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Disciplined Me Severely

November 9, 2018

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Disciplined Me Severely

Psalm 118:18

The LORD has  disciplined me severely,   
But  He has not given me over  to death.

No good father or mother likes disciplining their children,  but if they don’t,  children can quickly develop  into little terrors —  throwing tantrums,  talking back,  disobeying,  fighting with others,  screaming,  selfishly hoarding toys — real monsters,  not enjoyed by anyone.

That is our sinful nature  that will be with us  all our lives,  no matter how old we become.     What ever our age  in “years”,  we are in need  of discipline  to help us grow spiritually  and become more like our heavenly Father — loving,  good,  and kind.

The child who remembers  all the good things  his parents have done for him — the loving helpfulness,  all the provisions,  the praise,  games,  stories,  special treats,  and good times together — will realize  that the times  of discipline are different  and with a good purpose.     They will know  that their parents are  certainly not  being hateful or harmful,  but that the child’s behavior was  in need of straightening out,  before becoming even more problematic.

In the greatest love,  our heavenly Father disciplines us.     There are times  we simply don’t think we can bear  His punishment.     It feels so severe  and painfully reminds us  of our wrong-doing.

The writer of Psalm 118  realized a most wondrous  and cherished truth  as he faced his severe discipline  from the LORD.     With praise,  he thankfully wrote and sang,  “But He has not given me over  to death.”

There is a great depth  of meaning  in that truth.     If  the LORD did not love this psalmist,  God would have just let him continue  in his sinfulness  until it was time  for eternal judgment — then the psalmist would have been condemned  to eternal hell,  i.e.  eternal death.     So instead of a death sentence,   there is now this discipline  to help straighten us out.

God did not want this psalmist  to end up   in eternal hell.     So,  the LORD severely disciplined this psalmist  to teach him the utmost necessity  of changing his ways.     The LORD’s discipline  was so hard and painful — but,  eternally good  for the psalmist.     It is a marvelous blessing  to be able to learn  in this life time,  that “the wages of sin  is death.”

The psalmist learned his lesson.     Hell is hell.     And what is worse — eternal hell is really eternal hell.     We don’t want  to go there.     In Jesus Christ,  God has freely done everything  to give us the free gift  of eternal life.     If we’re wondering  what we should do,  Jesus plainly tells us  in John 6:29,   “This is the work of God,  that you believe  in Him whom He has sent.”     Believe and trust  in God’s love.

Yes,  we’re going through  our heavenly Father’s  severe discipline,  but  like the psalmist,  we remember  all the good God does for us — giving us the gift  of eternal life  in Jesus Christ.     In thankfulness and praise,  we stop rebelling  and let God teach us  the eternal truths  of His everlasting love  and gift of salvation  in Christ Jesus.

Facing our trials,  we can surely trust our heavenly Father’s wisdom  in helping us to grow  in faith,  hope,  and love.     Romans 8:28And we know  that God causes all things  to work together  for good  to those who love God.

Always remembering God’s love  on the cross,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  thank You  for faithfully loving  and caring for me — even when I’m not  so lovable.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

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Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
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The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
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Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
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They are ever praising Thee.
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So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
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Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
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Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
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Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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