In our reading in Proverbs today (3:11-12), we read, “My child, do not despise discipline from the LORD, and do not loathe His rebuke. For the LORD disciplines those He loves, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.” The writer of Hebrews expands on these verses in 12:7-11, ending with, “For they [earthly fathers] disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but He [God] does so for our benefit, that we may share His holiness. Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it.” In Ps. 119:75 we read, “I know, LORD, that Your regulations are just. You disciplined me because of Your faithful devotion to me.” We see in these, and other verses, that the reason we are disciplined by the Lord is because He loves us so much, and is devoted to helping us to accomplish His will.

In John 15:1-4, Jesus says, “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He takes away every branch that does not bear fruit in Me. He prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit. You are clean already because of the word that I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.” Here Jesus claims that the purpose of pruning, or discipline, is to help us bear more fruit. Even though pruning and discipline are often painful when it happens, when used correctly, as demonstrated by the Lord, when we accept those corrections, we can be even more effective in living our lives to honor Him.

Father, thank You for Your deep love for us and Your desire to see us thrive in our service to You. Help us to accept the corrections you bring in our lives, and abide in You so that we can bear more fruit which results in more honor to You.

by Ken Zook, Deacon

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