“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Proverbs 3:11-12
The story of the prodigal son is one of the most wonderful pictures of the relationship between God and his children in the entire Bible. The son who has squandered all his inheritance, who returns home hoping to become a hired hand, is welcomed back by His dad with open arms. He’s brought back into the family with a feast and celebration! He’s dressed with His father’s robes and the family ring. The son doesn’t have to work his way into the family, but is freely loved.
Some say that the story has been wrongly named. It’s not really the story of the prodigal son, but the story should be named something like “the Loving Father.” Your father in Heaven loves you like that too! He wants you to know that any discipline that comes your way is always done out of His never ending love.
His love is known most clearly in this, while we were still sinner Christ died for us. And, for God so loved the world that he sent his only son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but to save them. These paraphrases of Romans and John help to remind us that the most vital thing that we can hear from God today is, “I love you.” When we know His love, all the discipline is put into its proper context. God does love you, and He delights that you are His child!