouble for sins you wanted to hide? We should all be careful to respond rightly to our heavenly Father’s correction. He corrects us because He loves us.
No father who really loves his son will let him get away with doing foolish or dangerous things. Even when parents seem to worry too much, it is because they care. If they did not care, they would not spend the time to help us understand why other choices are better. If they did not care, they would not waste their energy talking to us or punishing us.
God is the best “Father” ever, because He is perfect. He knows what He is doing when He corrects us.
We need to respond rightly to God’s discipline, knowing that He corrects the ones He loves.
» How do I react when God lets me get caught in a sin I wanted to hide?
Truth In Real Life
“I care not where I go, or how I live, or what I endure, so that I may save souls.”
David Brainerd – who came to be known as the “pioneer for modern missions” – was born on April 20, 1718, in Haddam, Connecticut. The year that he was born, Jonathan Edwards was 14 years old, and Benjamin Franklin was 12. The world was being prepared for the Great Awakening.
Brainerd did not have an easy life. His father died when Brainerd was 9, and his mother died when he was 14. After his mother’s death, he was sent to live with his married sister. Incredibly, by age 20, he was beginning to desire to be in the ministry, yet he wasn’t even a Christian yet!
At age 21, Brainerd genuinely trusted Jesus Christ and gave his life to Him. He enrolled in Yale University, where he studied hard. He was often sick, yet he did his best. While he was in college, the First Great Awakening began, and the famous British evangelist George Whitefield visited to preach in the British North American colonies.
Before he finished at Yale, Brainerd was expelled for refusing to apologize for something he believed. He left Yale and became a missionary to the Indians. It was not his idea of the best timing or how he had planned to go into ministry, but for him, it was God’s leading in his life.
During the month of his 25th birthday, Brainerd moved to a reservation and began preaching the Gospel to the Native Americans, specifically the Delaware tribe. He lived alone in a small wigwam and traveled around to preach. In less than one year, he was pastoring a church of over 130 Native Americans who had become Christians – an amazing exhibit of the grace and power of God’s Gospel!
Sadly, Brainerd became ill (probably with tuberculosis) and died when he was just 29 years old. He died in the home of Jonathan Edwards, whose daughter he had planned to marry. David Brainerd was actually a Christian himself for only eight years and a missionary for only four years! And yet he is known now as the most influential missionary to Native Americans ever. His story serves to remind us that God uses those who trust Him, even when it is hard.
Are you willing to serve God even when you face tough times? Do you find yourself forgetting sometimes that God can make His strength perfect even in your weakness?
Isaiah 40:29 – He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.