Discipline Through Love
Written by Felicia McKnight
“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Revelation 3:19-20 NIV)
A few weeks before my daughter’s 16th birthday my daughter did something really bad that warranted a lengthy and hefty punishment. At the time I was so hurt by her actions. I had so many things planned for her Sweet 16th birthday. I was torn, because if I allowed the birthday plans to unfold I felt like I would still be rewarding her behavior. I had lots of surprises in store. She didn’t ask me for all of these things, but as a mother I wanted to go all out for her to remember this milestone birthday. I was facing the choice of having to discipline my child for her actions while still wanting to bless her to have a memorable birthday. I begin to pray.
As I prayed God showed me his unconditional love for us, his children, and my instruction from God was clear. I still initiated the punishment phase that extended well past her birthday, but I also gave her the things that I had already purchased and planned which all came with a sermon attached. Basically she got her own personal Feevotional that day!
God reminded me how a parent’s relationship with their earthly children is a lot like God’s relationship with us as His kingdom children. God loves us so much that He has blessings in store for us far beyond what we could imagine, hope or ask for. We mess up from time to time through our sin and disobedience to Him. Sin separates us from God and can either block or delay our blessings. God sees our heart and desires for us to repent when we do wrong. As my daughter endured her punishment phase she would open up and apologized a gazillion times to me. I could see her heart which was a repentant heart.
The scripture says “those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.” If I didn’t love my daughter I wouldn’t discipline her. Discipline is designed to bring about a change and transformation in our behavior and thoughts. It is designed to instruct you, equip you, and mold you. When you are disobedient to God He will discipline you to correct that area of your life. Sometimes He extends mercy on us and the consequences are just enough to get our attention. Sometimes they are harsh and painful punishments to endure. There are some punishments you can recover from and some that will change your life forever. God will keep disciplining us until we get it right. He loves us so much he disciplines us because He wants us to be like Him, holy and righteous.
Repent means to turn away from something and not do it again. God is patiently waiting to resume His plan in our lives when He sees that we have a heart of repentance. That’s what scripture means when it says “He stands at the door and knock.”
I gave my daughter all of her gifts. I explained to her that they symbolically represented all of the blessings God wants to do in our life. There are blessings He wants to release to you. However, to receive those blessings you have to show through your actions that you want to live a life pleasing to God.
Revelation 3 references a door. The door represents the access point between you and God. When Jesus died He became the way to our Heavenly Father. Through salvation we have access to God and our sins are forgiven. God desires a relationship with you. You maintain your relationship by reading His word and knowing what it says on how you should live your life. Living a righteous life means you learn what God says in His word and you chose to believe and be obedient.
Today’s scripture goes on to say, “I will come in and eat with that person and they with me.” When we sin we shut God out and it’s the equivalent of shutting the door on God. It’s difficult for Him to work in your life when you continuously do the same thing. When you are obedient you invite God in and there is room for Him to work powerfully and miraculously in your life.
When my daughter received all of her gifts what she experienced was God’s grace and mercy and His unconditional love. Grace is unmerited favor. Mercy is not getting the punishments you deserve. When you open the door to God and He blesses You despite your sin, then you experience God’s grace and mercy. Never take God’s grace for granted. Always strive to live a righteous life that is pleasing to Him.
I pray for each of you to experience God’s unconditional love, His mercy, and grace. Because of our sins we are undeserving of the goodness we receive from God. Jesus blood that was shed on the cross paid the penalty for our sins. All God desires from us is for us to love Him back through our obedience by living a righteous life. I pray as you learn and grow in His word that you will be obedient to God and position yourself to receive every wonderful blessing He has in store for your life.
God loves you unconditionally. God wants what is best for your life. Always remember you are a child of the Most High God. Display that you are His child in your thoughts, words, behaviors, and actions. Be the light of Christ with all those who cross your path. When people have an encounter with you they should walk away thinking “there is something different and special and unique about you.” Be Blessed and Be Encouraged!