A long time ago when my daughter was very young she got into trouble for opening presents she wasn’t supposed to. When we found out what she did we talked to her about it and explained why it is important to wait. Being little she heard what we said but did it again. So now I had to put on my big daddy shoes and talked to her and told her, “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t punish you.” Her response left me a little perplexed; because I didn’t know what to say. She said, “Because you love me.”
That situation makes me think of my relationship with God. Should he punish me even though he loves me? Will his love for me prevent all the bad things from happening? Can I avoid all forms of pain and suffering because he loves me?
Hebrews 12:6 (NASB) For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”
Discipline needs to happen so that we learn things we don’t need to do. Discipline happens when we have been told to either do something and we don’t do it, or don’t do something we have been told to do. Think about Adam and Eve, they were told not to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden. They ate from it and had to suffer the consequences (Genesis 3:14-23). Also think of Saul, God told him to eliminate a nation, and he didn’t. He didn’t fulfill what God asked him to do, so God removed him from being king over Israel (1 Samuel 15:10-23).
You probably can think of many others who suffered the consequences of their actions. Love and discipline go together. If we love our kids we are going to discipline them. If we don’t love them we are going to let them do whatever and whenever they want to. So does God love us? YES! He loves us so much that He is willing to take the time to guide us back to where we need to go and what we need to do. If he didn’t we would have been destroyed. Romans 5:8 (NASB) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 1 John 3:1 (NASB) See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; 1 John 3:2 (NASB) Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
You see he loves us because we are His! He loves us because He cares! He loves us because He is love! And because of that He will discipline us. He wants to lead us through paths of righteousness. He wants to help us come home to Him. Because of his love, we have not perished even though we misbehave and sin. While we are on this earth look at what the Lord is doing, and look how He is trying to get you back to Him. God wants us to have life, John 10:10 (NASB) I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. But we can’t enjoy that life when we don’t listen to God, we can’t have that life when we do what we want instead of what He wants. We need to follow God’s instructions so that the discipline would be minimal.
With my daughter, yes she was grounded, she couldn’t see any of her presents until the day of her birthday. On that day, she was very happy! Oh yes, I love her!