Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Correction and the Love of God

Posted by: Brittany

“When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth:  surely every man is vanity.”  -Psalm 39:11

“My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction:  For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”  -Proverbs 3:11,12

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.  Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;  And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.”  -Hebrews 12: 5-13

“How is it with your heart this morning? Are you in the lowest depths of sorrow? Does corruption rise within your spirit, and grace seem like a poor spark trampled under foot? Does your faith almost fail you? Fear not, it is neither your graces nor feelings on which you are to live: you must live simply by faith on Christ. With all these things against us, now—in the very depths of our sorrow, wherever we may be—now, as much in the valley as on the mountain, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God." "Ah, but," you say, "see how I am arrayed! my graces are not bright; my righteousness does not shine with apparent glory." But read the next: "It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him." The Holy Spirit shall purify our minds, and divine power shall refine our bodies, then shall we see Him as He is.
-Charles Spurgeon

In order for us to be filled with the righteousness and beauty of Christ, the Lord will first strip of us our own goodness, and show us our total worthlessness and helplessness.  Until we see this, we cannot experience the grace and freedom of Christ.
I truly believe that the Lord brings us to the point of failure and humiliation to show us how worthless we are in ourselves, and how utterly dependent we are on Him.  He does not want us walking in our strength to be the good and upright person we know we should be, and even desire to be.  If we are doing that, He will bring us down.  I struggled for years, wanting to be someone and something I knew deep down I was not.  God had to bring me to a breaking point.
He wants it to be His righteous goodness that shines forth in our lives.  That only comes as we surrender in utter helplessness to Him; seeking His forgiveness for the sinful creatures we really are deep down that no one else sees, and asking Him to change us and fill us with Christ. Then He has created a vessel that He can use to honor Him!
So if you feel that you are being severely chastened by the Lord, take joy!  He is purging the dross from your life, so that He can fill you with Christ!  You are His beloved child.  He will not leave you to struggle on your own in your own efforts.  He wants to empty you of self and fill you with Christ.  The purging process is not enjoyable at the moment, but when we come to see it for what it truly is –the love of our Father at work in us- it will bring us comfort and courage, and more quickly bring us to the point of being empty vessels before Him.
There is an initial breaking point, but this process is life long.  Every rod and trial is a blessing and instrument of love from our Lord.  He will be faithful to complete the good work He has begun in each of us.  He will fill us with Christ.  He will use us for His glory.
Is He truly our master?  Are we trying to walk in ourselves or are we on our knees in His loving, molding hand?  He will direct the paths of His children.  He will continue to purge us.  And as He does His transforming work in us, He will show us how to serve and love Him by serving and loving those He places around us.  Then we will shine as lights before men, and they will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.  

 “..out of weakness were made strong…”  -Hebrews 11:34

“Now when they saw… and perceived… they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”  -Acts 4:13

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”  -Matthew 7:7,8

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