Tough Love

SEPTEMBER 16

MATTHEW 7:4_Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, let me pull out the mote out of thine eye…

There are times when disciplinary action is the best solution. Hebrews 12:6 (KJV), “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”  

Notice, God equates punishment with love.  Why? Because if I see you heading over a cliff I’ll run and knock you down if I have to – in order to save your life. It would not matter if I had warned you many times a cliff was ahead. It would not matter if there were warning signs posted along the way. If you have a problem with rebellion, you are blind – not physically, but spiritually.

Proverbs 3:12 (KJV) follows the same love theme, “For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” This is what is known as tough love.

Love is motivated by what is best for the other person, regardless of what it may cost me. The Lord always administers discipline with love, but it doesn’t always feel that way. I’m sure the apostle Paul being blinded, half out of his mind, and unable to eat for three days, felt far from loved. He did not know if he would ever see again.

I’m sure he felt judged.   

PRAYER

Holy Redeemer, Help me know Your discipline comes from love. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.   

Christ loves enough to discipline—He loves me!

Something to Seek

MAY 8

MATTHEW 6:1_otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Back to rewards again. Jesus speaks a lot about rewards. He speaks of them as something to be desired, something to be honored, something to seek.

I have never found in the key to the treasure chest a time when Jesus speaks of rewards in a casual take-it-or-leave-it way

Whether we know what the Father’s rewards are or not, we know Jesus places great value on them. Which sets an example for us.      

When we study the Bible diligently with a seeking heart, we learn Jesus teaches specifically what causes not to receive the Father’s rewards. He does not speak favorably of any of these things.

Because Jesus loves us, and wants us to receive these rewards whether in this life or the next, Jesus warns. The rebellion in us does not respond well to warnings – someone telling us what to do. When our hearts are transformed we realize there is love behind the warnings.

Just as specifically, Jesus teaches what causes to receive the rewards.

PRAYER

Father God,  Please change my rebellious heart to accept Your warnings. Teach me to see Your great love for me in each warning. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                         

Christ wants me to receive rewards—I want to!

Drenched in Love

MARCH 12

MATTHEW 5:20_But I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and the Pharisees…

The Greek translation for the word righteousness used here is, whatever is right and just within itself; whatever conforms to the revealed will of God.

If the Scribes and Pharisees couldn’t recognize Jesus as an extension of God then according to the above translation, their righteousness failed coming out of the gate! 

Jesus was certainly just and conformed to God’s will – He was the very revelation of it. No one can recognize Jesus without recognizing His heart of love. The person who comes to Jesus with a willing and repentant heart, or the one who comes to Him kicking and screaming with a rebellious heart, end up the same way – drenched in love. 

The love of Jesus is overpowering. It is life changing. It is heart healing. No force in this life is stronger. Any righteousness we have comes from the love of Jesus. When the Scribes and Pharisees’ saw Jesus’ miracles, they not only didn’t recognize Him, they said He was demonically possessed!

No wonder Jesus says our righteousness should exceed that! 

PRAYER

Jesus Savior, I want to conform to Your will. I want Your will in my life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is God’s will covered in flesh—I want His will in my life!