January 28th, 2022 – Friday Afternoon
“For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.” ~Hebrews 12:10
In case there was any doubt as to the purpose and power behind the discipline that the Father exercises on His children, this verse makes it abundantly clear. More on that in a minute… Earthly fathers can struggle with disciplining their children for the right reasons (such as that it benefits the child); sometimes the punishment can come as a result of selfish pride that has been hurt, or because a child is rebellious and insolent towards the one who is their authority. The discipline, while benefitting the child in the long run, is often executed in an imperfect manner and has a short-range goal (i.e. curbing the wrong behavior or attitude and helping the child develop for life). Once the child has grown up, that discipline comes to an end.
Back to where we started… Our Heavenly Father executes discipline perfectly – not only is it always done in love and with the right measure, but it is always for the right reason. That reason is wonderful, if we stop and think about it: He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share in His holiness. The word that is used for “good” in the Greek has the meaning of advantage or profit; the word for “share” means to be or to be made a partaker; finally, the word for “holiness” means sanctity or, in a moral sense, holiness. Therefore, the Father disciplines those of us who are His children for our own profit, in order that we might be partakers of His sanctity and share in His holiness. Did you get that? He desires for us to share in HIS holiness. He wants us to be partakers in His set-apart-ness!
This reminds me of the truth that the Father only disciplines His children; only those who have become partakers of the divine nature have the right and privilege of discipline. And, if we have become children of God who receive discipline, we have become partakers of His very nature and character! The unity and oneness that Jesus prayed for in John 17 seems to be exactly the purpose behind the discipline of the Father! Wow! We can’t be holy without His discipline and we can’t have oneness without His holiness; therefore, we must have discipline in order to truly experience oneness with Him. And, since eternal life is knowing the Father and the Son (John 17:3) and oneness is the purpose for the Church (John 17:19-26), the discipline of the Father is very much in our best interest!
It is truly amazing that we who are in Christ have such a wise and caring Father! May we be humble and receptive – even joyful – as we experience His faithful and loving hand of discipline and grace.