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I would have always preferred any one of my teachers discipline me rather than having my dad do it. None of my teachers had as vested an interest in my growth or development as my father did. Plus, the law limited the extent of the punishment my teachers could dole out!  I can remember telling my 5th grade teacher that something “was none of her business!”  That statement did not sit well with her & needless to say she disciplined me. But when my father heard how disrespectful I had been, he made her ‘discipline’ look like a visit to Santa! 

Proverbs 27:17 reads, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” As brothers & sisters in Christ, we have an obligation to lovingly & humbly encourage godliness in one another. When we do this, regardless our approach, there are, many times, sparks. Yet, we should welcome these times of correction & redirection because others can see things in our lives we often fail to recognize. And the ‘discipline’ we experience from our brother or sister is rarely devastating because they do not have as vested an interest in our good as does our Heavenly Father. 

Hebrews 12, today’s NT reading, states that God disciplines us for our good & His glory. He absolutely has a vested interest in seeing our character ‘conformed to the image Christ.’  And yesterday’s reading included a dire warning to His people: “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:31)   It seems to me that wisdom mandates that you & I learn to love & accept correction from our brothers & sisters so our Father does not have to step in!

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Happy Halloween (or should I be more P.C. & say, “Happy All Hallows Eve”?!)!  Few things are scarier than death!  Horror films highlight it, novels are written about it and mysteries typically have it as a key ingredient.  Death has been sanitized in this generation from most of our existences while at the same time being a very real part of all our lives.  

Today’s NT reading in Hebrews 2 states in verse 15, “...(Jesus shared in our flesh & blood so that He) might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.”  How does fear of death subject humans to slavery all their lives?!  We become slaves when we fail to trust the Lord’s Word in which He promises to tend us in this life AND THE NEXT. We become slaves as we fail to acknowledge the aging process & frantically pursue youthfulness. We fill our lives with frivolous distractions & amusements so as not to have to face death. We become slaves amassing as much as we can in this life, failing to share with or serve others, because we refuse to believe we will leave it all behind.

We are freed from the fear of death when we acknowledge Jesus’ death in our place having paid for all our sin. We are freed when we come to understand we are aliens & strangers in this world. We are freed when we lay down all our ‘stuff’ & begin to invest in eternity. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FEAR DEATH ANY LONGER.  Jesus removed its sting.


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