If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children after all (Hebrews 12:7-8).
Mary had rebelled against the preaching of her Nazarene father, a godly pastor. She lived with her boy friend in open defiance of her biblical teaching. Now God was disciplining her because of her disobedience. She was miserable and filled with hate and resentment when a mutual friend brought her to my office for counsel.
I shared with Mary that just as loving father disciplines a disobedient child, so God in His love for us disciplines us when we are disobedient. Actually, "child training" would be a more accurate way of describing what God does for us when we are disobedient.
Like Mary, many Christians
unnecessarily go through all kinds of adversity: financial, emotional, marital and family problems, and even physical illness. More often than not, God is trying to get their attention. But because they refuse to listen and obey Him, they are disciplined and their misery continues.
Not all adversity comes because of our disobedience, and it may come just because we live in a sinful world. Some adversity comes from Satan. The Bible describes Satan as a lion, who prowls around looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). However, because of what Jesus did, Satan is a caged lion. The only way he can hurt us is if we get inside the cage with him, which means walking in disobedience to the Lord.
God is not the author of evil; however, if our disobedience takes us out from underneath His protective covering, we may bring adversity upon ourselves, and God may use it to correct us and get our attention.
If you personally, like Mary, are going through adversity, and problems continue to plague your life, you would do well to look into the mirror of God's Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if there is any unconfessed sin in your life. If there is, be quick to turn to the Lord, repent and confess your sins and receive His forgiveness and cleansing according to 1 John 1:9 in order to avoid further chastening.
"As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Whoever heard of a child who was never disciplined? If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children after all" (Hebrews 12:7-8, NLT).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.