"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
When I first read these verses I thought that they didn't have much to do with one another, and I was only going to use the second verse for the scripture of the day... however, with further thought, I think that they have a lot to with one another. Perhaps, when we sin... we are effectively shutting the door on God. We are telling him that we don't really want him here, and trying to close ourselves off from the emptiness and guilt that we have when God is absent in our lives. So, when we finally open that door back up... perhaps it will contain some guilt, perhaps we will feel chastened. I don't know about you, but seriously, the times that I have been seriously chastened by God were the times that I knew with absolute certainty that he was there... and that I wanted there to be nothing separating us. I think some chastisement is a good thing. I am taking this management class (yay, I know...) but anyway... last night we were talking about different management styles, and that there always has to be consequences as well as rewards, or people don't really know where they are. God is really good about letting us know exactly what we need to do to come home... and the toughest part for me has always been dealing with myself... my guilt, my self-doubt... not God. Even in the worst times, I know absolutely that he loves me, and that he wants me back... even though I don't really know why. Remember when people in the New Testament were complaining that Christ ate with sinners? I think that's exactly what God is offering us here... he says... okay, just let me in... and we'll reason together. :) we'll figure it out over lunch. And really... sometimes, there is no way you can figure it out alone. The first step is letting him back into your life and heart. Not necessarily painless... but who can talk to God without feeling the incredible love that he has for us? If he didn't care, he wouldn't even bother rebuking us, or trying to teach us the right way.