Summary: God seeks to discipline those He loves....and we really don’t care too much about that idea!
HEB 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: 7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. 12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
I want to speak to you tonite about THE most important thing we as christians need to learn....obedience. Probably one of the hardest things that any of us do is to be obedient to someone....anyone, even those we know are clearly in authority....especially if it runs contrary to our own will. We always think we’re right!
Here’s the thing......if you ever want to learn anything, you must be teachable. To be teachable, you must learn to be obedient. Do you think you would have ever learned anything in school if you weren’t made to be obedient. That’s largly what’s wrong with our schools today is lack of discipline and obedience. You see it in the stores, at WALMART, or wherever there are "unruly" children. If you don’t make a child sit and learn, they are going to be running around having fun....instead of being obedient and learning the things they need to know to get along in this life.
Let’s see just how important obedience is....who is it for....HEB 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; It was obviously so important to learn obedience that Jesus Himself learned by it! We are to become obedient in order that God be able to teach us what we need for this life.....for that perfect peace that God has promised us. The troulbe is, we want that peace, but we don’t want to be obedient!
So how DID Jesus learn obedience? by the things which he suffered; WOW! So you mean I have to suffer in order to learn obedience? Well, yes. You must suffer your "old man" desires and set them aside; also you must realize that when you are dis-obedient, you are apt to be puished. Have you ever tried to teach a child something and they won’t sit still? They have something else they would rather be doing.....sometimes you have to "discipline" them for their own good, don’t you? Because you know that it is important that they have this information you are trying to teach them. It will make their lives easier, and that’s what we want to do for our children...make life as easy as possible. How much moreso our Father in heaven for us?
Every believer has a responsibility to grow mentally, socially, culturally, morally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. When we cease to grow we are subject to regressions. Jesus grew...Luke 2:52And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. It needs to be a goal in your life, to grow. What happens when something stops growing? How about a plant...many of you probably have houseplants....do they continue to grow as long as they are alive? It is only upon death that things cease to grow, so if you are not growing in the Lord, you should be fearing for your spiritual death.