The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"To Fear His Love"
Our Heavenly Father's hand must necessarily be both gentle and firm.
"Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous" (Psalm 112:4).
"Thou hast showed Thy people hard things" (Psalm 60:3).
We require both the tender and the tough from God. The former rescues us from discouragement, the latter from taking fleshly advantage of our Heavenly Father's love and grace. Thankfully, He loves us enough to administer both applications of His devotion to our eternal well being. Certainly, the Lord takes far greater pleasure in blessing His trusting children in Christ with gifts that bring smiles to our faces and happiness to our hearts. However, the purity and sincerity of His love means He will not stay His hand of discipline when and as necessary. We need both administrations of grace in our present existence, a difficult truth we do well to acknowledge and expect as we walk with a Father to whom we mean so much.
My father died when I was 2 years old. The only memory I have of him involves a corporal disciplinary action he administered when he found me playing with an electrical cord (plugged in). He administered chastening, firmly and memorably. When I share this story, I wonder if some might think this a sad thing to remember about my dad. I never consider it that way. I rather know that he loved me enough to hurt me in order to teach me a necessary lesson for which I will always be grateful. Indeed, when that one memory I have of my father comes to mind, one thought also comes to mind: "My dad loved me."
"He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."
The truth we consider constitutes a major doctrinal understanding we must plant deeply within our hearts, and write in bold ink on the pages of our minds. Our imperfections mean that God must buffet as well as bless us. Mercy both comforts and corrects. The Bible clearly declares such truth, and to whatever degree we know and embrace the fact, we do well to grow in our understanding. Indeed, this constitutes the primary reason God calls us beloved children to fear Him (I Peter 2:17). We are to fear His love because He will always administer His love in accordance with our truest need. He will bless us with happiness whenever possible. But He will chasten and scourge us with unhappiness when as as necessary. Love, God's perfect love, must act accordingly in the lives of the presently imperfect objects to which it is devoted. The Bible states few truths more clearly and succinctly because failure to understand this doctrine will lead to grave discouragement and disillusionment. Yes, no happier thought can grace the human spirit than the realization that God loves us. But for now, the thought must also elicit proper fear in the realization that our Father will always do that which is best for us. And sometimes, that best will not please us, but rather hurt us.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ."
"For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth."
Weekly Memory Verse
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth's sake.