The first day, I was eager as I read a passage of instruction. I took out that orange pencil and underlined. I continued to read, and then found myself quickly grabbing for the purple pencil – underlining the passage that followed instruction. For weeks, this pattern continued. A passage of instruction followed by a sweet promise.
What an amazing Father we have.
He didn’t just give rules and rules – He gave us warning, instruction, wisdom and then explained why and our reward if we live by that instruction.
He is a Father that doesn’t reply, “Because I said so!” He is a Father that gives faithful instruction and follows it with love, comfort and a promise. Just like the parent I want to be that doesn’t just yell instruction to my daughter, but explains it is because I love her and if she obeys, she will blessed.
So much of the time we choose just to see the rules. We complain. We grumble.
As children, this is very common. It takes a long time for them to see the reason for rules. The love that encompasses it.
“Oh, my mom probably wants me to come home by curfew not to be MEAN but because she LOVES me and wants me to be safe.” I remember choosing the mean option far too often until I was an adult and now a mother, I could see the why.
And some children never see this, and then they turn into adults that continue to hold a grudge against God’s rules and life’s rules.
But God is our ultimate Father, our Guide, our Example. Even when I say, “No. That is wrong.” to Audrey, my heart is filled with love and a thriving goal to guide her and protect her. Like God does for us, I try to sit down and explain the why, the promise that follows the instruction I give to her.
I challenge you: If you feel like our God is a God of a bunch of rules, a mean God who requires us to obey – get out that purple pencil! Or just do it anyway, because your heart, like mine, will be refreshed and filled with joy to see those promises light up purple, and begin covering His Word.
Yes, He gives us instruction, but it is followed by the most amazing promises that are for our own good. He is a Father who wants to take care of us.
“…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
“Let your gentleness be evident to all…Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7
“…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things…And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36
“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
“Honor the Lord with your wealth with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10