For Whom the Lord Loves He Reproves
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
“My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me.” That pull on your heart that comes over you once in a while reminding you that you need to spend more time with God, praying and reading His word – this is the voice of Jesus to your soul. Jesus says that you will hear His voice. Gently He continues to remind us to spend time with Him and to let go of the distractions that keep us from doing so. However, it is the second part that is the most important for us to take note of. “They will follow Me.” Not only does Jesus irresistibly call us, but following Him is the necessary step He has given us to do.
To follow Jesus first leads us through the path of letting go of all our sinful pursuits. This is a challenging step that requires self-denial and much time with God to overcome. But everyday we have to get up with a fresh determination that we desire to leave the old way of life behind. If we look back and desire those things again we lose a lot of ground and our walk with Jesus becomes painful instead of joyful because our hearts have become divided between love for God and love for the world. To enjoy our life with Christ we must truly let go of those old desires. We cannot walk in the fullness of joy as Jesus has promised for us if our hearts are not fully His. We must let go of sin.
Now if you struggle with this and cannot let go of some particular sin in your life, do not despair. Jesus has given us another promise, one that takes over when we can’t let go of certain sins. It is called discipline. Jesus says that no one will be able to snatch us from His Father’s hand which means that He will step in and help us to overcome our weaknesses. So we can expect hardships and painful experiences to come upon us until we let go of those sins we have been holding onto. God will not leave us in our sinful pleasures. He will be faithful to purify us from them because those things will not be in Heaven and if we cannot let go of them now we will not be able to let go of them in Heaven. Proverbs 3:11-13 says it well. “My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord, or loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father, the son in whom he delights.” So if you have weaknesses in your life that you are allowing to remain there, God will send discipline to remove it. It is part of His loving commitment to preserve your soul for eternity. It is also the greatest blessing, for when we let those sins go a joy and excitement will come flooding into our hearts that is almost inexpressible and to wonderful to describe, for we are at peace with God and have let go of the things that were bringing ruin upon our lives and upon our households.
Take a moment to read Psalm 119: 97-104. David is talking about the beauty of obeying God’s commandments. Here is an excerpt from it. “Oh how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies.” God’s commandments make us wiser than our enemy and all of his sinful desires that he tries to fill our lives with. And God’s discipline gives us the fear of God that we need in order to stay away from them. In keeping His commandments there is a great reward! Our lives will not self-destruct, but will become fruitful and a blessing to many people.
Oh let us give heed to Jesus’ voice and follow Him with our whole heart! That we shall never perish but have eternal life!