Revelation 3:19: Jesus says, “Those whom I love I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” When you look at these two chapters, Revelation two and three, as Jesus speaks to different churches, you see him commending churches for different things, but then you also see him disciplining and rebuking churches for different things, for the ways they are compromising in holiness, for the ways they are being silent with the gospel, and he’s calling them to press in, even when it’s hard. In the first century, as they’re facing all kinds of pressure and persecution around them, he’s calling them to trust in him, to not compromise with the world, to follow him, to proclaim him. And then you get to the very end of this chapter, Revelation three, and he says, “I love you so much that I am reproving and disciplining you, so be zealous and repent.” This is where we know, we know that discipline is a picture of love. And Hebrews talks about, none of us likes discipline.
We welcome God’s discipline and reproof in our lives as evidence of His love for us.
My kids don’t like discipline, but it’s something I do as their dad because I love them. When I see them going in the wrong direction, when I see my child running out in the middle of the road and there’s a car coming, then there’s gonna be discipline. Why? Because I love them, because I want them to see that’s not good. For us to see the love of God in our lives in this way for us today, even to think, “Lord, where am I wandering from your Word? Where am I running from your Word? Where am I in disobedience to You? Where is my heart not pleasing to You?” To ask Him that and to ask God in love to show us, open our eyes to areas of our lives where we need to be reproved, where we need to be disciplined, and to welcome that as evidence of God’s love for us. He loves us so much that he will not let us wander into sin. He will not leave us in our sin. He pulls us away from it. That pulling is not always easy or welcome, in a sense.
Oftentimes it’s painful, and it’s certainly convicting and humbling, but oh, we need this disciplining and reproving love of God in our lives, and this is why Jesus says, “So be zealous and repent. I love you. Turn from your sin.” And we pray, “God help us. God help us not to compromise when it comes to our faith. Help us not to toy with sin in our lives. God, we pray that today, even now, You would reveal areas of our lives, our thoughts, our desires, our words, our actions, the things we are doing, things we’re not doing that you’ve called us to do. God, open our eyes to any areas where we are running out in the road, so to speak, where we are walking in disobedience to you. And we pray you’d pull us back, pull us back, open our eyes to our sin, grant us grace, we pray, in conviction over that sin and sorrow for that sin, and help us to turn from it. We pray you’d help us to be zealous and repent. Help us to walk in obedience to you. Help us to think like you think, Lord Jesus, to desire what You desire, to love like You love.
We pray for the fruit of Your Spirit to be evident in our loves, love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness and gentleness and self control. We pray that you would use us to share the gospel. God, we want to live lives that bring honor and glory to Your name, that experience Your love on a daily basis as we’re walking in obedience to Your commands, so help us, help us, help us, we pray, to be zealous in repentance and to receive your reproof and discipline in our lives. God, keep us from pride. Give us humility that receives Your loving discipline of us. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.