“In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” Hebrews 12:4-11 The Message
How do I know I am one of God’s favorites? How do you know you are? Would you believe because of the discipline He dispenses? If He didn’t care for us, He would just leave you and me alone. Yet, because of His immense love and care for us, he invests so heavily in the production of divine character within us for our sake and for the sake of others.
In my twenty’s, he subdued this person’s temper and instilled the patience of Job. In my thirty’s, He unleashed His joy within me. In my forty’s, he taught me the art of Kingdom living through mutual submission with others. In my fifty’s, he raised my awareness of the love He magnifies in us, through us, and with us for everyone’s sake. Now chronologically entering my sixties (still feel like a pre-teen looking forward to growing up), he has ripen the fruit of self-control. Each decade He reminds me through the godly character He produces within us that we must be one of His favorites.
However during the trial or test, I may not feel like one of His favorites. Yet afterward, we thank Him for creating a new heart within us. A heart patterned and emulating the King of Kings. Are we not also always grateful for his intervention? How else would we make the time for crying out to our Heavenly Dad if it wasn’t for the challenging times we find ourselves struggling through?
Yes, He reminds us constantly that we are one of His favorites each time He ripens the fruit of His Spirit within our lives.
Rooting For You in Christ!
Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married
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