Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blessings or correction? Joel 2:14
Joel 2:14
"Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the LORD your God as before."
God has a plan for everything. We may not appreciate it at the time, but God will even use correction to take us to that next step in ministry. Like children, we all end up straying out of line from time to time. Whether we grow weary from the fight or simply lose sight of Christ, we can fall into error. This is where loving correction is important.
God's desire for correction is to restore us into right standing with Him. This should also be our motivation when we approach brothers and sisters in Christ. Our desire is to see them blessed as they walk in obedience. When we correct without a true desire to see the person restored, we can come across bitter or judgmental and end up driving that person further from Christ. When we walk in humility and approach them with loving concern and a gentle spirit, we will often find them open to what you have to say. Whenever you find yourself faced with the task of correction, pray often and trust the Lord to work through you.
Life Lesson: Correction without restoration will leave your mission unfulfilled in purpose.
Dear God,
Thank You for Your correction in times when I have lost sight of You. Help me to correct others with wisdom and gentleness. Use me as a tool to bring restoration to those who need help along the way. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee @ Cross the Bridge Ministries
My Comments: Raising my children was a process in learning how to correct without sounding judgemental. Can you relate? We have had 12 children and when they were younger it was easier to be the disciplinarian rather than one who took the time to explain. Correction was firm, even without spanking which I did more with the older ones and less as more children came along and I learned new ways. Thank God we do not have to go through years of His learning how to correct us without harshness as some parents or bosses can do. And sometimes even best friends or colleagues or even people at church can do the same thing; correct with out the sound of or feeling of love. We all know how we react when someone talks to us with out love or a caring attitude. We put up the stone wall. Right?
Well, children do as well and we as the children of God do the same, yet often our Abba will try and try and try and we will not respond or discontinue the behavior He is trying to get us to stop doing. So finally He has to do something to shake us up. Hopefully we do not have to go that far. Yet I have gone that far in my life and have not liked the consequences. Have you?
When I am listening well I receive the blessing of my heavenly Father smiling on me. I love those moments and strive to have them often in my life. Yet it is easy to get complacent. Remember King David in the Bible? He was following the Lord and striving to please Him then King David decided he would stay home while his troops took care of things and he committed adultery and murder and because of that his people were hurt and so was his family. Heavy consequences yet they brought King David back to a right relationship with the God of the Universe. Then God was able to continue blessing him. When we need  correction hopefully it will not be so hard on everyone in our lives yet it could be if we are leaders in God's church or leaders of a family.
Now I have to use my learned behaviors of correction with my adult children and my Grandchildren and when I am doing it well the results are pleasant. Yet I know it is not what is important to me that matters. It is only important to our Abba what is important and it is His correction they or we should listen to over anyone else. And I remember that if I do not take His correction quickly there will be a consequence I will not like.
Abba  we thank You for all Your tender mercies and for the corrections You have given us in our lives. We pray we will improve our listening and paying attention to what You are teaching us, quickly. We thank You for loving us enough to correct us when we go wayward from Your direction as found in Your Holy Word. Help us Father to be kind and loving when we are prompted by You to correct those in our lives. Help us to check ourselves to make sure we are not correcting because we think we have all the answers or are the one that is "right" and or have to have our way. Let us correct with Your loving words and with Your heart for whomever we are talking to. Thank You Father for increasing Your words in our hearts and our mouths so we may rely on Your word when we seek to help others. In the name of Jesus. Amen

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