I realize many of our followers aren’t religious or Christians, but I am, & as such, one of my goals is to share what’s on my heart from time to time. If you aren’t of faith, feel free to scroll on by. But for those of you who are, God laid this message on my heart and He is pushing me to share it.
From today’s First 5 app and devotional study: ” Discipline is painful, but knowing it comes from a heart of love makes the experience more palatable. The idea is to live a life that obeys God without reservation and puts no others before Him. Along with stern warnings of discipline, God graciously gives hope of ending exile,“Your punishment will end, Daughter Zion; he will not prolong your exile” (Lamentations 4:22a). I don’t want to need discipline; however, I’m thankful for a Father who loves me enough to administer it when I do and assures me that even though discipline is certain, it’s not permanent.
Prayer: It’s hard to say, but thank You for discipline, Lord. Forgive me for my rebellion. Examine my heart. Reveal my sin. Help me to adhere to Your correction. It is Your desire for me to be holy as You are holy, and my sin keeps holiness at bay. Thank You for being long-suffering and full of grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Today’s lesson is sometimes difficult to understand. Many Christians know God is love and He forgives easily. But many of us forget that He also created discipline and consequences. And we often forget that the 2 concepts are separate – NOT the same.
First of all, let me preface my thoughts with a couple of things: 1. All disease is NOT the result of poor dietary choices or sin that must be punished. Loads of factors play a role. 2. If an immediate lashing thought crosses the mind, please pause and pray. I have NO ill will, malice, or pride in any of these words today. They are laid onto my heart & I’m trying to share what God reveals to me.
Diet is an easy area to see the differences in discipline and consequences. And it’s also what KetoNurses is all about.
Sooo… here goes…
God gave us a world full of delicious plants for food and animals for meat. He provided our diet for thousands of years before humankind began altering His work, trying to “improve” upon His creation. Many illnesses did NOT exist until the past 50-60 years. What does altering food have to do with sin? Discipline? Consequences?
First, any time we humans feel the need to alter God’s work, it is pride and arrogance that feed such concepts. That sin requires discipline and has consequences. God has tried for years to speak though a variety of experts and ministers – publishing and preaching His Word – we’ve turned a deaf ear to Him because we have experts and governmental agencies to tell us “more and better info.”
Second, discipline has been tried – our poor eating habits cause fatigue, headaches, feeling bad, and so on. God is using mild symptoms, Holy Spirit conviction, & feelings of guilt/shame to try and speak directly to us but we don’t listen. We blame busy lifestyles, or work stress, or …
We ignore the natural laws He’s established, the conscience within us, & the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
Thirdly, there are consequences. Even when we DO heed His call to repentance during discipline, the consequences of our sin are not typically removed. If we choose to overeat or eat unhealthy, nutrient-poor foods, we can always ask forgiveness from Him. And He grants it freely. The consequences of those poor choices, though, remain. Just as if a murderer seeks forgiveness, repents and is saved by Jesus, the consequences of paying the price remains.
I don’t like discipline any more than any of you. It hurts. It makes my heart cry out. It separates me from people and from God. I’ve said this often to my kids — “if I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t discipline you. There would be no rules. There would be no consequences.”
In today’s study, God is telling us the same. He gives us choices. Our free will can choose. Our spirit can submit to His perfect will – or not. He chooses to LOVE us and grant us Mercy either way.