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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Mercy of Discipline (day 54)

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Mercy is undeserved kindness, yes, but it is more than that. Often mercy gives me what I need in order to help me become what I need to become.

I have been told that David wrote Psalm 51 after his adultery led to the murder of one of his faithful soldiers. (2 Samuel 11-12) That adultery led to the death of the child and David repenting bitterly. Psalm 51 is his expression of that repentance. In verse 8 he writes,

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which You have broken may rejoice.

David the shepherd knew that if a lamb habitually ran off, the shepherd must break the legs of that lamb and carry it until they healed. This was done so that the lamb could learn to not run off. David recognized God as his shepherd (Psalms 23) and saw the discipline of God as the love of the shepherd teaching him faithfulness.

Mercy is also discipline for my good.

In the NIV Bible Proverbs 19:18 reads,

Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.

God’s mercy disciplines his children for our good. In the same way I need to use discipline with the ones God puts into my care.

Hebrews chapter 12 says quite a bit about the value of discipline. I have found it to be extremely encouraging. Today verse 11 is significant for our consideration;

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Father in Heaven, God of Mercy and Love thank you for the mercy of discipline that you use to teach me your will and your ways. Thank you for each discipline that you are using to guide me in the way of righteousness, especially for those that seem painful. Obviously there I am most rebellious and need extra mercy. Thank you that you are changing me into the image of Jesus, always for your glory. Amen.

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