Our scripture this morning is Hebrews 12:1-6.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Discipline is a difficult thing for humans. We need correction to be able to follow the right path but we don’t readily accept it. Paul reminds us that God gives discipline because He loves us and wants to keep us from evil.
Too often we don’t understand the difference between punishment and discipline. God wants us to do better and guides us away from the things that will harm us. God wants our attention so we might hear Him and do what He intends.
God wouldn’t bother to offer correction if He didn’t love us. He calls us to be part of His plan for creation, using His gifts to care for all His children. Accept the loving guidance He gives to keep us safe and lead us to salvation.
Wise and wonderful God, in Your mercy You sent Jesus to help us hear and understand Your call on our lives. May we be the face of Your love to everyone. Amen.