In the past, I always thought it was God’s love for me that he gave me material blessings and gave me family peace and fleshly enjoyment. Later, when I accepted the Almighty God’s end-time work, I thought that my being selected by God was God’s grace and uplifting for me and was God’s love for me. From God’s word I understood many truths and knew many mysteries, and I had the goal to pursue and the opportunity to be perfected by God; this was also God’s love for me. But I had never realized that God’s judgment, chastisement, smiting, and discipline are even more his love for me.
I remember that when I was a church leader, I always cared for my flesh and did not want to go around the church, feeling it was too tiring. But for the sake of my face and in order not to lag behind others, I had no choice but to go through the motions. Later, the life deacon got ill and could not go to the church, and all at once the heavy burden of the church fell on me alone. Accordingly, my disobedience came out. I thought, “If I get ill, won’t I also be able to take a rest? If I should get ill, let me be seriously ill. Otherwise, I would still have to go around the church.” Thus, I worked more and more perfunctorily and slipshodly, and did not seek any results at all. God is almighty and searches hearts and minds; no matter how crafty one is, he cannot escape God’s eyes. Two days later, I really fell ill and one of my arms ached as if it were broken. I took medicine and had injections, yet I did not feel any better. I heard others say that the ache in the arm was probably an early symptom of TB. It frightened me. I hastened to the hospital and took an X-ray examination, but the doctor said that I did not have any illness. Nevertheless, I suffered the same ache for three to four days. At that time, I did not realize that it was God’s discipline, even less did I know to examine my transgressions. I was only thinking to be cured. However, the more treatment I received, the more terribly it ached. Then, my family brother reminded me, saying, “Hasn’t God said that, when falling ill we should not merely undergo treatment but should first examine our transgressions?” Hearing his words, I suddenly thought of my doings in this period of time. I did not at all take the work of God’s family seriously but always cared for my flesh and indulged in ease. In order to have ease and avoid going around the church, I even expected I could get ill. Now, I received God’s discipline. Then I opened the book of God’s word: “God has saved you and has selected and predestined you, but if now you are not willing to satisfy God, not willing to practice the truth, and not willing to forsake your flesh with a heart of truly loving God, you will ruin yourself in the end, and you will suffer great pain.” “Man’s flesh is like a snake, which in essence harms man’s life. When your flesh fully has its way, it will be the time you ruin your life.” God’s words of reminding caused me to realize that I was in great danger. If it were not for God’s timely discipline, I would fall into the trap of satan and be devoured by it. At the moment, either regretful or grateful, I could not restrain my tears. I knelt down before God: “O God, I know that this illness is your exposing and discipline to me, and even more your salvation for me. God, you love me so much, but I was so disobedient and conscienceless that I did not treasure the commission you have given me. From now on, I will not care for my flesh anymore. Whatever duty I perform and however painful and tiring it may be, I will cooperate with you and care for your will.” Then, I continued to go around the church enduring the ache. From that day on, the aching in my arm gradually dulled. And without undergoing much treatment I got well.
Through this discipline, I realized that God’s nature is really intolerant of man’s offense. But even more, God’s discipline made me realize that God’s chastisement, judgment, smiting, and discipline are great love for me.
Bozhou City, Anhui Province