Disciplining the Children of God


Sometimes we think we can live our own way as Christians and that God might not notice or care.  We do not live in a vacuum.  We live in Christ with the Spirit of God overshadowing our lives.  God does care and he holds his children to a high standard…

1 “‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the Lord your God.  2 “‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord. 3 “‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.

6 “‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country.

10 You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new.

12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.

14 “‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, 15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength.

40 “‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, 41 which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, 42 I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.
Leviticus 26:1-3, 6, 10, 12, 14-16, 40-42

When God speaks to Israel about the consequences of obedience and disobedience, he does so in the context of two commands:

1. Don’t make idols or carved stones to worship.

2. Observe God’s Sabbaths and have reverence for his sanctuary.

After repeating these two commands, God reveals how good and blessed life will be for the obedient, and how terrible life will be for the disobedient.  Oh, and by the way, God isn’t speaking to the world here – he is speaking to his children.  Be careful to not assume this is a message for others – if you call yourself a child of God, this is for you.  And me…

True, we are not under Mosaic Law, yet idolatry is an issue for us, as is our lack of reliance on the rest of God in Jesus. We don’t, as it says in verse 41, pay for our sin.  Jesus has paid for it on our behalf.  He covers us for eternity, and wants to bless us in the now.  

Unfortunately, we often do like Israel, we stop listening to God and we go our own ways.  When that happens, we are risking the discipline of God within time.  Again, this is not about eternity, yet it is about correcting our behaviour.  Just as our parents correct us in the moment, yet love us for eternity, God acts the same way with his children.

Sometimes we think we can live our own way as Christians and that God might not notice or care.  We do not live in a vacuum.  We live in Christ with the Spirit of God overshadowing our lives.  There will be times that call for our agreement with God that we are out of line and in need of correction.  

When you find yourself there, confess and agree with God and experience the healing of your life and relationship with him.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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