Do Not Misunderstand God’s Discipline

Good morning, Lovelies!
I trust your week is going well and you’re enjoying the month of June.
Life has been rather busy as of late and I apologize for not writing a post two weeks ago.
Time got away from me and it just slipped my mind.

Proverbs 3 is the Scripture for this month and as I read the entire chapter
I was greatly enriched by the words.
This chapter is so full of wisdom that it can easily be read over and over
and each time something can be learned from it.

I was drawn to verses 11 - 12 which say,

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD;
neither be weary of his correction:

For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth;
even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

We need to appreciate the Lord and not misunderstand His discipline.

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I looked up Proverbs 3:11 - 12 in the Bible Knowledge Commentary and here is what it said. . .

The God who can be trusted to smooth out obstacles and bring one to his appointed goal (vv. 5-6)
and to supply one’s material needs (vv. 9-10)
demonstrates His love by discipline. 

The warning to the son is two-fold: do not despise (“reject or take lightly”)
the Lord’s discipline and do not resent (“loathe or abhor”) His rebuke. “

And ye have forgotten the exhortation
which speaketh unto you as unto children,
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.
~ Hebrews 12:5 - 6 ~

Physical punishment and verbal correction are hard to accept
but they demonstrate God’s loving concern.
The same is true of a parent’s discipline of his children.
Loathing such discipline - thinking that God disciplines because He enjoys causing pain -
over-looks the benefits that come from such correction.

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth:
therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.

~ Job 5:17 ~

I do not write these words to “bash” anyone on the head,
but to remind us that God loves us and desires the very best for His children.
And sometimes the very best might come with chastening. . .but He does it in and through His love.

Have a beautiful week, dear friends!

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Our Quest for Simplicity

 

2Simplicity. When first reading that word, I had to laugh at the irony of how complicated a concept it is. Is simplicity converting to minimalism? Is it a quiet heart? Is it the childhood world of little-to-no responsibility? Is it contentment? It all depends on the context, but it could be all of this (and more!).

The idea of a simple life sometimes sounds like a fable straight from the walking paths of Eden, especially when we are knee-deep in the trenches of life post-Fall. Our responsibilities make demands, our families need ministering to, our paychecks need worked for, our yards need mowing, our houses need cleaned, our stomachs need fed, our students need taught, our friendships need cultivating, and it goes on and on. So much of life’s complexities are rooted in the most basic of our human needs! Our jobs provide homes, food, clothes, etc. Social media and social functions are our attempts to satisfy our need for community. The endless forms of entertainment fulfill our bottomless pit of hunger to be…well, entertained! And even as we heap upon ourselves more scattered busyness, each of us yearn for simplicity. For rest.

When contemplating the answer to our quest for simplicity, my heart turned to Jesus’ words in Matthew 6…

“…your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:8

“Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”
Matthew 6:31-33

In an Old Testament world, Jesus has redeemed us into New Testament people. He has changed Adam’s curse of complicated, tiresome work and given us the simplicity of one command: Just seek the kingdom and the righteousness of God. Seek Him first, and all our needs—provisional, communal, and even our pleasure—will be provided for. If we rest in the work Jesus has done in our place, all the things we strive after will be satisfied in Himself.

“Christ has lifted the curse of work. He has replaced anxious toil with trust in God’s promise to supply our needs (Philippians 4:19) and has thus awakened in us a different passion in our work. We turn with joy to the call of Jesus: Seek the kingdom of God first and his righteousness…” -John Piper

I’m relieved and thankful that simplifying my life isn’t found in “100 Easy Steps”. Jesus is my simplicity. Seeking Him will cause all the complicated things to either fall into their proper place, or fall away completely (thus indicating their necessity at all). I’m in awe of a profoundly simple truth: that the more we “strive” after Him, the more we will find that His easy yoke and light burden is the means for our rest in Him (Matt. 11:29).

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I Dream of Simple Things

SimpleThings

 

Simplicity.

What picture pops in your mind when you hear that word?

Slowing down, catching up with those you love most, taking time to breathe, read, watch nature and have time to think. While these are simple joys, I think the better definition of the above would be relaxation.

Simplicity is not a circumstance, but a heart-stance. Too often we can be swept up in drama, drama, drama in our lives in the form of work or familial busyness, stress, and all the voices clamoring for our attention. The voices with the faces of yes, those we love most, but more often than not, much of social media and keeping up with so many people and everyone’s activities can take a toll and complicate our daily lives.

How often do we unwittingly complicate our daily lives by focusing more on the things happening all around us-yes, even the great things-but not the Author of our lives? Let go and let God is a popular catchphrase and it’s easy to think that it’s a one-time deal. We have got to continually let go and let God be God and leave it at that. He is the giver of all good things, and the bearer of our daily burdens if we but pause and be still before Him.

I believe it is crucial that we share everything, all our little and big messes, with the Lord, but then step back and leave the working out of our worries and drama and stress to the One who is sovereign over all. I’ll be real here with ya’ll; some days, it’s hard for me to let go and let God. It’s difficult for me, at times, to be fully transparent in communication with the One who knows my heart better than even I do. This is my very human pride muddling everything up, but I’m thru beating myself up over it. I am a work in progress sinner saved by the grace of God thru Christ Jesus. I admit, I sometimes miss when life was simpler like when I was younger, but when are we to ever depend upon our ever-changing circumstances for our happiness?

The Lord is so good to grant me moments of simple peace when I need it most and least expect it. I watched a sunset last night and just breathed. The moments are gifts to be cherished. But more than that, I am to cling to my Lord who works all things out together for good, and takes all my complications and stress and simplifies them with His perfect plan.

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