Wednesday, June 22, 2005

DISCIPLINE - What the student is supposed to learn!

GENTLE PERSUASION! [Hebrews 12:7, 8 (9-13); other topics - body (Church), chastisement, surrender]
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
In order to blend eggs by hand, the eggs are broken into a bowl designed for that purpose. The cook then takes a wire whip and aggressively whips the eggs. More often than not one egg yolk will refuse to cooperate; the cook must stop the whipping and deliberately break the obstinate yolk.

God desires the body of Christ be a blended whole; He desires each of His children have “a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart.” [Psalm 51:17]

Chastisement (discipline) is never a pleasant thing. But God desires each child work, properly and supplying the essence of who he or she is according to his or her gifts. This causes “the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” [Ephesians 4:16]

Predictably, one member won’t break under the gentle persuasion of the Lord; in such a case, breaking is called for.

How wonderful it would be if we could all fear God, yet not fear the strengthening process of His discipline.

IN FULL UNIFORM! [Ephesians 6:13; Armor (of God), Discipleship, Preparation, Sanctification]
Somehow, the young man found himself standing directly in the path of an oncoming car, the driver hit her brakes; but before either of them could do anything it seemed the ten-year-old was shoulder deep in the windshield of the automobile. “Are you alright,” asked the driver. From inside the football helmet a squeaky voice responded, “I think so!”

The boy, a participant in Pop Warner Football, was on his way home from practice, in full uniform. The driver saw the boy too late to stop; the boy saw the car too late to get out of the way.

It is unnecessary to explain why we are admonished to ...
“take up the full armor of God, that [we] may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”
Much like the ubiquitous seat belt, the armor of God is, for the most part, unused by believers today. And yet the devil, that self-centered maniac who drives blind, loves to plow through unprotected children on the King’s highway.

God has provided the armor; but He has left it to us to put it on, one piece at a time. Why we don’t is a mystery. Perhaps it’s “won’t” rather than “don’t.” Perhaps the devil is not the only creature that’s self-centered.

JESSE WHO? [Matthew 10:26; Body life, Commitment, Consecration, Holiness, Righteousness]
Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
Thomas Firbank, in I Bought A Star, tells of a conversation he had with a formula race driver; he asked the professional why he took time to paint and polish the undercarriage as well as all of the other unseen parts of his race car. The driver responded, “If the metal is spotlessly clean, I can see at once if there is a flaw.”

The church needs to adopt this attitude; sanding, grinding, buffing, prepping, painting, and polishing every unseen part. Not so God can “see at once if there is a flaw,” nothing is hidden from His sight [Hebrews 4:13] ... so that we can see our own flaws.

Holiness is from God but the holiness of the saints is not; that responsibility rests wholly on our shoulders!

Soldiers are taught field discipline during peacetime, in the barracks. Polished boots and buckles, along with carefully folded underwear, are not needed during peacetime, nor are they essential for barracks’ life. This discipline is for the field during wartime. In the field, attention to detail IS essential … it cannot be learned under stress, nor is there time to do so! Every boot camp Drill Instructor knows this!

Every army knows (or quickly learns) it is a malicious policy which says during training, “We need not bother the men with the details; they’ll pick them up as they need them in the field.”

Too frequently today we are witnessing an undisciplined demeanor among “the saints”; worse, we are seeing it promoted by many of their instructors.


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