For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11)
As Jesus carries His cross to Calvary, there’s a variety of responses to Him. Women pity Him, soldiers and religious leaders mock Him, and a criminal justifies Him, yet He is more concerned with them. He tells the mourning women to be weep for themselves and their children because of their impending doom; He prays for the forgiveness of the soldiers executing Him; He assures the criminal vindicating Him of his place in Paradise with Him that day! These responses are both good and bad, but Jesus doesn’t get caught up in any of it, He just stays faithful to the mission.
It’s all too easy for us to get off track in our walk with the King, isn’t it? We all know it. We encounter the false gospels of others, resistance and opposition that tempt us to self-consciousness, and even praise, which unknowingly tempts up to pride! The Gospel is what corrects faithfulness and keeps it on track; when we keep the main thing the main thing, we guard ourselves against going astray by the blessing of God’s correction and rebuke. We typically don’t consider rebuke or correction blessings. It’s been awhile since I’ve asked someone how they were doing and they joyfully responded “I’m so great, God is just disciplining me and it’s just amazing!” I’m not saying it doesn’t happen but, come on. The truth is, Jesus disciplines those He truly loves and gives His correction as a gift to His servants to keep them on the straight and narrow. (Revelation 3:19)
So the Gospel not only inspires faithfulness in us, not only upholds that faithfulness when times are hard, but keeps that faithfulness on the right track in the long haul. But how? Where do we encounter the Gospel that accomplishes such amazing things? The Gospel is the core storyline of the Bible, meaning God’s Word is where we find the inspiration, encouragement and correction necessary for a life dedicated to King Jesus! In Paul’s final letter to Timothy, he commands him to come before God as a servant who diligently studies and applies His Word, and to preach the inspired, all-sufficient Word at all times in spite of the deception and rejection of the truth in the Church. Paul knew that Timothy’s top priority as a leader and teacher in Christ was to keep the Word of God front and center in his own life, and the lives of those in his care, because the Gospel is what corrects and regulates our faith walk! (2 Tim. 2:14-4:5)
- It is so important that we keep the Gospel at the forefront of our lives. The Gospel generates, sustains, and guides faithfulness to Jesus! In the marathon that is our walk with God, His Word is what corrects us and keeps us from going astray! By keeping the first things first, we’re kept faithful and focused through anything that’s thrown at us, good or bad!
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness… (2 Timothy 3:16)