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He who spares his rod hates his son but he who loves him disciplines him diligently (Proverbs 13:24)
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   pastor’s heart article from ggwo.org Taking a Lickin’  by Pastor Thomas SchallerJanuary 22, 2007edited Recently, while flying to Peru, I reflected on this Proverb: He whospares his rod hates his son but he who loves him disciplines himdiligently (Proverbs 13:24).Would it be wrong for God to discipline us, if He tells us to do so withour own children? The danger of any discipline is the possibility of aseed of bitterness growing up in our hearts. I've met people who haveturned away from God because of how they feel about how they havebeen treated. Hebrews 3 warns us Take care, brethren, lest thereshould be in any one of you an evil unbelieving heart in falling awayfrom the living God (Hebrews 3:12).Could we say that the believer's humility and walk of faith is testedwhen we are dealt the rod? In Hebrews 12, we read, All discipline forthe moment seems not to be joyful but sorrowful; yet to those whohave been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and theknees that are feeble and make straight paths for your feet so that thelimb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed, (Hebrews 12:12-13).We are living in an age and culture where it is not positive to talkabout taking a lickin' in life. Life should be positive, successful, andhappy. This reminds me of the 400 false prophets who told Ahab whathe wanted to hear. I'd rather search for the Elijah or the Paul who livesa high quality life. Living high quality life teaches us that beatings are a normal part of successful living. These are not physical beatings,but rather searchings of the heart. We may feel confused, ashamed, or guilty. We may fail in thepresence of our brothers. We may be ridiculed, derided, mocked,laughed at, teased, taunted, scorned, publicly embarrassed, or foundhopeless and helpless. We may be poor, abused, physically hurt andhave no permanent address (no certain dwelling place), but considerPsalm 141:5: Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness andlet him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not breakmy head.    pastor’s heart article from ggwo.org Why wouldn't we learn to be admonished by the Scriptures, by theWord, by the Message, by our brothers in Christ?Wouldn't we rather take a lickin' and learn Christ in this world, so weglorify our heavenly Father very much? We do our churches adisservice if we do not lead our people into the deep waters of suffering well. How can I help others to suffer well if I myself have notfound the preciousness of that in my own heart?It is frightening when we as pastors and believers can no longer takeadmonition, when we no longer continue in the face of opposition ordifficulty. Many of our brothers and sisters in persecuted countriesshow us how to take a lickin'.It would be ridiculous to think that the church isn't to have any fight init -- no contention, no correction, no rod, no Elijah, no David, or noPaul. Ask any NFL player going to playoffs if beatings and lickin's arenot part of the path to success. If Einstein, Microsoft, the New YorkStock Exchange were always right and never corrected, confronted,and readjusted, then would they in the real world mean anything?Let the Lord shame us and drag us before the magistrates. Let theLord call us to the foolishness of preaching and the foolishness of theCross. If we can take a lickin', then the Holy Spirit will show us Hispower and His healing.Pulpits grounded in knowing Christ in the midst of deep troublemanifest the power of God. God is on the side of the afflicted - Godgives an answer when we don't know how to answer. There is a greatmystery in all of this. May we always and continually love to see Hiswork and His hand when we are afflicted. He hath torn and He willheal us, He hath smitten and He will bind us up (Hosea 6:2). Atrained ear can bear the testimony of these people who have learnedthe secret of taking a lickin' from our Heavenly Father.Yes, Lord, please lead us in this marvelous mystery of grace.Pastor Schaller
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