God's Discipline and Love. The Teacup

Reflection on God’s Discipline and Love  - The Teacup.
Pastor Scott T. Arnold – FBCLA 

      “Endurance and Refinement
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline —then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  (Hebrews 12:7-11 NIV)
       Carolyn Burnett was a retired elementary teacher in the First Baptist Church of Battle Creek, MI, where I served as pastor.  Each week she wrote one or two Haiku poems from my sermons, what a treasure when she handed me a volume of her poems upon my departure as pastor! Once, when the church was going through some hardships, she shared a story with me. 
     “Once there was a potter who made a beautiful ceramic teacup, fashioned carefully upon the wheel. He put the teacup in the furnace to harden the soft clay.  The little teacup cried, “It’s too hot in here, take me out.” After a while, the potter took the teacup out and then painted it carefully and put it back in the kiln to fire it some more. The teacup cried again, “Take me out of here this is too hot.” Again, the potter painted another two layers and colors and final finish. Each time the teacup cried out.  Finally, the potter held his finished teacup and exclaimed: “Through my hands and through the fire, this teacup is the most beautiful and useful thing I have made.” The teacup was filled with joy and was tempered to handle the hot delicious tea.”  
    My friends, we are going through the trials and refinement of life in preparation for God’s Kingdom that is emerging and coming. The Corona Virus pandemic will reveal people’s hearts and willingness to be humble and learn or be stubborn to not learn from discipline.  God wants to teach us faith and reliance upon Him, and discipline in becoming Holy children, refined, and set apart, transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit.  In these days, may we trust in the wisdom and power of God, and not in our own strength or limited knowledge.  The writer of Hebrews gave the early believers this instruction:
12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.  (Hebrews 12:12-13 NIV)
Pastor Scott T. Arnold

No Comments