Devotion for March 18
By Bryan Chapell

My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. (Heb. 12:5-6)

When my children disobeyed, I would sometimes discipline or, other times, let consequences train them. I’m an imperfect parent, so I sometimes messed up by not doing these things selflessly — or making my children’s welfare my first priority.

As a perfect parent, God always gets it right. He may discipline by direct means, or by allowing consequences to train us. But his gracious heart makes our good his priority in every divine action.

Without sacrificing one iota of his glory, God perfectly balances every measure of mercy and consequence. Though his approval may vary, his affection never does. Though his discipline may change, our relationship with him does not!

Even when we are in the worst throes of discipline God’s parental sternness can issue, we are loved no less. Our need for discipline does not change his heart.

Father, thank you for loving me enough to discipline me when my good demands it. Help me to believe your love is behind every consequence you allow, and that your purpose is always to turn me from my sin’s greater harm.

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