The new covenant in Christ allows believers to relate to both God and others in peace and freedom.
Punishment refers to the consequences of breaking the law whereas discipline refers to correction. The goal of the former is merely to change the behavior of the one who has broken the law whereas the goal of the latter is to change the heart of the offender. In other words: punishment is merely corrective, whereas discipline is redemptive. God never merely punishes his children for their wrongdoing, He always disciplines with the goal of helping them grow to be more like His Son.
Read Hebrews 12:1-13:
- What is the difference between discipline and punishment?
- Why is it important that we seek to discipline our children rather than merely punish them?
- What is the relationship between God’s discipline and grace?
Read Hebrews 12:14-29:
- In what ways have past trials left you feeling feeble, dislocated, and in need of healing?
- Are there people in your life with whom you are reluctant to pursue peace? If so, why do you think that is?
- In what areas of your life do you find it most difficult to repent?
Read Hebrews 13:1-17:
- How does a person’s social standing affect the way others treat him or her?
- What guidelines for security and contentment in God does this passage present?
- Who is someone who has been in leadership over you that has influenced you? What was it about their character that made you want to follow them?
Taking it Home:
- What’s one area of your life you tend to get defensive about?
- Are there currently any roots of bitterness causing trouble in your life?
- What are some ways you can still honor your leaders even if you disagree with them?
Ways to Pray:
- Adoration: Praise God for his faithfulness and steadfast love towards us.
- Contrition: Ask forgiveness for any areas where you’ve not embraced the Lord’s discipline.
- Thankfulness: Thank God for the chance to relate to Him without hindrance and fear.
- Supplication: Ask God for grace to joyfully endure the hardships and trials you will face.
Additional Scriptures to Engage with this week:
- Psalm 28
- Jude 1
- Isaiah 5
- Psalm 30
- Isaiah 11
- Zechariah 12:10-13:1