Summary: God is the best Father there ever was or will be! Yet He too disciplines His children whom He loves. What is this discipline all about from our heavenly Father? we can learn how to respond correctly and grow effectively in our love and respect for Him!

Dads and Discipline

Hebrews 12:5-13 5 … you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 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.

Intro: How many of you can remember being disciplined by your Dad? I’m sure there are some interesting stories right here in this room. I learned to respect the belt early on. When I saw my dad reach for his belt and begin to unbuckle it, I knew I had gone too far either with my lack of respect or disobedience, or fighting with my siblings. I did not grow up with a sense of bitterness over the discipline I received. I was generally aware that I had done something wrong and was just hoping I’d get away with it. Sometimes I did and sometimes I didn’t. As I look back on all the whuppins I received growing up, I can honestly say that I appreciate the fact that my dad cared enough to provide boundaries and guidance as my character developed and my life patterns became established.

At the time I did not appreciate the discipline. I was quite certain I could have done well without it. However, it helped shape my heart and my values into what they are today.

God is the best Father there ever was or will be! Yet He too disciplines His children whom He loves. So today I’d like to take a look at what this discipline is all about from our heavenly Father. I believe we can learn how to respond correctly and grow effectively in our love and respect for Him!

1. Remember that Discipline is a sign of love (6)

(Discipline- to teach or train someone to follow a certain code of conduct or develop a particular value system, all through the use of various forms of punishment.)

-There is no doubt that abuse occurs in our world, but discipline and even the use of punishment is not the same as abuse. Some parents refuse to spank or give any unpleasant consequences to their kids because they say it would not be loving to do so. Some kids are more compliant than others and the parents may get by with a good guy approach. Often, the reason parents refuse to discipline their children is because it makes them (the parents) feel bad. But if wrong behavior is never corrected and met with undesirable consequences, then the parent is not doing the child any favors by being nice to him or her. Discipline shows that we are part of the family – His sons and daughters.

-God loves each of us and wants to be a Father to each of us! That is why He uses the stuff of this life to bring us to a point of submission and yieldedness. When we are left to ourselves we are not at our best. We become headstrong and self-centered, demanding, disrespectful, and inconsiderate of others. That is not what our Father is like, so that is not what we should be like! His loving discipline helps temper us into children who actually resemble their Father. Here is how God wants to train us, as His own children:

Philippians 2:14-15 14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe…

-You are loved! And God is at work in you, bringing His discipline at times, making you pure and blameless, making you shine until His image is seen in you. So, how should this affect how we think about the hard times we face in this life?

2. Restructure your thinking about Discipline (5, 7-9)

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