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Disciplined for Missions



 

Discipline is a familiar concept in many cultures, often associated with the firm guidance and correction provided by parents. It is essential for progress, whether in personal development, intellectual endeavours, or spiritual maturity. In Asian households, where parents are known for their adherence to strict disciplinary measures, our perceptions and practices regarding discipline may differ, influenced by individual perspectives and the inherent flaws of human nature. Drawing from personal experience as an Asian myself, I have observed various approaches employed by parents to instil qualities such as diligence, resilience, and reverence in their offspring. Nevertheless, discipline remains an indispensable tool for moulding children's behaviour and character.

 

Similarly, the idea of discipline carries great significance in our faith as God, our Heavenly Father, disciplines us as His children. But God’s discipline is flawless and perfect because He is holy and perfect.

 

The Bible paints a vivid picture of God's discipline, illustrating His love and commitment to guiding His children towards righteousness. Proverbs 3:11-12 emphasizes, "My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in." This verse highlights God's loving and corrective discipline and our tendency to resent correction.

 

When we recognize the significance of discipline in our lives, we begin to see its impact on shaping who we are. As God's adopted children, we are called to mirror the character of His begotten son Jesus Christ, reflecting His love, compassion, and righteousness in our thoughts, words, and actions (Romans 8:29). This goes beyond personal improvement; it is intricately intertwined with God's larger purpose of spreading the message of salvation to all peoples, to the unreached nations to the end of the age. By embodying the likeness of Christ, we become vessels through which His name is proclaimed, His grace is extended, and His kingdom is established on earth.

 

Just as a skilled craftsman meticulously shapes raw materials into a masterpiece, God, through His discipline, refines and moulds us into vessels fit for His purpose. As stated in Hebrews 12:11, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

 

In the grand narrative of God's mission, our personal journeys of discipline play a crucial role. Each trial, setback, and correction serves as a stepping stone towards fulfilling God's divine purpose. As we yield to His discipline, we are prepared, equipped, and empowered to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

 

As believers, recipients of God's grace and beneficiaries of His relentless love, we are called to embrace divine discipline wholeheartedly. Despite the challenges and difficulties that may accompany this process, we must not despise the correction of our Heavenly Father. For beyond the discomfort lies a greater purpose, and that is the advancement of God's mission and the manifestation of His glory.

 

In every trial, let us remember that we are being fashioned into instruments of righteousness, conduits of God's grace to a broken world. May we, as followers of Christ, find strength in His discipline, knowing that through it, we are being prepared to fulfil our part in His redemptive plan.


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