Sundown Devotional: Discipline We Can Love

Updated on October 18, 2019
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MsDora, former teacher and Christian counselor presents practical Scriptural principles for joyful everyday living.

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!

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The Devotional

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.

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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)

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  • 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

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Dora Weithers

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      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Eboni, I'm encouraged that you changed your perspective toward God's discipline. Doesn't that make you love Him even more?

      • profile image

        Eboni 

        3 weeks ago

        I was expecting to disagree with you about loving any kind of discipline, but you made your point. I am thinking and I am already glad about some of God's discipline in my life.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Denise. Couldn't have said it better, I know that you understand it.

      • denise.w.anderson profile image

        Denise W Anderson 

        4 weeks ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

        These are beautifully simple words, that God's love comes through by leaps and bounds when he corrects us and helps us get on the right path. His grace and mercy are endless!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Manatita, happy to hear from you. It's like welcoming and old relative home. Thanks for your encouraging comment. Growing is challenging, but fun!

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        5 weeks ago from london

        You are growing in wisdom, my Dear, like me. I like the idea that you see God's Love in His chastisement. So necessary for us to walk the right Path … the way of Light.

        Jonah did well. Praise be! A devotional piece, all right. God's Love is everything for us. Amen.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Audrey, given the purpose of God's correction, gratitude is the best response. Thank you for sharing.

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        5 weeks ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        God must love me a lot...I seem to need correcting every day. :) I am so grateful for his mercy and unconditional love. And I'm also grateful for this marvelous article. Blessings.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Denise. We can learn so much about disciplining our children if we take the time to learn from God's discipline.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Tim. Well said. Discipline is necessary.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Sean. What an encouraging kind comment! True, sometimes we miss the point of His discipline, and we miss the benefit.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Cynthia, thanks for your insightful input. I agree that our understanding of who God is affects how we interpret His discipline.

      • denise.w.anderson profile image

        Denise W Anderson 

        6 weeks ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

        We are quick to discipline our own children, but when we are disciplined by God, we think that he does not love us. These verses assure us that God's love is infinite, and he disciplines for our growth and development, just like we do our own children. The outpouring of love we feel from God following his correction is a wonderful example of how we are to love our own children after we have disciplined them.

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

        Tim Truzy 

        6 weeks ago from U.S.A.

        Wonderful and fulfilling, Ms. Dora. God's discipline is necessary to shape good Christians. Uplifting as always.

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        6 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        A great hub on this topic and you shard a lot to think of here glad to have read this one.Sometimes one is punished or forgiven for actions when nobody wants to be wrongfully blamed

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        6 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

        Indeed God will set us to the right place the right time but, unfortunately, we have usually our attention focused on the wrong issues! But His Infinity Love has many ways to help us from the start!

        Thank you for one more exceptional sundown! Your Heart scents aromas from His Garden!

        Blessing from Greece!

        Sean

      • techygran profile image

        Cynthia 

        6 weeks ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

        Dora,

        So interesting that you wrote this before a rather unexpected debate we had yesterday about whether God punishes with acts of anger and destruction or if mankind simply reaps the consequences of violating God's Laws that are designed to demonstrate his character as being fully love, truth and liberty. Anything else we attribute to God is likely a satanic echo of the original lies about God's character.

        As someone who facilitated parenting classes for a number of years, I know that natural and logical consequences are much more effective and kindly respectful ways to handle children's misbehaviors and to encourage self-discipline than a spanking or a verbally demeaning rant. Too, I have come to understand that many of the Scripture stories are written to be understood as the people of that time and culture understood God, often as a more powerful administrator of justice than the oppressive Imperial system they lived under-- but still a participant in that man-made system and more of a Super-Man than a supernatural entity whose ways are not our ways. We still tend to see God in terms of a human parent.

        Thank you for this thought-provoking devotional.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Bill. Glad to have your weekly follow.

      • lifegate profile image

        William Kovacic 

        6 weeks ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

        Another good study, Dora. Thanks for sharing these weekly reads ith us.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Liz, encouragement boomerangs. You encourage me too. Let's keep it going.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        6 weeks ago from UK

        Plenty of food for thought here. Thank you. I really appreciate the encouragement your devotionals give for me to focus on different aspects of God's character and Christian faith. I look forward to the next one.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Denise, what an accepting attitude to God's discipline! Thanks for your input.

      • profile image

        Antonio50S 

        6 weeks ago

        To Dora.

        Had a listern to that "Steve Green" song. Really nice. Like the words in it.

      • profile image

        Antonio50S 

        6 weeks ago

        Yes Dora.

        I actually think Jonah's lessons were more for the benefit of OTHERS and to show how Compassionate God is. As well as for the benefit of Jonah as well.

        For those of us who may question God's ways or accuse God of being Cruel, how many of us would have the patience to talk with an "Angry Spoiled Kid" who wanted others Killed ? It maybe that Jonah absolutely detested how the Ninevites treated others ? ( Rightly So ) therefore God was patient with Jonah as well as the Ninevites to teach ALL of us lessons. Including you RON :)

        How the Ninevites treated their captives really comes down to international crimes. The Ninevites must have thought Jonah was either "Brave or a Fool" coming here on his own, with OUR reputation :) they took no chances, changed, and as a result the whole city was spared. Jonah was angry with God because of that, he knew him to a relenting God, Slow to anger, always ready to forgive and show Mercy. Because the city of Nineveh was spared, Jonah asked God to kill him. It's people that can be Cruel and beyond belief RON, ( NOT GOD ) God does not force people to treat others in a Cruel way, that comes from our "own" FREE WILL, and it's that "Free Will" that will make the Kingdom of God a place we would all want to live in, as long as we make the right choices with that "Free Will". In reality, We OWE God our worship, but he cannot force us.

        Regarding the Ninevites and the Assyrians army, Jonah got what he wanted a few decades later when Sennacherib mocked and taunted the God of Israel.

        You don't MESS with the BOSS :)

      • PAINTDRIPS profile image

        Denise McGill 

        6 weeks ago from Fresno CA

        This is a good reminder. Discipline is very unpleasant but it means He loves us enough to care what we do. I am comforted by that.

        Blessings,

        Denise

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Sunrise. It's encouraging that the conclusion might be relatable to other experiences. I appreciate your kind comment.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        True, Cheryl. I appreciate your continually kind comments.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Antonio, that quote is a verse from "That's Where Mercy Begins" by Steve Green. It is one of my favorite songs. I agree with you that "the story goes beyond Jonah, even beyond Nineveh to God's saving power for all nations." Thanks for sharing.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Alyssa, a great weekend to you too. Thanks for sharing so clearly the messages you gained from this devotional. I appreciate your input.

      • profile image

        Sunrise 

        6 weeks ago

        Well thought out and I found this to be an interesting approach to a well known story. I've been trying to apply the conclusion to other events that we experience and see around us daily.

      • profile image

        Antonio50S 

        6 weeks ago

        To Dora.

        Just a question ? Do you think the Book of Jonah is mainly about Jonah himself ? ( Just to teach him a lesson only ) Or to teach him and ALL OF US that Nineveh had more than a Hundred and Twenty Thousand people in it who were about to be destroyed by God because of the things they were doing ?

        Jonah definitely had a lot of faith in God, but he seemed indifferent to the people who were about to die. For me at least, the story goes WAY beyond Jonah himself to God's saving power of people of ( ALL NATIONS ) via the death of JESUS. If the story was just about Jonah himself, I would think God is showing partiality, which goes against so many scriptures in the Bible.

        For me at least, the story goes beyond Jonah, even beyond Nineveh to God's saving power for all Nations. Via Jesus.

        No doubt Jonah learned lessons as well.

        Just my thoughts.

      • Cheryl E Preston profile image

        Cheryl E Preston 

        6 weeks ago from Roanoke

        I love the story of Jonah. So much revelation in it. Thank you for this inspiring Hub.

      • profile image

        Antonio50S 

        6 weeks ago

        To Dora. Absolutely LOVE this.

        I also Love the quote from ( STEVE GREEN )

        [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

        WOW

        That's also where we find God.

      • Alyssa Nichol profile image

        Alyssa 

        6 weeks ago from Ohio

        You've given us a lot to think about this week.. What I've taken from it is the reminder that there are consequences for our actions and mistakes don't inherently mean failure. It is through these mistakes that we rise up and become better people.. but we first have to admit that a mistake was made and then learn from it, applying that knowledge to future decisions. Thank you for this gentle reminder. An excellent way to end the week... Have a wonderful weekend!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Well said, Luz. I like your analogy of God sifting through the mess. Thanks for your input.

      • profile image

        Luz 

        6 weeks ago

        Dora you are a gem.

        We must understand that God doesnt knowing cause us any pain, all we experience is brought on by sin.

        And in a lit of instances, co sequences of our own actions. But we are happy that a sinless God can sift through our mess to bless. Thank you lord

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Linda, I like to repeat some comments for emphasis.:"Even when things seem grim, it is not a punishment from God. He lovingly guides and never gives up on us." Thanks for your input.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Mary, thanks for being a part of the Sundown Devotional sharing group. Of course it would be more interesting if we all met face to face. Who knows? That may be possible one day.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Ron, no need to be sorry. Opposing views are allowed. Thanks for sharing.

      • Slarty O'Brian profile image

        Ron Hooft 

        6 weeks ago from Ottawa

        Sorry, but your god supposedly intentionally creates a world where everything must suffer, and kill something else just to survive another day, and that's how he shows his love and mercy? Please. Were your god real he'd be worse than any tyrant egomaniac and cruel beyond belief. And you worship such a monster and see it as all good? Really? Unbelievable.

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        6 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

        Dora, what a wonderful way to close the week. Thank you for the reminder that, even when things seem grim, it is not a punishment from God. He lovingly guides and never gives up on us.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        6 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

        It's great to be part of your sundown devotional. I can imagine the sharing among you. It must be interesting.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Linda. There's a bunch in Bible for all of us to learn, and sharing is a pleasure. Thanks for following.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        7 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

        Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your knowledge of the Bible, Dora. Your articles are always interesting.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        7 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Al. Great having you in my HubCircle today. Yes, God deserves all the gratitude, trust and adoration we can give Him. He's awesome!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        7 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Eric, I look forward to your honest, fun, thought-provoking comments. Thanks for being you.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        7 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Louise. I also love the story of Jonah. It deals honestly with how prejudice can make us lose our focus, and how God patiently brings us back on track. We can all relate to that.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        7 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Pam, happy that you can relate. Sometimes we even refer to incidents as coincidences, but in the bigger picture the disciplinary becomes more clear. What a wise God.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        7 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Lori, the more stubborn we are, the more discipline we need. Thank God for the love and mercy He extends, meanwhile. Thanks for your publishing idea. It is/has been my dream.

      • word55 profile image

        Al Wordlaw 

        7 weeks ago from Chicago

        Hi Dora, you illustrate just how great God is to be trusted and followed. Thank you again!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        7 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Bill. We deserve to spend some time with our thoughts after expending most of our weekday energy on strenuous labor.

      • word55 profile image

        Al Wordlaw 

        7 weeks ago from Chicago

        Wonderful lesson Dora. You illustrate how God is such a great God to trust and follow. Thank you!

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        7 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        How in the Bo Jeebers does one stay disciplined to love in the face of ugly? God is so great. I am counting on about 30 more years to get it at least half right.

        Ah your sundown envelopes me with peace my friend. I think I will have worry and aingst today just for fun. My children really don't think I do that.

        My "Boy Teacher" newest deals with discipline -- how fun to be written as you wrote this piece. I will be influenced.

      • Coffeequeeen profile image

        Louise Powles 

        7 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

        I loved reading your devotional, Dora. Prayer is so important in our faith. I love the book of Jonah. And he is a perfect example that you should never give up.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        7 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

        This was another wonderful sundown devotional time. I know the best lessons I have learned happened after a difficult time. I never really thought it was Goed's discipline, but they may be exactly right. I know we were given free will, so sometimes I was not making good choices. I know when I repent I then feel free with the weight lifted. Thank you Mx Dora for an excellent article.

      • lambservant profile image

        Lori Colbo 

        7 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

        A wonderful and important message. I loved the verses also. The story of Jonah is so fascinating. Although there is much to learn from his story, I also find it a rather amusing story. I always found it interesting that even though he finally went to Nineveh and preached the message, his heart was still not right and God had a few more lessons to teach him. We can be so stubborn. How much God loved him and Nineveh, and what amazing grace he extended. I am loving these devotionals, Dora. I hope you will make them into a book and publish them.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        7 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        A lovely way to spend a sundown on this Friday. Thank you for sharing wisdom, hope, and love to all.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        7 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks. Flourish. I wish that our worry could help. There will soon be a time for action. Pray that we make it count.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 weeks ago from USA

        Thank you for these thoughts. I reflect about the need for discipline of our national leaders for grave misdeeds and hope that it will come. I worry about this crisis daily.

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