Sunday, October 6, 2013

Joyful Discipline

Those who follow the Lord joyfully find delight in discipline. Whether it is discipline directly at the hand of God, that which comes by the hand of the church, or self-discipline, we know discipline is good; it is part of the road to godliness (1 Timothy 4:7).

Recently Burk Parsons captured this truth powerfully in his article, “The Assurance Of Discipline,” a piece that appeared in the August 2013 issue of TableTalk magazine. Here is an extended quote from that I believe you will find as helpful as I did.

The older I get, the more I wish my father had disciplined me more than he did, and the more I grow in Christ, the more I pray for my heavenly Father’s loving discipline.  When we’re immature we see discipline as a negative thing, but as we grow we begin to see it as one of the most enduring blessings of life. [As Proverbs 3:11-12 teaches,] discipline assures us that we’re loved and cared for. …Those without discipline are orphans. …Our conversion to Christ is God’s first gracious act of discipline in our lives—bringing us to repentance and faith in the One who was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, upon whom was the  Father’s ultimate discipline that brought us peace, and by whose wounds we are healed (Is. 53:5). …As members of the church, we are all under church discipline in that we have submitted ourselves to the discipline of the church and attend weekly to the discipline of the preached Word. The first step of discipline is admonition, and we come each week because we know how desperately we need to be admonished, to repent of our sins, to reaffirm our confession of Christ, and to receive Father’s assurance of pardon and benediction that carries us through the week, reminding us that our loving Father lifts up the light of his countenance upon us and makes His face to shine upon us that we might be blessed and kept to live coram deo, before His smiling face.