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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hard and Soft (04/23/09)

TITLE: Balancing discipline and grace
By Jeffrey Baker
04/29/09


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I have been thinking a good deal about discipline lately, there is such a negative feeling to it, yet it is something we all need in our lives. John Locke (1632 – 1704) was an English political theorist who focused on the structure of governments. Locke believed that men are all rational and capable people but must compromise some of their beliefs in the interest of forming a government for the people. His thoughts and ideas would lead to the formation of the United States and the ideas of freedom.

In the post modern world we live in today, it has become common place for people to have their own idea of what is right and wrong and it is quite out of bounds for one person to place their standard of living on another. The Church today faces a struggle understanding the difference between law and grace? What is too hard and what is too soft?

It is sure that our salvation comes from Christ alone, in His work we are free from the law of sin and death, but while we will go to Heaven through faith in Christ, there is a life to be lead right here and now, one that can be filled with the blessing of God. Deuteronomy chapter 8 deserves a hard look for our generation, and the generations to come. Deuteronomy 8:7-9 (NIV) says, “For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.”

As I was searching through the scriptures I was confronted with a living God who desires to be in a real relationship with me. He is not a hard follower of rules; He has sacrificed His one and only son to prevent my sin from separating Him from me. But with that being true, there are natural laws in effect that if neglected will cause His blessing to move from my life, at least for a time while I realize what a great need I have for Him. It is God who has enabled me to write, to work with my hands, to love with my heart. All of my success in this world is because of the way He made me at the beginning and I know I am at my best when I am able to recognize Him and His actions in my life, in my hands, in my heart.

In seeking balance to the question of how much discipline should I have in my own life, the answer for me is often found in my attitude? Do I really trust God in the hard times, will I remain faithful in the desert, and will I trust Him during times of testing? Or will I take control wonder off on my own strength and fight my own battles? Dear Lord, please help me to always choose the path that leads to you, and God if I miss the mark, please draw me back. I place my freedom at the cross of Christ my heart is yours alone.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/05/09
Well-thought out devotional.
Yvonne Blake 05/06/09
Yes, there needs to be a balance.