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Don't Miss the Point

Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. (Acts 3:19-21) Sometimes, my wife and I have a hard time getting through to our kids. Having 4 boys between the ages of 3 and 9, we're sometimes driven to fits of "motivational shouting" in our household, as some rule or other has been broken, or some chore or other has not been done, or that thing they said they would do remains undone an hour later. In such times, as much as we hate it, we know we have to discipline our boys. No one enjoys it, at all, it creates an unpleasant atmosphere, and it heavily draws us to prayer, mostly for patience and reconciliation. Yet the point of it all is correction, reconciliation and restoration within our family. When I was in their position, I often thought discipline was a way for grown-ups to vent their frustration, misunderstanding the purpose of it all. I think, at times (many times), my children, too, miss the point (they are their father's sons after all.). I've hear an expression, when thinking of our world's current situation: the more things change, the more they stay the same. Often, I need to be disciplined, and, as a loving Father, the Lord indeed acts upon my indiscretions. Many times, like my children, I don't learn my lesson right away, or miss the point all together. YET, I am reminded constantly of this sweet promise of scripture:

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, (Hebrews 12:5-6). The point of it all is not some divine retribution. It's not God venting His frustration, or even getting even, as I often thought when I was a child being disciplined. God's purpose in any form of discipline is always correction, reconciliation and restoration. As a parent, that is my aim as well. As I read through the entirety of the Bible, I see this occurring over and again: God warning, the people disobeying, God's disciplining, the people returning. The Cross was the final word in this long-standing rebellion. We incurred a debt we could never repay, God, full of grace and mercy sent His Perfect and Spotless Son to bear the punishment. The Discipline seems harsh, but should we choose to accept the responsibility and repent, we can be completely and utterly free and reconciled to our Father. How wonderful is that? Now if we could just not miss the point of it all...

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