Faith
Wednesday January 24, 2007
Hartsville News Journal
Page 2B
FAITH COMMENTARY
"Understanding Discipline"

Is it a necessary evil?

How does it benefit me?

Can everyone benefit?

How does God view discipline?

How does God utilize discipline?

Discipline is ignored by many and some may even say that it’s taken the path of the dinosaurs. You really shouldn’t consider it as a necessary evil as its absence brings turmoil.

Imagine yourself being placed in charge of a group of youngsters who’ve never been disciplined. You’d have some tough choices to make! God too, faces tough decisions when His children fail to exercise discipline in their lives.

Before seeking God’s views on discipline, let’s go to Webster’s for the definition. It reads:

Teaching: training or experience that corrects, molds, strengthens, or perfects especially the mental faculties or moral character

Punishment: as a chastisement self-inflicted as mortification or imposed as a penance or as a penalty; an instrument of chastisement

Self-Control, Self-Restraint: a rule or system of rules governing conduct or action

Webster’s definition of discipline is an eye opener, letting you know that exercising discipline will test you strength.

The definition appears harsh and distasteful which leads many to draw the wrong conclusion. Exercising discipline produces results, results that leave you with a good feeling inside.

The results are noticeable and the benefits are real. This article is written for the purpose of heightening your interest in gaining these benefits.

Discipline has far reaching benefits that meet the needs of God’s children and yours. He shares His thoughts with us in the 36th chapter of Job KJV of which verses 10-12 read:

[10] He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.[11] If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasure. [12] But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.

God opens your ears to discipline enabling you to separate yourself from inequity. Obeying and serving Him is your path to discipline which brings you prosperity and a life of pleasure.

We now move forward to the New Testament as God utilizes Paul’s talents to teach us the benefits of discipline. Discipline requires self control and restraint and God is explaining how this formula brings success. We feel His

love as Paul brings this message to us: 2 Thes KJV 3:10-12 reads:

[10] For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. [11] For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. [12] Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

There’s no reference here to the handicapped as handicapped people deserve our help. We are to understand that God is only addressing His able bodied children that refuse to work.

He wants to teach them to exercise discipline and become a productive member of society. Making them eat their own bread allows God to get their attention. Your restraint is the discipline that allows God to bring discipline into their lives.

Spiritually, we now move forward to the Lord’s Day where we conclude our study of discipline. The Lord’s Day is a thousand year period that many refer to as the millennium. Peter teaches this by explaining the Lord’s Day as it relates to our time. 2 Peter 3:8 KJV is where Peter shows us this:

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

We’re spiritually there on the Lord’s Day and Christ has returned. Satan is cast into prison as Christ begins His reign. Christ is a good teacher and The Lord’s Day is ample time for us to acquire the skills of discipline. When the thousand years is expired, Satan will be loosed for a little season. God turns him loose as His children must be tested. This is an important time for God as He learns who will choose Him and who will follow Satan. Chapter 20 of Revelation is the millennium chapter as we draw from these two verses to illustrate:

[7] And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
[8] And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Satan holds nothing back as from the four quarters of the earth he does his best to deceive all of God’s children. Satan’s appeal is strong but he has no affect on those who’ve learned and accepted the lesson of discipline on the Lords Day.

Discipline requires a lot from you! Is it worth your effort?

 

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Pastor Billy Johnson can be reached by email at billy@lakeshorebible.info or viewed online at www.lakeshorebible.com