Incentives to Obey
Theme of the Week: God's Anger Is Love
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
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Key Bible Verse: 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. (Hebrews 12:10)
Dig Deeper: Hebrews 12:5-11
Can you imagine what we would be like as motorists if cops didn't patrol the highways? Would very many of us obey the speed limit? I don't think so. Police officers who set up radar traps are giving us an incentive to drive in a more "holy" manner. We ought to thank them for that, not curse them.
God's wrath is not his being a sadist who loves to inflict pain; it is his providing us with an incentive to obey him. If we are wise, we don't want to bring bad things on ourselves by disobeying him. Truly wise people obey God so they not only avoid his wrath but also bring about his blessings.
Holly and I raised our kids so that they had an incentive for obeying us. If they obeyed us, they not only avoided our righteous anger but also brought blessings on themselves. For example, if our kids did their chores, they not only avoided more chores being added to the list but also were given their allowance and got to do something fun afterward. That motivated our kids to obey us. Smart kids.
God disciplines you for disobeying him to motivate you to behave responsibly. Be thankful for that. He wouldn't be a loving God if he were any other way.
—Chris Thurman in The Lies We Believe About God
Adapted from The Lies We Believe About God ©2017 by Chris Thurman. Used by permission of David C Cook. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2017 by Christianity Today/Men of Integrity magazine. Click here for reprint information on Men of Integrity.
Prayer for the Week
God, thank you that you don't leave me in my sin, but discipline me so that I can return to living in your favor.
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