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Godly Discipline

The biggest rock concert of my generation was RockFest '97. It featured just about every popular rock band of the 90's. More than 400,000 people crammed into Fort Worth's Texas Motor Speedway. The Nixons, No Doubt, Matchbox 20, Jewel, Bush, The Counting Crows, and more took the stage as the sun blazed in the Texas summer. Growing up in a conservative Christian household in the 90's, going to a secular rock concert was taboo. I knew my parents would never let me go, but I wanted to go more than anything. I told my parents that some friends and I were going to Six Flags over Texas, an amusement park about 45 minutes away. I thought it was the perfect cover--we would still be outside (that would explain the sunburn), and we could be gone all day. 

As children of God, we don't get to sin and get away with it. In the book of Amos, Israel is prosperous and powerful. However, their hearts are not bent toward the Lord. They choose to disobey God’s commands and do as they please. Amos warns Israel that, “because they have rejected the law of the Lord and have not kept his decrees…” that God “will not turn away [His] wrath.” 

We learn in Amos that even though the Israelites were living large, God needed to discipline His people. He could not continue to allow them to destroy themselves. It’s precisely because He loves us so much and desires for us to be with Him for eternity that He cannot sit idly by and allow us to be turned over to our own devices. 

Just as my parents disciplined me for lying and going to a concert I knew they wouldn’t allow me to go to, God disciplines us to keep us from harming ourselves and others. He wants to refine us, to help us become more in His image. Discipline isn’t punishment—it’s teaching us how to be more Christ-like. 


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