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A Heart That Receives Discipline, A Peaceable Fruit of Righteousness (Hebrews 12:11)

Sermon on 6 March 2022 by Ps Paul

Hebrews 12:11 - “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”






Recap verses that we just read:


Proverbs 13:1 - “A wise child accepts a parent’s discipline; a mocker refuses to listen to correction.”


Proverbs 13:18 - “If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored.”


Proverbs 13:24 - “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.”


Why is it important for us to go through discipline? Our human heart is so deceitful. You can see my outward appearance but not my inner heart.


Jeremiah 17:9 - ““The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”


If our heart is not being guided, it will go astray. That’s why God in His wisdom knows that our hearts must be disciplined. He gives us His living word in the Bible so that our heart can be aligned. When we follow His ways, we are walking in eternal life because it is Jesus who gave us this life. The first message that Jesus preached when He was empowered with the Holy Spirit is to repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Our heart must yearn back to God. Temptation and sin might cause us to stumble. The author of Hebrews actually tells us the importance of focusing our eyes on Jesus and God’s discipline for us so that our faith can continue to be firm in Him.


Hebrews 12:1-11 - “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”


This topic is not very pleasant. At the start of this year, Pastor Justin shared the new year’s message on complete alignment. A heart to follow what is hard to follow. It is not an easy task because our heart is full of deceit. If it’s not guided, it can go very wicked. Some of us are aware of the situation around the world and you see that people’s hearts are so unpredictable. There are many questions on why they do that. As followers of Jesus we have to guard our hearts against wickedness and yearn to follow what is very difficult to follow. It is not that it cannot be done, but it is down to if we are willing to humble ourselves down.


Truths:


1. We are God’s children


God disciplines us because He sees us as His children. Those who believe and accept Jesus have the rights to be God's children. We are the direct children of the Creator of the whole world. We are being loved. Because of love, we are created and are saved from the destruction of sin. Don’t say that because you did bad things so you cannot be His child. He has saved us and the only thing you need to do is to change your heart. Even if my son disobeys, it doesn’t change the fact that he is my son. As a parent, we have to discipline him to let him live what is right. Don’t let anyone take away the fact that you are His children.


John 1:12 - “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.”

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2. God disciplines and correct us because He loves us


Do you believe that God is good? Some people think God isn’t good because the situation in the world is bad. But you cannot use the circumstances to define who God is. God says I am who I am. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. When God says that he loves us, it is forever. Let us not run away from His discipline. When we sin against Him, quickly come to Him, like what King David did.


Hebrews 12:6 - “For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.””


3. No discipline is enjoyable but it can help us to stay away from sin and produce peaceable fruit of righteousness


When we do something wrong, our first instinct is to run away from it. When we run away from His presence, we are not under His guidance and might spiral further away from Him. When the prodigal son went further from his father’s presence, he was enjoying himself at first but after his friends left him and his resources depleted, he suffered. His life changed when he humbled down. We cannot run away from God because God is good. It is better to land in the hands of God than others. The steadfast love of God never ceases and His mercy never ends. Great is His faithfulness.


Hebrews 12:11 - “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”


Let’s work on our hearts. Let us have a humble heart to submit to God. Many times we refuse to come to God because we are full of pride. We are like King Saul. King Saul was chosen to be the King of Israel. He was humble at first and obeyed. However, when he started to have pride in him and disobey Prophet Samuel's words, he asked him to honour him in front of his people. Even if he sinned against God, he didn’t humble himself before God. However for King David, he humbled himself in front of all his subjects. He cares about coming back to God.


Let's have a teachable heart to receive God’s discipline too. It is not enjoyable but we know that God is good and His discipline saved us from destruction. Let the word of God teach us. Finally, let’s have a purified heart to turn to God and shun from sin. This is a heart that God wants us to have, to follow what is hard to follow. Which heart would you choose? Would you want a humble, readable and purified heart to accept God's discipline and correction or a hardened, stony and stubborn heart? Are we able to quickly acknowledge that we are wrong and come back to God? Give our hearts to the Lord and allow Him to renew our hearts.


Amen.


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