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  • The Kindness of Discipline

    Posted on January 22nd, 2016 Pastor Ed

    Jeremiah 1:11: “Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Jeremiah, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see a branch of an almond tree.'”

    Since the almond tree was one of the earliest budding fruit trees in spring, God was giving Jeremiah a prophetic view of the discipline that was quickly coming to His people. He then gave Jeremiah a second vision of a seething, boiling pot, with the mouth of the fire facing north, graciously pointing out which direction the discipline would come from. The continual, unrepentant sin of Judah had resulted in God using foreign, ungodly Babylon, from the north, to disciple His children, the result of which would be the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem.

    The author of Hebrews acknowledged that discipline, while painful, is ultimately rewarding. When we submit to God’s discipline, it will produce “a harvest of righteousness and peace” in us (Heb. 12:11). God’s discipline always transforms and alters our life for our good. Jesus said the same in John 15:2, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

    There is an old poem, by an unknown author, that still speaks to us from the distant past:

    Oft we shrink from the purging and pruning,
    Forgetting the Gardener knows
    That the deeper the cutting and paring,
    The richer the cluster that grows.

    “LORD, we trust that any pruning You do will bring good into our lives today.”