Most of us, at one time or another in our childhood when parental disciplinary action was necessary, remember hearing the words, “This is going to hurt me more than it is you!” I never quite understood that phrase until I had children of my own. Suddenly it made sense, and it’s true. When we need to discipline our child, it’s hurtful if not devastating to the parent. But, we understand that if we love our child, we will discipline him/her because we care about their future, their success, their heart.
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Revelation 3:19)
Proverbs 3:12 says, “For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”
God corrects us because He loves us. His correction is proof of love on His part toward us. Just as a parent longs for a wayward child to be back “on track” again, there is no higher proof of his love than when, with great pain to himself, he administers such chastisement as shall save his child.
But there is no restoration until there is repentance. Correcting a child does little good unless that child acknowledges his wrongdoing and changes his ways. Again, many of us as parents can remembering disciplining a child over and over and over again for the same offense until finally that child showed true sorrow and changed his ways.
We must be earnest in our exercise of true repentance and turn from our wicked ways. The more time we take in turning back to God in true repentance, the harder it is for us to turn back. Before long, we lose the deep need to repent and we become like the Laodicean church … lukewarm and unimpressed by God’s repeated call to repentance and restoration.
There’s another reminder found in 2 Corinthians 7:10: “godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” In other words, God’s discipline must be met with “godly sorrow” and repentance. This is not the same kind of “I’m sorry” the world offers … a token phrase to momentarily appease the conscience. This is true “sorrow” which is translated as “grief, heaviness, and deep sorrow, weeping and lamenting”. When we feel grievously sorry for our sin, God’s forgiveness and mercy washes away our tears and replaces them with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Is it no wonder that John, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit said, “Be zealous therefore, and repent.” Don’t take your good old time about it and don’t do a half-hearted attempt at repentance. Allow God to draw you back into fellowship with Him unhindered by hidden or unhidden sin. Why? Hebrews 12:11 says it all: “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
Father, I’m learning more each day about Your love for me, learning to recognize it in the midst of trial and tribulation as well as in the time of peace and joy. Lord, forgive me for hidden sin, for being so foolish as to try to tuck away some attitudes and actions thinking You don’t really need to deal with them or know about them. Shine Your holy light on my heart and expose all hidden sin, Father, and draw me to repentance and restoration. Lord, I desire to show true Godly sorrow for my sin, not like the world is sorry, but Godly sorrow that effects change in me and yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness. Father, I submit to Your will as You make me and mold me and form me and fashion me into Your image for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen and amen.
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Hebrews 12:11)
© Jan Ross
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