February 17, 2017 by directorfsm
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. (Prov. 12: 1)
The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. (Prov. 15: 31)
Heavenly Father, I’ll never tire of thanking you for the joy of calling you Father— Abba, Father. There’s no greater privilege, there’s no safer refuge, there’s no better address than to call your heart my home.
Once I was separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in the true Israel, a foreigner to your promise-filled covenants, without hope and without you in the world. But through the work of Jesus, you brought me near— you made me one of your beloved children (Eph. 2: 12– 13). I worship, praise, and adore you for such a rich and firm standing in grace.
It’s only because you love us as your children that you discipline us as you do (Heb. 12: 4– 11). All of your rebukes are “life-giving.” None of them are meant to be guilt inducing, shame producing, or contempt fueling. You humble your children, but you don’t humiliate us. You’re firm but never harsh. You have my eternal glorification in view, but too often I’m only thinking about my instant gratification.
On the cross Jesus exhausted the punishment we deserve. Now you delight in us, even when you confront our immaturity and irresponsibility. That’s why I’m a foolish man to play dodge ball with the convicting work of your Holy Spirit. You only purpose our freedom through the gospel. I’m a simpleton and stupid when I get defensive and try to make excuses for myself. What’s there to defend?
Indeed, “stupid” has nothing to do with my IQ, my SAT score, or my GPA from various schools. Stupid is what we are when we hate correction, despise your discipline, or run from your admonitions.
I want to be at home among the wise, Father, so whether you speak to me from your Word, by the voice of your Spirit, or even through my spouse, colleagues, children, or friends, I’ll trust you for a humble heart and submissive spirit. By the grace, truth, and power of the gospel, make me a little less stupid. I pray in Jesus’ life-giving name. Amen.