Monday, January 16, 2012

"Love and Fear" Part 6

    Doubtless the God so minutely interested in our lives - "the very hairs of your head are all numbered" - precisely molds and measures His disciplinary actions in the lives of His trusting children in Christ (Matthew 10:30).
    Paul was not Peter.  Peter was not John.  John was not James, and James was not Andrew.  Indeed, it would have been interesting to see the different ways the Lord Jesus Christ related to each of His disciples.  Differing personalities, histories, interests and ways of responding to life would have required the Savior to act and react to His closest followers in ways that particularly met each need.  
    "Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on His breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth Thee?  Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?  Follow thou Me" (John 21:20-22).
    Regarding the chastening and scourging promised by God to those whom He loves, the principle of the personal surely applies.  Every believer will require disciplinary action - He "scourgeth every son whom He receiveth" (Hebrews 12:6).  The means of such chastening, however, is at the discretion of the Father who sees each of us perfectly, and who thus knows how to apply the rod in the most effective manner.  Every arena of life and experience provides the opportunity for Divine love, as expressed in God's gracious willingness to apply pain and loss as a corrective measure.
     As we have stressed repeatedly, not all difficulty results from our being chastened by God.  Some does, however, and we must be open to the possibility that our challenges, in whatever form, may involve correction and reproof.  Awareness of the possibility, along with the prayerful attitude of willingness to be corrected, will go far in opening our eyes to those times when our Father lovingly wields the rod, not against us, but for us.
"Blessed is the man whom Thou chastenest, o Lord."
(Psalm 94:12)

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