What We May Perceive As a Lack of Love May Actually be the Embodiment of It
In the book of Revelation, John shares a grand vision with an epic scope, far reaching and future focused. But before we get to that, God has some first-century messages for seven area churches. Three of these messages appear in the third chapter.
In John’s supernatural dream, amid the seventh message to the seventh church, the one in Laodicea, Jesus says “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent,” (Revelation 3:19, NIV).
We know Jesus and his Father are all about love. They love us. That’s why they made a way for us to hang out with them forever. Love sent Jesus to earth. Love sacrificed him for us. Love ushers us into heaven.
When I think of God’s love, I think of his mercy (not getting the bad things we do deserve) and his grace (getting the good things we don’t deserve). I like grace and mercy.
However, two things I don’t think about when I consider God’s love are rebuke and discipline. Yuck. Yet correction is part of love, too. Parents, discipline their children to keep them safe and healthy and to prepare them for adulthood.
So discipline, from both God and our parents, is a good thing. It’s an act of love.
When God rebukes and disciplines us, it’s because he loves us, not because he hates us, has given up on us, or is ignoring us. Correction is one way he expresses his love to us.
How should we respond to his rebuke and discipline?
Jesus explains that, too. With all sincerity (earnestness) we need to change our ways (repent).
I think this might be one way we can show God we love him.
Read more in Peter’s devotional Bible study, A New Heaven and a New Earth: 40 Practical Insights from John’s Book of Revelation.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.