John Mallonee, my good friend, brother in Christ and Pastor of Blessed Hope Bible Church in Liverpool, PA, recently blogged about a rally he attended in Hershey, PA and hosted by Dr. David Jeremiah. Dr. Jeremiah spoke from his recent book titled “God Loves You: He Always Has – He Always Will” about the topic of God’s love expressed through His chastening of His children. Brenda and I were blessed to be able to attend the rally and through the message and corporate worship (thanks also to Grammy and Grandpappy for watching the little ones!).
Below is the central Biblical text that Dr. Jeremiah utilized in his message:
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (Heb 12:5-11)
Below is Pastor John’s devotional:
God Loves You
Week 47, 2012
Read: John 3:16
I know that this week’s text verse is very basic and simple, yet when we examine all it entails, it is the most profound theological thought anyone could ever entertain. We were at an event the other day hosted by Dr. David Jeremiah and the message he brought came from his new book titled God Loves You: He Always Has; He Always Will. It is amazing how far we as Christians have gotten away from this foundational truth: God is love. Now, if I were to describe this book in two words, I would say it is simplistically profound. It begins with the basic concept of God’s transcendent love and then builds on the fact that His love is not all about that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you feel human love. It is so much more than that. Our minds cannot fully comprehend a love this perfect and deep. It is so much purer than any human love we could ever try to manufacture.
God’s love includes a word that many people try to separate Him from: punishment. The part of the message that spoke to me the most was the fact that God chastens all who are His (Hebrews 12:6). What blessed assurance we receive when we mess up and are very quickly and appropriately corrected by Him! What a wonderful reality it is to know that we can be sure our sin will find us out and He will give us a spiritual spanking in order to keep us close to Him (Num. 32:23)! It assures us that we belong to Him. Just like we punish our own kids in order to cause them to learn right from wrong, so does our Heavenly Father; yet in a perfect and just manner. He knows the most effective method for each and everyone of His children. I don’t like to sin, but I am sure glad to know that when I do, He will always forgive me—even though I may still have to live with the consequences of my wrong choices.
It is only when we realize that God has our best interest in mind that we will learn to see the benefits of the unpleasant chastening. Just like we don’t punish other peoples’ children, so God only punishes those that belong to Him. He doesn’t do it out of spite, and He doesn’t react in anger, but He does firmly and loving rebuke and correct us, just as we would do to our own little ones—only He does it with impeccable wisdom. God’s love is multi-dimensional, containing rewards, reassurance, and even repercussions for badly made choices on our part. When we see Him as our Heavenly Father, and try to fathom just how intimately personal our relationship with Him is, we will greater appreciate all He has done for us. While these are all familiar truths, some times we need to be reminded of them.
It all begins with the basic truth that God loved the world so much that He sent His only begotten Son to be our Savior. When we really stop and think about the sacrifice of the Father sending His beloved Son to be put to death so that filthy, hateful, ungrateful people could be saved by trusting in Him, it ought to cause us to weep out of gratitude—for we are so completely undeserving. As Thanksgiving Day is upon us, let us lift up our hearts in worship for the very familiar and simple, yet necessary truth that God so loved the world that He caused His own Son to pay the debt we could never afford. Get alone with the Creator of the universe and let Him know how much you adore Him for the fact that He spared not His own Son, so that we could be free from hell forever! That is the greatest theme that could ever be present at our Thanksgiving feasts—and everyday of our lives!
Thank You Lord for saving my soul
Thank You Lord for making me whole
Thank You Lord forgiving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free!
© 2012 Mallonees