4/16: Straighten Up

 

We all mess up from time to time and need to be corrected. We may not even realize we’re traveling down the wrong road and we need to be stopped. Or, we may get ourselves into situations or discussions and in the heat of the moment, act or speak rashly, and figure we’ll let the chips fall where they may. But guess what, we may well be dead wrong, the “chips” may have acted as shrapnel to the severe wounding others, and someone needs to come along and chastise us – seriously rebuke us – for our error so we can do something about getting things right again.

Hebrews chapter 12 speaks of God rebuking and chastising us. The writer has just finished chapter 11 by listing all the faithful who have preceded us. Then chapter 12 says, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” Hebrews 12:1 (NKJ). In other words, in light of all the faithful servants of God who have lived before us, it’s time for us to stop getting ourselves caught up in messes. We must stop succumbing to our weaknesses and stop yielding to temptation. Just cut it out. There’s Christian living to be done and God’s work to be accomplished, but we’re getting easily tripped up.

The passage goes on to say that God loves us too much to allow us to keep messing up. Hebrews 12:5-6 says, “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives’” (NKJ). No, we don’t like being “checked,” but God will do it because He’s our Father and that’s what fathers do. (If you’re not being checked by God, you might want to check your born-again birth certificate to see if you’re really one of His kids. Fathers discipline their own.)

So what should be our response to rebuke? Hebrews 12:12-13 makes that clear. “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed” (NKJ). Bottom line: straighten up. Limp wrists indicate weakness; straighten your wrists so your hands reach to do the right things. Feeble knees indicate admitting defeat; straighten up so you won’t surrender to sin. Crooked paths indicate traveling in the wrong direction; determine to follow God’s straight and narrow way.

Simply put: stop the wrong stuff you started; don’t start the wrong stuff you were getting ready to do. Accept God’s rebuke and straighten up.

________________________

©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website, and now also available on Kindle!

 

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~ by sanewriter on April 17, 2013.

3 Responses to “4/16: Straighten Up”

  1. Thank you VERY much for everything you send me. Warmly, Corinne Russian

  2. Amen! And again I say…Amen! Well said Sharon…..well said (and much needed). I especially like the part about the “chips” being shrapnel that can harm others.

    Sometimes weforget that our actions impact not only us but also others.

  3. Lord, bridle my tongue.

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