Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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From a message written by Sister Ashley.
Lately, it has been stressed that we need to know why we are here, and know that this way of life is what we want. Of course, this makes you go through a period where you “check” yourself. Asking God how you're doing, if anything needs fixing, etc. A friend of mine had the best testimony the other week, and in it she was saying she had been going through a time like that. She was wondering if in her heart she was 100% for God’s way of life. And she said the Spirit reminded her of everything she has gone through in the past year or so, and how she gave up something that she'd always wanted, marriage and a family, because the man she was married to didn't want God anymore and was very abusive, physically and mentally. But she didn't have to keep loving God. He was showing her that she did have a heart to do what is right, and that she showed it by the life she chose to continue living.
Well, last week, I was going through the same thing, asking God if I really had a heart for him, and the same thing happened. I started remembering everything that I have gone through this past year. I lost my father, brother, and my mother to this world, but I hung in there, by the grace of God. And then He blessed me beyond what I could have imagined. During this past year, I have been scourged to the bone by God, and I was thinking about that, and I was reminded of a conversation with Token a few months back. I was very sick, and she came to see me. She was rubbing my head and said, “God sure does love you.” I looked at her, kind of wondering where that came from, and she reminded me of the scriptures in the bible referring to God chastening those He loves. And when you think of that, what love it is! Not that it feels good to be chastened at the time, but afterwards, the cleanness and the love in it overwhelm the rest. Here are the scriptures that I found referring to the love of God's chastisement, from such great men as John, Paul, Job, and David (you can tell that they had their share, but loved God for it):
Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects: therefore despise not the chastening of the Almighty (Job 5:17).
Blessed is the man whom you chasten, O LORD, and teach out of your law (Ps. 94:12).
The Lord has chastened me sore: but He has not given me over unto death (Ps. 118:18).
For whom the Lord loves, He chastens, and He scourges every son whom He receives. (Heb. 12:6)
Now, no discipline at the time seems joyous, but grievous; however, afterward, it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness in those who have been trained by it (Heb. 12:11).
But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we be not condemned along with the world (1Cor. 11:32).
As many as I hold dear, I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous, therefore, and repent! (Rev. 3:19).