I got kicked out the dormitory at the Bible College. It was the middle of my freshman year and I was just turning 18. I had the mind of grown adult – and the maturity of a child. I was the ringleader of three glorious pranks that, in hindsight, were all definitely childish, two were illegal, and one was just plain dangerous. The school administration declared, “Strike three, you’re out!” and I was literally told I was unfit to live in their dormitory.
My father got the call in the middle of the night to come get me. He had a solid and respected reputation on this small campus and was none too happy when he showed up the next morning to get me and my stuff. On the ride home (about 30 miles) dad explained the new rules of life:
- I would live in the camp trailer in the back yard
- He gave me a rural bus schedule in exchange for my car keys
- I provided a copy of my school schedule to mom so she would know when to expect me home after class – unless I called her and told her I would be on a later bus because I wanted to study in the library or play some volleyball with classmates
I hated my new situation and wondered why my father was being so uncaring, almost mean. I wanted to bail out and join the Navy right then. But my father would not let me so I endured the remainder of my freshman year under the embarrassing guidelines he had imposed. When I finally completed that tumultuous year of school, I again told dad I wanted to go into the Navy. Once again he said no. He was pleased that I had handled things as well as I had but he was not going to let me run from life until I had demonstrated I had actually matured some. So I finished one more year of school before I left for the military.
While it was horribly confusing and unpleasant at the time, I am forever thankful for the love my father demonstrated in my life by his discipline. I am sure it would have been much easier for him to just write me off and send me to sea. But he loved me too much to allow me to remain immature and deceived so he invested deeply into my life. I am the man I am today because of the loving discipline of my father.
This Sunday Pastor Dale is going to jump to the middle of John, chapter 2 and share a message about the time Jesus violently cleared the temple of those who had turned it into a market instead of a “house of prayer.” It may surprise you to know that Pastor specifically chose this portion of scripture about God’s discipline to lead us into the observation of the Lord’s Supper this Sunday.
In preparation for our time of study and the sharing of communion, let me encourage you to read the following verses:
- John 2:13-17 – the temple of God needed discipline
- 1 Corinthians 3:16 & 6:19 – a believer’s body is now the temple of God
- Hebrews 12:3-13 – sometimes the temple of God still needs discipline
- 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 – without His discipline believers can end up in big trouble
“Thank you, Father, for loving me enough to not leave me the way I am.”
“Lord, if you want to use me in any way today, I am available.”
Love God – Love Neighbor – Lead Others