By Pastora Monique Lopez Ong
You are made for good works. God is the vinedresser, Jesus is the vine, you are the branches and you are called to bear fruit. Apart from Jesus, you can do nothing. You know what Jesus did. He knows you are all sinners and you cannot pay for your sins on your own. So He died on the cross to pay for your sins. When you receive Jesus, it is a personal choice. Nobody can make you do that. He did everything already. All you need to do is receive Him. When you do, you become a child of God.
You cannot do anything to earn your salvation. You simply receive it by faith. You do not need to strive for your blessing. God knows you want to do good works because of His goodness - not because you need more points to get into heaven. You are so blessed with what God did and it overflows.
You need to understand that the first thing Jesus does when you accept Him into your life is to welcome you into His family. He calls you His children. But you have to understand your role as sons and daughters of God. He calls you to be holy, like Him, in His image, and He wants you to represent Him so you can build the body of Christ.
Now that you are a part of His family, you have a role to play. You cannot just sit there and do nothing. Colossians 1:10 says, “so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” God is a good Father and He only wants the best for you. He will never allow you to stay where you are. Since you are a part of God’s family, there will also be discipline and training.
Oswald Chambers once said, “Speak Lord; make time to listen. Chastening is more than a means of discipline.It is meant to get me to the place of saying, ‘Speak Lord.’” Many Christians do everything they want without inquiring from the Lord. Some of you may be asking why things became a little more difficult when you accepted Jesus int your life. God is asking you to examine your life. You may be going in the opposite direction of where God is leading you to go. 1 Corinthians 11:28-30 says, “Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.” You become the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit when you receive Jesus. Just like oil and water, sin has to leave when the Holy Spirit resides in you. How will sin go away? Through chastening. In the Bible, many people went through chastening before their lives were fully used by God. Jonah, Nebuchadnezzar, and even David. When you do not obey God’s promptings, your life will be in shambles. But God will still make a way for you to make it right. Many are calling themselves a child of God but are living in total sin. When you do that, you are putting judgement upon yourself. You claim that you have Jesus, the bread of life and washed by His blood, yet you are walking in sin. When you do this, you are allowing the enemy to open doors that were never open in the first place. When this happens, you will now be oppressed. Some become weak, some fall into illness, and some will even have early death.
God will chasten you so you can walk out of sin and into your destiny. God wants to take you out of your sin so that you can be free and experience life abundantly. After that, you can tell other people about the glory of His name. God chastens you so you can walk out of sin and into your destiny. His destiny is not for you to live a defeated life. He wants to bless you, anoint you, a future and a hope. Abundance can only be found in Jesus Christ.
Why is there chastening?
Chastening is for those who will not stop sinning. Psalms 39:10-11 says, “Remove your scourge from me; I am overcome by the blow of your hand. When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin, you consume their wealth like a moth— surely everyone is but breath.” This is going to be a struggle and you will have no rest. If this is you, examine your life again. Ask God what sin you are keeping and tell Him to take you out of it.
You will be chastened until you choose to stop sinning. And then you will be restored. Job 5:17 says, “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” Unlike parents who sometimes give up on their children when they make the same mistakes over and over again, God will not give up on you. But if you continue to sin, He will make a way to get your attention until you give in. He will never give up and discipline you until you get out of sin.
You will be chastened until you obey God and His word. Psalms 119:67 says, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.” When God says something, you have to obey. At once. Delayed obedience is disobedience. God will not stop until you obey.
God chastens you for your own benefit. It may hurt but it is for your own good. He loves you so much that He will never let you go in sin. No one is exempted from God’s chastening. He loves you too much to do that.
Benefits of Chastening
You get to partake in God’s holiness and you get set apart for Him. He allows you to learn how to live righteously. You will learn to say no to sin and you will sin less. You will harvest peaceable fruit and right living. You also get trained by walking in the same path. You become wiser and will know what to do in different situations.
How do you respond to chastening?
A. Give value and importance - Hebrews 12:5-7 says, “And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?”
Before a diamond is formed, it has to go through so much pressure. The Lord’s invitation is to grow through maturity. And to grow to maturity, it has to go through the fire. Make the choice to live in the right so that you do not have to be hurt more. Think like a diamond. After all the fire you go through, your value increases.
B. Don’t easily get discouraged. -God’s discipline is not forever. Your goal is to be a better version of yourself, to be more like Jesus. Accept the chastening. It is only for God’s children. God has great plans for your life.
C. Endure with patience without giving up and without sinning. Training is a process. You need to sacrifice for the life you want. Be ready for the discipline, for God disciplines the ones He loves. God does not chasten unsaved people; He only chastens His children.
D. Submit to God. He is our loving Father. - You need to fully embrace God’s correction. He is doing what every loving father does to his children. For who has ever heard of a child who never had to be corrected.
While God is chastening you, ask Him to teach you how instead of getting angry. Allow Him to teach you. Surrender to Him.