But God Treats Us as Our Father – Lent 33, 2021

Way too many people have a hard time with God as our Father.  On one hand, it’s understandable if they had dads who were always gone or always drunk. Maybe their dads were not involved in their upbringing or education.  There are some who were separated from their fathers due to death, military service, or divorce.  In any of these cases, the hurdle to see God’s discipline as anything good is doubly difficult because the first barrier is God as Father.

For those who know God as the loving Father He is, we make that hurdle because we know that God would never leave us to be feral children, growing up with neither standards nor boundaries.  God disciplines us for our good so that we will be able to stand strong as men and women of God, fully confident of His love, and fully desirous of our being holy to be a joy to Him and joyful in ourselves.

Hebrews 12:7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?…10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.

Discipline done well is a powerful parenting tool.  It reinforces behavior that elevates and brings no shame.  It crafts the person to know why boundaries exist and when they can be safely stretched for growth and creativity.  We learn the rules of the game so there may be order and goodness. Training makes us strive for excellence in all we do. 

But just like weight training or distance running or physical therapy, it involves pain as we grow, stretching our spiritual muscles, learning self-denial and self-control, as well as developing character and perseverance to prepare us for the journey of adulthood and the challenges ahead.

Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.  13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.  14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.  15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Too many people want the glory without the preparation
or the prize without running the race. 
Let’s be those who value the boundaries and instruction that discipline teaches.

Father God, we praise You that You are a loving God, One who cares about us as Your children, One who is gentle and merciful, yet holy.  Make it clear to us why we are enduring discipline so we might ask the proper question of what we are to learn through the process.  Give us discerning minds to know conviction of sin which is loving discipline versus condemnation which brings only shame and fear of punishment.  Help us to know discipline’s goodness so we might bring glory to You through our actions.  Amen.

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If you’re already signed up on my Home Page sidebar to receive posts, you’ll get the 2021 Lent Devotionals automatically. Or you can “Like” Seminary Gal on Facebook and they’ll be delivered to your Facebook news feed. If you haven’t signed up, today is a great day to do so. Advent and Lenten devotionals remain among my most popular offerings. You don’t want to miss this encounter with God to prepare your heart for Easter! Understanding that prior years’ devotionals continue to minister, you may want to have access to a full series ahead of time:

  • Lent 2013 looked at The Letter to the Romans: Paul’s Masterpiece to reclaim foundations of our Christian heritage and began February 13, 2013.
  •  A very special and ever popular offering was Lent 2014’s Be Still and Know that I AM God  which can be obtained through the archives beginning in March 2014. 
  • Lent 2015 began on February 18, 2015 with a series entitled With Christ in the Upper Room: Final Preparations.  We explored what is often called “The Upper Room Discourse” found in John chapters 13-17
  • ReKindle, the Lent 2016 series, began on February 10, 2016 and encouraged us to rekindle our spiritual lives.
  • Light: There’s Nothing Like It was the 2017 Lent series and explored this metaphor often used to portray Christ.  It is archived beginning March 1, 2017.
  • Lent 2018, we explored the questions of Pi and Chi (the Greek letter beginning the word Christos, which means Christ, Messiah, the Anointed One). We asked and answered the questions “Why?” from the movie Life of Pi as we discovered the uniqueness of Jesus Christ in a world of many faiths.
  • Lent 2019 gave us a deeper window into Easter “More to the Easter Story” since we miss so much when we rely only on a superficial understanding of the work of Christ. These devotionals are archived beginning March 6, 2019.
  • Our Lent 2020 devotional series offered prayer points surrounding “Be Thou My Vision” and were aimed at helping us to see God for who He is. The full set of devotionals are archived beginning February 26, 2020.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 26, 2021

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