Thomasville Times Enterprise

Faith & values

June 5, 2014

Enduring discipline

THOMASVILLE — I think over the years I have heard just about every excuse possible, using quite a few of them myself, justifying sin and a defeated lifestyle. I have watched many people continue to make poor choices that have affected their lives is a very negative way.

I have even heard people who use  the “grace” message to justify living a life that does not reflect the true nature that Jesus has placed within us, when we are born-again.

I was reading one of my favorite passages this week, Philippians 2 in the New Living Translation.  Verses 12-13 state:  “Dearest friends, you were always so careful to follow my instructions when I was with you.  And now that I am away you must even be more careful to put into action God's saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.  For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him.”  What an encouraging scripture.

If we will allow Him, He will not only empower us to live victoriously, but also give us the desire to live godly lives.

There were several seasons in my life where I loved my sinful lifestyle more than I loved pleasing Him.  One was before I was saved, but I also had several times of compromise, where I deliberately chose to “do my own thing” after my conversion.  I wanted to “have it my way” or really I wanted to call myself a Christian but live like a devil, doing what ever felt good and pleased my flesh.

As I have grown in my faith, I can truly say, that is no longer true, nor even a temptation.  I love to please the Lord and desire to honor Him with my life in every way that I can.

Am I doing it perfectly?  I wish I was, but I still have much room for improvement. But that scripture in Philippians has become a reality.

I want to encourage you today.  Obeying God does not need to be a drudgery.  It is not meant to make you miserable.

I have shared a wonderful allegory in the past about two young colts out in the pasture.  They were young and they were free.  One day the king's men came to take them to the court stables to be trained for service.

One of the young colts submitted to the discipline and the confinement.  The other colt escaped the confines and went back to his freedom.

Six months later, there had been a drought and there was no grass for the colt who chose his freedom.  He was literally starving when he saw a stately entourage that included some of the most beautiful, well fed horses he had ever seen.  Amongst them was his fellow colt, who had finished his time of training and discipline and was now in the king's royal service.  That colt had no worries about where his provision came from.  He had the honor of pulling the king's carriage.  Yes, he had to endure the discipline that made him into a steed that was worthy to pull the king, but it was well worth it!

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