Skip Navigation

The Discipline & Love of God

You may have a skewed view of how God the Father disciplines his children. We tend to think that the Lord punishes us and shames us for our mistakes. God disciplines us because he loves us. Believer, you’ve been adopted into the family of God through Jesus’ work on the cross. 

In this episode, Brody walks through Hebrews 12 and what discipline in the life of a believer looks like. Let’s consider the different forms and methods of God’s discipline in our lives.


  • Hebrews 12:5-13

Brody’s Notes on God’s Discipline & Love

Here are Brody’s notes from this NSR episode. We hope they are helpful!

Hebrews 12:5-13

When i was a kid I got in trouble about the same amount as any kid. My family home used “spankings”, which we affectionately called “whoopins” to refer to discipline.  For most of my life, when I thought of the discipline of the Lord, I thought of punishment. 

Sometimes God uses correction to change the behavior of his children, but the idea of discipline is so much bigger than that.

Different forms and methods of God’s discipline in my life:

  • Conviction in my heart to live or act according to what God desires from me.  This is where we have talked about the presence of the Holy Spirit. 
  • Discipline is also me carrying out obedience to God’s Word.  
  • Friends in my life who love Jesus and love me are agents of God’s discipline when they help me along in my Christian walk. This is why it is so important to have Christian friends who love Jesus and love me. 
  • Sometimes discipline is correction, or chastening that comes as a consequence to my disobedient actions. 
  • Sometimes consequences linger. But grace has a backbone. 

Verse 5-13

Warning against two wrong reactions to the discipline of the Lord:

1. Don’t regard God’s discipline lightly — This is failing to recognize the hand of God’s discipline, or recognizing it but not fearing the Lord or caring about his discipline.

Examples would be: 

  1. Ignoring conviction.  
  2. Rejecting the loving confrontation from faithful brothers, sisters and student ministry leaders.  
  3. Ignoring the stern hand of discipline.

Result & effect:  This will create a shallow understanding of the Lord and relationship to him.  And it is dangerous because the proper fear of the Lord not only grows me in wisdom, but also keeps me from evil.

2. Don’t be weary — This is being overwhelmed by the hand of God’s discipline, and becoming afraid of the Lord in an unhealthy way.  This is much the way a child who is abused is afraid of the abusive father. 

Result & effect:  Live with an unhealthy view and fear of God that pushes him away, rather than draws me to him. 

Why does God discipline us?

The short answer is; out of love and delight.  But let’s unpack this a bit more. Verses 6-12:

  • Love and acceptance – Vs. 6

Discipline is not for:

  • Revenge
  • Retribution
  • Humiliation

Discipline should not cause:

  • Frustration
  • Discouragement

What discipline is for:

  • Legitimacy. — Verses 7-8
  • To bring honor and respect to God. — Verse 9. This is the greatest and most fulfilling thing I can do in my life. This will give me great joy and purpose.
  • To make me more like Jesus.  This is called sanctification. — Verse 10
  • To bear fruit, which means to do good works that glorify God and help other people. — Verse 11
  • To be stronger! — Verse 12
  • Restore what is broken. — Verse 13 

Ultimately, God wants me to be more like Jesus.  This will bring me joy and purpose, and will make me stronger in this life.  I need all of these, and the discipline of the Lord brings them about.  

April 17, 2023

Subscribe for Updates