Thank You, Father, for Your overwhelming love that surrounds me today.
Read Proverbs 23:10–28
10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone
or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their Defender is strong;
he will take up their case against you.
12 Apply your heart to instruction
and your ears to words of knowledge.
13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.
14 Punish them with the rod
and save them from death.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad indeed;
16 my inmost being will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
18 There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path:
20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23 Buy the truth and do not sell it—
wisdom, instruction and insight as well.
24 The father of a righteous child has great joy;
a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.
25 May your father and mother rejoice;
may she who gave you birth be joyful!
26 My son, give me your heart
and let your eyes delight in my ways,
27 for an adulterous woman is a deep pit,
and a wayward wife is a narrow well.
28 Like a bandit she lies in wait
and multiplies the unfaithful among men.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat does it say about your worth that Father God chooses to lavish his inexhaustibly abundant love on you (1 John 3:1)?
What do you feel about the parental guidance of verses 13 and 14? Perhaps it reminds you of punishments you endured as a child that seemed overly harsh. Negative experiences with our imperfect human dads can warp our relationship with our heavenly Father, making him seem angry and authoritarian and his discipline appear controlling and condemning. If you feel like this, take some time to consider what Father God’s love for his Son Jesus is like. It’s unconditional, given before he’d achieved anything (Luke 3:22), it’s deeply intimate and it’s powerful (John 17:21–23). As adopted children by faith in Jesus, he loves us just the same(Romans 8:14–17), sharing Jesus’ glorious inheritance with us, which is to reign over all things!
We hear the heartbeat of the Father quicken in his delight in those who respond to his overtures (15, 16, 24, 26). What then is the role of discipline? To develop the spiritual muscles we need to be like our heavenly dad, showing justice and mercy, becoming a father to the fatherless and prizing righteousness above worldly indulgence (10, 11, 17, 23, 24).
If you’ve embraced worldliness, remember that Jesus, your righteous advocate, pleads your case before the Father (1 John 2:1). Repent and enter His perfect love without fear of condemnation.
God, I choose to listen to You and be wise. Set my heart on the right path (19).