The Bible is without error, and it says of itself,that it is profitable for practical truth to guide, reprove, fix, purify and equip you for ministry and every life challange. So why don’t I run to it practically on a daily basis to see what is says about my current life problems?
Truthfully I don’t like being reproved! Well, I’ve gotten used to it because ALL, yes, ALL scripture will reprove. I just think of it as my loving father’s tool to show me how much he loves me by giving me light spankings of truth from time to time, well sometimes not so light. So if I don’t like spankings?, Why don’t I examine myself in order to not need them. Like any loving parent he would prefer to have me guided with his eye and not have to spank.” I Corinthians 11;31
So where do I begin to search the scriptures?
First I write out what I want to know about the concern about the current life issue. Next I admit I lack wisdom, (that’s easy) James 1:5, brace myself to listen to truth I definitely will not like, and agree to agree with God no matter what he says.
Example: what does God say about spanking children?
Next, I think of any words that might be related to the question. In this case: discipline, admonishing, spanking, scourging, chastening, and punishment pop into mind.
Next I think of any stories in the bible that fit the question.
Now I go to work looking up the words and stories. It helps to have a concordance that uses words that I am familiar with. I was raised on the KJV and so am comfortable with words such as chastening, with the word not the actual chastening, you understand. It often helps to start with a concordance arranged by topic. Under DISCIPLINE I find in my topical concordance:
A Needed to:
1.produce understanding Proverbs 10 13
2.,Drive out foolishness Proverbs 22:15,
3. Deliver from Sheol Proverbs 23 13 &14,
4.Produce obedience Proverbs 19:18,
5. Develop reverence Hebrews 12: 8-10
1. Without anger Ephesians 6:4
2. In love Hebrews 12:5-7
Now I’m off to a good start. It is important to gather an overview of the subject before drawing conclusions. God hides his truth from superficial seekers by chopping it up and spreading it throughout the Word. He is very balanced and I must gather all the parts before I look at the overall picture.
I remember when my son asked me when he was about 3, “Do you love me Daddy?”
I naturally responded, “yes, very much, Son.” He then asked, “even when you spank me?”
I replied, “Especially then son.”
“What? You love to spank me?”
“No son. But that is what proves I love you so much, when I do what I don’t want to, but know will help you.”
1.sonship Proverbs 3.11-12
2.God’s love Deuteronomy 8.5
1. correct Jeremiah 24.5,6
2.prevent sin 2 Corinthians 12.7-9
3. bless Psalms 94.12,13
1.Penitence 2 Chronicles 6 24-31
2. Submission 2 Corinthians 12.7-10
Looking up individual words I find:
- DISCIPLINE Job 36. 10
- SPANKING : no verses, oh well! it is good to write out all the words we can think of and check. Remember we must dig for everlasting truth just as a gold miner digs for gold that perishes.
- SCOURGE, nothing, yes but look around nearby and you will find scourgeth with Hebrews 12.6 which applies.
- CHASTENING, there are 10 references, but look around, chasten has 6 chastenest 1 , chasteneth 5, chastisement 5,chastened 8 and chasten 6.
- PUNISH This word, as you study will clearly not apply to raising children.
Next I use a cross reference Bible which suggests verses that expand on the topic. There I find that God turns fathers’ hearts to the children and that a father is to raise his children in the nurture and guidance of the Lord and the Word and not to stir them up to rage.
Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Next I think of pertinent Bible stories that apply, such as what happened to Eli and his boys when he didn’t discipline them. King David’s children when they were not properly parented.
Now I review all the pieces and pull together a balanced report of what God says, I keep a humble, open mind aware that he will continue to reveal more and more from his infinite word as I grow and mature in life. Remember, HE IS and he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him. These thoughts are part of how I try to diligently seek him.
LORD HELP ME TO GO TO YOUR WORD AND REMEMBER THAT THERE WAYS THAT SEEM RIGHT BUT LEAD TO DEATH, AND THEN THERE ARE YOUR WAYS SPELLED OUT IN YOUR WORD THAT LEAD TO LIFE IN THE PRESENT AND FOREVER.