"They's always consequences," Sam assured me. "If you don't get them now, you'll get them in the next life."
"It just doesn't seem fair to get away with treating people that way." I was indignant.
"Maybe not, but it's a bad sign."
"If you belong to the Lord, He ain't gonna let you get away with mess like that. If He don't discipline you, it's because you're not His. Them that don't get consequences now will get plenty when they get to hell." Sam was certain of his conclusion.
It was a startling perspective, but it came straight from Hebrews 12. The Lord disciplines the ones He loves, the writer tells us. If we don't receive discipline, "then you are illegitimate children and not sons." (Heb. 12:6-8)
It's been years since that conversation, but I haven't forgotten it. When I've seen people do scandalous things, seemingly unscathed, it's been a trigger for prayer ever since. It's also been a trigger for gratitude when I've been convicted of my own sin.
The discipline of conviction is cause for rejoicing. We can be certain our Heavenly Father loves us, because He makes an effort to keep us on the right track. Whether we comply or not is a sign of our love for Him.
Lack of discipline is not likely to be a sign of sinlessness, but it may be a sign of Godlessness.
Let's take a few moments to consider our own lives. Is there clear evidence of God's conviction and discipline when we sin? If not, why not? If we've experienced the discipline of God, let's thank Him for the evidence that He knows us and our ways and cares about the sin in our lives.
"For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines..." Hebrews 12:6 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: When Having Less is More Than Enough
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