18 February 2012

Free Me From the Insanity of Sin

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. Prov. 12:1
The ear that listens to life-giving rebuke will dwell among the wise. Prov. 15:31
Heavenly Father, I’ll never tire of thanking you for the joy of calling you Father—Abba, Father. There’s no greater privilege; there’s no safer refuge; there’s no bigger honor… there’s no better address than to call your heart my home. It’s all of grace, from beginning to end, it’s all of grace.

Once I was separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in the true Israel, a foreigner to your promise-filled covenants, without hope and without you in the world. But through the work of Jesus, you brought me near—you made me one of your beloved children (Eph. 2:12-13). I worship, praise, and adore you, for such a rich standing in grace and such secure place in your family.

You are the most loving and engaged Father ever. It’s only because you love us as your children that you discipline us as you do (Heb. 12:4-11). All of your rebukes are “life-giving;” all of your discipline is soul delighting; all your reproofs are heart liberating. None of them are meant to be guilt inducing, shame producing, or contempt fueling. You humble your children, but you don’t humiliate us. You’re firm but never harsh.

On the cross Jesus exhausted the punishment we deserve. Now you incessantly delight in us—even when you confront expose immaturity and confront our irresponsibility. That’s why I’m a foolish man to play dodge ball with the convicting work of your Holy Spirit. You only purpose our freedom through the gospel. I’m a simpleton and stupid when I get defensive and try to make excuses for myself. What’s to defend? Indeed, “stupid” has nothing to do with my IQ, my SAT score, or my GPA from various schools. Stupid is what I am when I hate correction, despise your discipline, or run from your admonitions.

Father, I want to be at home among the wise—to dwell, fellowship and linger there. So whether you speak to me from your Word by the voice of your Spirit—or through my spouse, colleagues, children, or friends, I’ll trust you for a humble heart and submissive spirit. By the grace, truth, and power of the gospel, free me from the insanity of sin, that I live and be to the praise of the glory of your grace. So very Amen I pray in Jesus’ life-giving name. - Scotty Smith

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