A Chastening Love
Old and New Testament alike speak of the “chastening of the Lord.” From Proverbs 3 to Hebrews 12, we are told not to “despise” that chastening, that instruction, that correction that comes from God.
From the Greek word, paideuo, chasten means to “train, to mold, to discipline.” The love of God is not benign, but one that seeks our best interests. Just as a loving father chastens his child, so our loving God chastens, trains us, motivated by His matchless love, “for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness,” Hebrews 12:10.
A Demanding Love
It would be a terrible mistake for us to think that God loves us so much that He expects nothing from us. It is true that He needs nothing from us, Psalm 50:9-12, but since His very nature is love, 1 John 4:8, we learn much about love just by observing His actions.
His love is a demanding love in that it expects our love in return.
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous,”
1 John 5:2-3.
Note that these commandments of God are “not grievous,” they are not burdensome, but are the ‘precepts’ of God; rules for our good. Jesus made it clear that being His disciple would require major changes in a person’s life, a loyalty to Him that transcends even the family relationship, Matthew 10:37; 19:3-30.
On this subject, Jesus informed His apostles that for them truly to love Him, they must “keep my commandments,” John 14:15, 24. Therefore, it will never be enough to “talk the talk” about Jesus, but we must also “walk the walk.”
An unknown author penned the following words about God’s love:
We can only see a little of the ocean,
A few miles distance from the rocky shore;
But out there, beyond, beyond the horizon,
There’s more; There’s more.
We can see a little of God’s love;
A few rich treasures from His mighty store;
But out there, beyond our eye’s horizon,
There’s more; there’s more.
Yes, God’s love is a redeeming love, a calling love, an everlasting love, a chastening love and a demanding love. And whatever we see of it in our lives, we can be assured that there is more—much, much more.