Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children—
“My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
or lose heart when you are punished by him;
6 for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves,
and chastises every child whom he accepts.”
7 Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? 8 If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children. 9 Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share his holiness. 11 Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
The writer of Hebrews quotes Proverbs 3:11-12 in verses 5 and 6 of the 12th chapter: “My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.”
The image here is the image of a loving parent disciplining a child. The goal of the discipline isn’t punishment. The goal of the discipline is providing structure, nurture, wisdom, and self-discipline so that the child will grow up to be a fine adult that will live a full life and make life better for others.
The origin of the word discipline is the same as the word disciple or discipleship: the Latin word for instruction or knowledge. Our discipline comes through the practices of discipleship. In our congregation, we envision discipleship as a healthy plate and challenge and encourage everyone to have a healthy plate that includes all six aspects of discipleship: worshipping, learning, serving, giving, praying, and playing. It is through those practices that we are disciplined to become disciples of Jesus.
The image of a healthy plate brings to mind a sentence most of us have spoken more than once: I have a lot on my plate right now. I invite you today to think about what is on your plate and is there enough room for worshipping, learning, serving, giving, praying, and playing?
There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “Take Time to be Holy”. I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul.
Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster
Here’s more about this passage of scripture via Upper Room devotionals:
God is my light.