Summary: 12th in a series of messages exploring the wonder of God as our loving Father. This message continues the discussion of the Father's discipline.
The Discipline Factor Pt 2”
(The Fatherhood of God Pt 12)
(Supplementary to Notes of September 9th)
What is the most important agenda our heavenly Father desires for His kids?
What does He want for our life on this earth more than anything else?
Success? Greatness? Comfort? A good time? Happiness? World peace? Health? Wealth?
These things top our list of pursuits and dreams. Our heavenly father focuses on something different. I have come to believe everything about life on this earth in this age aims toward one thing. Everything we encounter; the struggles, the trials, the challenges, the setbacks move toward a specific goal. The people we encounter, the events, the defeats as well as the victories all become the curriculum for our development as a kingdom kid.
God created us to function in a particular way. He made us in his image. He is life. The wonder of his life has to do with how he lives it. God is holy. That means God is infinitely separated from all that is contrary to his way of doing things; His nature. In order to experience life as God intended we must live the way God designed. We must reestablish the good works God preordained that we should walk in. When Satan entered the picture and suggested another way of living, life in this world turned ugly and miserable. We call it a marred, fallen and fractured world. God's kingdom is all about living God's way. All those who enter God's kingdom by God's invitation enter God restoration process. God declared that we shall be holy as He is holy because He wants to restore life on this earth as originally created. In order to fully experience life as God intended we must live free from sin as He is sinless. We must be holy. The whole story of salvation is how God turns sinful people into holy and blameless people through the redemptive work of His perfect and sinless son Jesus Christ. All of life on this earth becomes a classroom Titus 2:11-14
Every moment on this temporal earth prepares us in some way for life in His eternal kingdom.
I. The Discipline and Training Factor
A. What is discipline?
The core concept of discipline has to do with training and development; education, growth.
Discipline employs every means necessary to produce maturity in the young paiduan; learner.
Instruction - Character building - Correction and reproof
These three aspects are fundamental to any discipline whether it be a trade, sports, the arts or any other valuable skill. Instruction, character building, and correction are essential elements.
Paul reminded Timothy of the Scripture’s value in the training and maturity process. All Scripture is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness.
These serve to equip and mature every believer for every good work. The Father is passionate about training His children. Most every section of the Bible records the Father seeking to restore lost and fallen children. Whether it be the children of Israel or sons adopted into His family through the work of Jesus Christ, God's primary purpose for us in this life is preparation for the next.
B. Who receives discipline?
The writer of Hebrews called the struggling Christians to evaluate the intensity of their own resolve to walk faithful. God is in the business of training faithful sons of the kingdom.
C. What is God’s purpose for discipline? Hebrews 12:9-11
The reason for training, correction, instruction is the enjoyment of life, holiness, peace. God wants us to personally share His holiness. When we live holy, we live in peace.
The fruit of righteousness is peace. We experience life as God originally intended when we live as God intended. All the events of life serve an eternal purpose in the hands of a loving Father.
We error by believing life on this earth is meant for happiness, pleasure or material goods. Life here is the father’s training program for something grander than we could even imagine. How bad do we want holiness?
D. How does God discipline?
A review of God's discipline throughout Scripture reveals a multitude of actions God may take to bring about the goal of maturity in his kids. Whether it is discipline of a nation or a church or individual children, God's goal remains the same. God seeks our spiritual maturity. God seeks to train his kids to live in his kingdom. He will use whatever means necessary to instruct us in healthy thinking and living. He will use whatever means necessary to develop our character through experience and trial. He will allow whatever trial necessary to increase our capacity to serve Him. He will use whatever means necessary to reprove and correct destructive behaviors.
God’s training program may ask us to do something hard. He may need to make us completely uncomfortable before we can become fully useable.