Summary: To exhort that our image of our Creator, Redeemer and Guide ought to go beyond that of a Pampering Papa to one of a concerned parent who is bothered enough to give a timely spanking in order our lives are always sparkling for our own good and His glory. (
NO PAIN, NO GAIN!!!
First things first. More than worshipping God for the blessings, which He pours into our lives, we need to learn to worship Him, JUST FOR WHAT HE IS! Worshipping Him, awed by His unique attributes is noblest form of worship, for it emanates from the depths of the heart with no strings attached. Worship in its pristine form is nothing but an unalloyed form of an ethereal romance between the Creator and His favorite creation (Isaiah 62:5, Zephaniah 3:17). In this context, let it be said that the driving force for winning a soul to the Lord ought not to be only the need of saving it from scorching hell-fire but also to acquaint it, with the indescribable heavenly joys’ one is enjoying. NONE OUGHT TO MISS OUT ON THAT! In this message I intend to bring to the fore, one of our Heavenly Father’s sublime qualities. Before announcing the same, I would like to pose a question. As much as we have praised God for being a Doting Dad who readily provides for our needs (Genesis 22:8/14), have we ever praised Him for being a punishing parent, who yearns for our eternal welfare? In case, if we haven’t, it’s high time we recited the words of the Psalmist “The punishment you gave me was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws.” –Psalm 119:71 (TLB)
Christian life begins with repentance and is sustained by…yes repentance. No Christian can ever shout from rooftops that the moment he accepted the Saviour, he has led a perfect life thence, without ever being put under “course correction” programme by the ever-caring Captain of his life. I, a Servant of God would be the first to accept that I have had my course corrected many a time (saving me from many a hazardous “iceberg”) and I owe my spiritual vibrancy (?) today to “timely raps on my knuckles” albeit painful from my concerned Paradisiacal Pilot.
In this Sermon, I would like to package and present a few of the lessons, I had personally learnt from my experiences’ of Chastisement. At this stage, lest there be any misunderstanding, I would like to state emphatically that punishment in a Christian’s life should not be mistaken for the conclusive Judgment awaiting the unbelievers (Rev 20:15), who have all along hardened their hearts to the great Salvation plan of the Saviour (Heb 2:3). So here goes…
How comforting it is to know (the fact validated by Scripture-Heb 12:6) that punishment is proof of my living relationship with the Living Heavenly Father, whose other Name is love (I John 4:8). Because, He has purchased me with His precious atoning blood (I Peter 1:18-20), I do not belong to myself but I am owned totally by Him. If there is anyone, who has a right to dictate, on how I ought to behave it is my Saviour. Period.
Those of us who are parents, would we dare show our care to stranger who goes around say chain-smoking? Would we take a step to restrain him? Most of us would hesitate to even warn that errant soul, for fear of hearing an instant “Mind your own business” reprisal. On the other hand what about our own sons? If we see them getting into any debilitating habit, would we not immediately take corrective action? WE WOULD BECAUSE WE HAVE THE RIGHT OVER THEM …FOR THEIR OWN WELFARE.