Childlikeness: 1

‘God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness.’ Hebrews 12:10 NIV

Discipline. In Matthew 18, we’re encouraged to ‘become like little children.’ Strange advice from Jesus? He goes on to say that otherwise we ‘will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.’ (Matthew 18:3 NIV) Hey, but what about maturity? Well, this call is for us to be childlike not childish—there are plenty of times in the Bible when we’re called to be mature and not act in childish ways (1 Corinthians 14:20, for an example). But there are many qualities of a child we need to display.

One of the first of these is discipline. Just as children need to accept discipline from their parents, we need accept God’s discipline. The greatest and wisest father of all is God. He not only loves, He is love. And as His children, He disciplines us out of love. The Bible says: ‘The Lord corrects those He loves, just as parents correct the child they delight in.’ (Proverbs 3:12 NCV) None of us like discipline, it’s not something we look forward to or enjoy. But His discipline has a purpose. ‘God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness.’ Through discipline and correction we become more like Him. Tough, but true.

God’s discipline is for a reason—it’s always for our own good and it’s not just God exercising His power and authority. He’s not angry with us or disappointed with us, He just wants us to be more like Him. We can’t correct our mistakes if we don’t realise we’ve made them, or realise how we can do things differently. So let’s be childlike by being open to discipline and by respecting our Father who is correcting us out of love.

SoulFood: Is 45–48, John 7:14–24, Ps 30, Prov 28:25–28

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2018

Today’s Readings

Isaiah 45–48 ()

( to me, O Jacob,
    and Israel, whom I called!
  I am he; I am the first,
    and I am the last.
13   My hand laid the foundation of the earth,
    and my right hand spread out the heavens;
  when I call to them,
    they stand forth together.
14   “Assemble, all of you, and listen!
    Who among them has declared these things?
  The LORD loves him;
    he shall perform his purpose on Babylon,
    and his arm shall be against the Chaldeans.
15   I, even I, have spoken and called him;
    I have brought him, and he will prosper in his way.
16   Draw near to me, hear this:
    from the beginning I have not spoken in secret,
    from the time it came to be I have been there.”
  And now the Lord GOD has sent me, and his Spirit.
17   Thus says the LORD,
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
  “I am the LORD your God,
    who teaches you to profit,
    who leads you in the way you should go.
18   Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments!
    Then your peace would have been like a river,
    and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;
19   your offspring would have been like the sand,
    and your descendants like its grains;
  their name would never be cut off
    or destroyed from before me.”
20   Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea,
    declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it,
  send it out to the end of the earth;
    say, “The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob!”
21   They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
    he made water flow for them from the rock;
    he split the rock and the water gushed out.
22   “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.”

John 7:14–24 ()

()

14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?” 21 Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel at it. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man's whole body well? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

Psalm 30 ()

()

A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of the temple.

30:1   I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up
    and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
  O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you have healed me.
  O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
    you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
  Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
  For his anger is but for a moment,
    and his favor is for a lifetime.
  Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.
  As for me, I said in my prosperity,
    “I shall never be moved.”
  By your favor, O LORD,
    you made my mountain stand strong;
  you hid your face;
    I was dismayed.
  To you, O LORD, I cry,
    and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
  “What profit is there in my death,
    if I go down to the pit?
  Will the dust praise you?
    Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10   Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me!
    O LORD, be my helper!”
11   You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    you have loosed my sackcloth
    and clothed me with gladness,
12   that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
    O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

Proverbs 28:25–28 ()

()

25   A greedy man stirs up strife,
    but the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched.
26   Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,
    but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
27   Whoever gives to the poor will not want,
    but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
28   When the wicked rise, people hide themselves,
    but when they perish, the righteous increase.

Sat 04 November, 2017


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