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Next Steps

The following is a devotion from my message series 10 Steps to Freedom. I hope these devotionals help you experience lasting freedom in Jesus!

STEP THREE: day 3

Cultivate a relationship with your Heavenly Father

Just as we may have a twisted view of whether or not God truly loves us, we may have a corrupted view of what that love should look like. If God never acts in a way that we think is loving, it’s easy to imagine that God may in fact not love us at all. But perhaps it’s our view of what love looks like that needs to change. In the Old Testament, King Solomon wrote a book of proverbs (wise sayings) to his sons to help them grow wise and live a successful life. Here is part of what he wrote to his sons:

“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.Proverbs 3:11-12

If you have a child and you love them completely, that doesn’t mean that you give your child everything they ask for all the time, especially when what they ask for might be harmful to them. Sometimes disciplining your child is the most loving thing you can do for them. In the same way, many of the hardships you’ve gone through in life are not a sign of God’s anger or disappointment in you, they’re a sign that God loves you enough to rebuke and discipline you. And just as a good earthly father delights in his children, how much more so does your perfect, loving Heavenly Father delight in you? Let this truth sink deep into your soul until it shakes the very foundation of your relationship with God: your Heavenly Father loves you so much that He sent His only son to die for you when you did not deserve it. Your Father loves you!

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION

1. Have you ever experienced discipline or rebuke from a parent that you thought was harsh at the time but looking back you saw it as loving? If so, what was it?

2. If you have children, think about why you discipline them. Is it out of love, even if they misunderstand your motivations? Do you think you’ve ever misunderstood God’s motivations or His love for you in the past?

You can read other devotional entries for 10 Steps to Freedom here.

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