I shared a personal experience in the Part 1 of the series.You can read it here if you have not because I will be taking off from that story to a higher dimension today.
Admittedly,earthly fathers are wonderful in ensuring they discipline their children,but they are limited in many ways: Their goals in disciplining their children most times are ephemeral and temporal.Despite the good words I used to describe the positive effects of my Dad’s disciplinary actions on me,it was not his cane or spankings that eventually did the miracle…I met the big DADDY!!!
“For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness”-Heb 12:10
God is a loving Father but He also disciplines His children.It will be a great error to emphasize the grace of God and de-emphasize His discipline.
Just like the earthly fathers,God plays two major roles in the lives of His children: To nurture and constitute structure .Let’s start with the nurturing roles of God:
NURTURE: God nurtures us with love,grace,blessings,promises,heavenly rewards etc.The grace of God is a blessing we don’t merit.God bestows it on us without conditions.He accepts us as His children,just the way we are.In fact, He is so loving that He DOESN’T EXPECT ANY CHANGE in our behaviour! Yes!!!This is because love covers multitudes of sin.When God nurtures there are NO RULES to be followed,just enjoy yourself: You want Pizza,you get it…You want Daddy to take you out this weekend for shopping? It is a done deal…#Freedom as per Daddy’s pikin#
STRUCTURE:Here God lays out structure on how He expects his children to behave by giving them directions and teaching them values.He sets limits, disciplines them if they err and holds them accountable for their behaviour.So,He EXPECTS change in behaviour, He expects them to grow and become matured.When God lay down structures for His children,they must follow HIS RULES: In other words,when Daddy says no night party and you go against his rule,punishment awaits you.
“In the case of our human fathers, they punished us and we respected them. How much more, then, should we submit to our spiritual Father and live!”-Heb 12:9
Now the problem is in differentiating scriptures that emphasize the nurturing roles of God from the structuring roles!!! This is very essential because it will make one has the right perspective to each situation.Or else one may be accusing God as not being a loving God when He is correcting.I remember I questioned the love my father had for me when he disciplined me.Sometimes people even scream: God why me? And God answers:Why not you?
So, let me see whether you can differentiate between nurture and structure verses in the Bible:
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”-Psalm 37:4
“Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise) that it may be well with thee…”-Eph 6:2
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work”-2Cor 9:8
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” -Prov 3:5-6
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence”-2 Peter 1:3
Were you able to identify each one? Great!
In the next article,I will explain why God selectively disciplines His children.You will also know the reason my Dad did not punish other pupils that were on the field with me.
NB: Please be aware that henceforth Rhema blog will be published on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in the early hours of the days.