Sundown Devotional: Discipline We Can Love
Sundown Devotional brings friends together on the back porch, as the sun sets on the workweek. We relax, reminisce, reflect and share inspiration from our peaceful meditation on a short Scripture passage. In this session, we focus on God's discipline. Christian or not, you'll be encouraged. Welcome!
You [God], threw me [Jonah] into the ocean depths . . . But you, O Lord, my God, snatched me from the jaws of death! (Jonah 2: 3, 6)
Jonah hoped that God wouldn’t find him, if he went where God didn’t send him. So, he planned to sail in a direction opposite to where God had commanded him to go. When a storm threatened to destroy the boat, the sailors decided by casting lots, that Jonah was the cause. The prophet accepted that being thrown overboard was due punishment for his willful rebellion.
However, when we zoom in on the details of the event, it is obvious that despite His seeming vengeance, God was as much concerned with saving as with disciplining Jonah. True, it was He who created the storm, and it was He who arranged for the fish to swallow Jonah. But were it not for the storm, Jonah would have continued in the wrong direction, and were it not for God’s control, the fish could have hurt Jonah severely.
God’s discipline is the kind that we can love. It put Jonah in a dark place resembling death, but it was only a warning of what untimely death could be like. It caused him discomfort, but when the discomfort reached his conscience, it motivated him to repent. It may pressure us to reject Him, but only until we realize that on the string of discipline, hang beads of mercy.
Besides mercy, God’s discipline also demonstrates the unconditional, continual nature of His love. It is His Fatherly way of telling us that He can reach us wherever we are, to teach us whatever we need to learn. It is His kind offer of a second, third, tenth chance to accomplish our life’s purpose, and enjoy living to the full. It is proof that He deserves our love; that we can trust Him to do what's best for us.
Prayer: Merciful Savior, thank You for demonstrating Your love in Your discipline which keeps us on the right path. Please help us to respond like loving, trusting children. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Bible Verses Affirming God's Discipline
- Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the Lord your God disciplines you for your own good. (Deuteronomy 8:5)
- No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. ― (Hebrews 12:11)
- I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word. (Psalm 119:67)
- I know, O Lord, that your regulations are fair; you disciplined me because I needed it. (Psalm 119:75)
- My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. (Proverbs 3:11) 18)
- Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, for I am with you,” says the Lord. “I will completely destroy the nations to which I have exiled you, but I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you, but with justice; I cannot let you go unpunished.” (Jeremiah 46:28)
- For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. (Hebrews 12:10)
- Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live. (Isaiah 38:16)
- This is the message from the one who is the Amen . . . "I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference." (Revelation 3:19)
- But consider the joy of those corrected by God! Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty when you sin. For though he wounds, he also bandages. He strikes, but his hands also heal. (Job 5: 17, 18)
Thanks for God's Mercy
[God]’s never surprised at where we have been,
He is waiting for us at the end of our sins,
And the heaven we find from the hell we’ve been in . . .
That’s where his mercy begins.
― Steve Green
More Sundown Devotionals
- Sundown Devotional: Beyond Human Expectations
"However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts." (John Calvin) This can be your personal experience.
- Sundown Devotional: Struck Down but Not Destroyed
When circumstances throw us down and we can't keep up, God can help us catch up. With just a minimal ray of hope, we can cry out for help. He is able to restore our souls and remedy our situations.
© 2019 Dora Weithers