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Friday, June 24, 2011

Endure discipline

In all my days of trying to live an intentionally disciplined life, one which will ultimately honor God and display His power - I've left no time to blog. I had no idea that a daily post would become so hard. Nevertheless, I'm here, 3 days behind but here!

On Wednesday I received a text from a friend who recently lost her husband. While I was glad to hear from her, my heart immediately became sorrowful - not for her lost but because of my neglect in reaching out to her.

You see, in my 9 years with Christ I've come to recognize the conviction of the spirit immediately. As a believer I have a bitter sweet relationship with the spirits conviction of my sin. Don't get me wrong, I am more than grateful for God's spirit and the power it has to change my life (I clearly remember my life just 10 yrs ago - to know me then and see me now still amazes me). The bitter part comes to play when God is working on me so diligently in an area that I just want to crawl under a rock and hide (because it's hard) or cry (because I'm not getting it).

After getting that text I immediately picked up the phone to call her, however, I knew there was much more that God wanted, even commanded of me.

In Hebrews 13:3 the Bible commands me to "..encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today.."

Phillipians 2:1-4 tells me, "Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." That changes today!

A wise women once told me to Thank God for His discipline. Initially I grumbled at her when she'd say it (at the time I was receiving A LOT of discipline) now I understand what she meant and in Hebrews 12, God includes the following scripture just for me
4: In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 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, 6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

So here I sit at 11:21pm enduring my discipline. Looking forward to the righteousness it will produce. Do I wish I could endure while eating some cookies and cream ice cream? In deed! Would it be any less painful with some warm toll-house cookies? Probably.
But you see my friend, I've made a commitment and I'm sticking to it!

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