August 31, 2008 SD21
Accept Godly Discipline.doc File: E (Hebrews 12)
“Go for The Goal”
ACCEPTING GODLY DISCIPLINE
The Olympics are over—the gold medals have been handed out—the scene is already set for 2012 where the Summer Olympics will be held in London England,
Michael Phelps and a host of other athletes have set their attention on achieving the prize…in 2012
But there is one thing that each of them know!
It won’t be easy
They will need help
They need a coach who will keep them on track
They will need discipline
Self-discipline and applied discipline
The late Tom Landry, coach of The Dallas Cowboys defined his job as a coach in this way--
“The job of a football coach is to make men do what they
don’t want to do, in order to achieve what they’ve always
wanted to be.”
Remember the witnesses
Remove the Hindrances
Run with Endurance
Maintain Your Focus
PPT And today: Believers with a go for the goal mindset accept Godly discipline
The text we have before us today in our series on developing a “Go for the Goal” mindset is not pretty—In fact it is rather harsh…(read text: Hebrews 12:5-11)
The NKJ uses words like “rebuked by Him”
“whom the Lord loves He chastens”
And “Scourges” -- not a pretty picture!
But the Goal is so important---that when you undertake to be part of God’s Kingdom you enter a process of becoming all you were meant to be---
to make that a reality, there are times when God must apply discipline
We are not usually prone to “self-discipline”
We need a motive…we need a desire…
A child must be disciplined by parents in order for them to develop into well-adjusted adults—
We must endure hardship---
Times of difficulty come to our lives from many sources:
1. a sinful world
2. persecution for a godly life
3. bad choices
4. God—sometimes must apply His solid discipline to our lives---this is the area of focus today!
God’s discipline is always for our good
It is designed to teach and train
NOT TO PUNISH!!!!
God takes no pleasure in such harsh measures that must sometimes be applied to the lives of His children…
But he is very serious about getting us to experience what v.11 calls the “Peaceable fruit of righteousness”
Last week we talked about the fact that Believers with a Goal for the Goal mindset – keep their eyes on the goal---Christ Jesus
“Looking unto Jesus”
Keeping our focus!!!!
The reason we need a coach who is willing to force us to do better is because He wants us to win!!!!
He will apply the necessary regimen—diet, exercise, practice routines, when to get up and when to go to bed---in order to help us reach the goal we want!!!
Because there are times when we wonder if we really want it is bad as we thought….
Until all the discipline has paid off and we stand on the medal platform---
We hear the national anthem---
But what we hear is the song of the redeemed and the voice of the one who we serve—saying, “well done…”
In the NLT the word “discipline” occurs 11 times in vv.5-11
This is important
And what is important -- is for us to understand something about the character and nature of God through our experiences of discipline---
“Whom the Lord loves he chastens (disciplines)
You can know you are one of his kids because he is the one who calls your name and calls you to behave
Illus—when I was kid, playing with my cousins, and we were getting into some mischief—usually because my cousins instigated it—well, when Dad discovered there was an issue to deal with—who do you think he dealt with---me and my brother!
Why? because we were his kids and we were the ones he had the right to correct!
Sometimes all he had to do was call my name—you know, in that certain tone of voice—using my middle name (though that was usually mom who used the dreaded middle name—you know you were in trouble then!)—
THE POINT: You know you are His when he uses that certain tone of voice and disciplines you---when he seeks to correct an attitude, action, or motive in your life!!!
ACTION – ATTITUDE – MOTIVE
That is what he seeks to correct---so that we can grow into mature believers with a “Go for the Goal” mindset!
He applies His discipline where our self-discipline has fallen short---why? Because ultimately we do want to be something other than what we are right now---
We want to be like Him!!!
And that is what he is determined to make of us!
Listen to some other verses that talk about this same issue:
Job 5:17 "Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty
1 Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.”
Revelations 3:19 “those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”
God always operates out of love---
You say, “If God really loved me I wouldn’t be suffering like this…”
Have you ever even considered that perhaps it is just because He loves you---and has a plan for your life that could never be fulfilled in time or in eternity without your current discipline? And that includes your present suffering…
That is why Hebrews tells us –
“Don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline”
Respect and accept God’s action on your part—TRUST HIM!!!!
“Don’t be discouraged when you are rebuked…”
“Don’t give up when he corrects you…”
This is the training for the Gold Medal
It goes on in vv.9-11 to talk about the comparison of earthly fathers who correct to that of our heavenly father…
Earthly fathers sometimes don’t get it right!
Sometimes they do what seems best to them…but your heavenly Father always has your best interest at heart…
Now listen—there’s a good chance (as a loving father) that the first message the Lord will attempt to have you hear is not “You’re really going to get it now!”
Instead . . . it could well be a word of compassion.
“I love you very much.”
“You’re special to me beyond what you realize.”
“I want only the best for you.”
“It doesn’t make me happy; it actually makes me sad to have to resort to discipline.”
Isn’t that how you act as parents? (Or the way you wish you did?)
I mean, you don’t say, “Oh good, I get to whack my kid again!” Let’s face it, it hurts for a loving parent to have to discipline a naughty child—but loving parents do discipline their children when they need it!
Because it is necessary to train them toward godliness!
The Bible here goes on to say that if you have never, ever experienced the correcting hand of God it is very possible that you are not His child---Because if you are His child He will discipline you!
What is the reason for God’s divine, and loving discipline?
To get us to change our behavior, our attitude, or our motives.
What do you suppose God would like to change about you?
Next time you experience adversity stop and think whether that may apply to an area of change that needs to take place in your life.
NOW—not all adversity is a direct act of discipline by God---just as all adversity in your child’s life is not a direct act of discipline on your part---
I jumped out of a tree once and stepped on a board that happened to have a nail sticking up through it—
That just happened! It wasn’t God, It wasn’t my Dad’s fault! It wasn’t my fault! I could have blamed someone who forgot to take the nail out of the fence board…but I was in too much pain to try to figure out who to blame---I just wanted some healing—so home I went and Dr. Mom applied her special level of TLC and Bactine and prayer---
LISTEN--Sometimes stuff just happens---Don’t try too hard to figure it out and see if you have to learn something from it---but do pause, -- stop and think and pray!
You know some areas of correction that need to take place in your life---could it be that this is an opportunity to submit to the discipline of your Heavenly Coach—so you can be all you were meant to be?
(NLT) 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
Trained by the loving hands of God—
Christ Jesus your savior suffered for you—
If you have to endure some suffering to become all you can be in Him---it is little sacrifice compared to what he suffered for you!!!!
The Apostle John in The Revelation tells us in Christ’s own words.
Revelations 3:19 those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.
When we are under conviction of sin or under hardship because of life in general, we need to remember that in the long-term, we will look back and be thankful for it.
So if you are feeling the hardships, or sufferings of this life, don’t quit on God, He is not going to quit on us when we fail Him. And remember not to look at our problems as God neglecting us, God was, is, and always be there to comfort us. So instead of complaining or blaming, let’s just ask Him for His strength, and His comfort to handle whatever it is we are going through.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
D. L. Moody:
"When I was a boy my mother used to send me outdoors to get a birch stick to whip me with, when I had to be punished. At first I used to stand off from the rod as far as I could. But I soon found that the whipping hurt me more that way than any other; and so I went as near to my mother as I could, and found she could not strike me so hard. And so when God chastens us let us kiss the rod and draw as near to him as we can."
Get close to God at all times—even when he is disciplining you
Let me close by putting Coach Tom Landry’s words into the perspective of what we are talking about here:
“It is God’s job to make His children do what they don’t want to do, (obey Him). To make us into what we want to be, like Christ.
So don’t despise God’s hand of correction—embrace it!
Accept it and grow by it!
It just means He loves you!!!! More than you can imagine!