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← Lessons From the Lord's Loving Discipline - Mack Tomlinson

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Showing Revision 1 created 05/07/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. Could you describe a time in your life

  2. in which the Lord disciplined you?
  3. And you look back on that time
  4. with utter thankfulness for the fruit
  5. it yielded in your life?
  6. Mack: Well, the one thing
    that comes to my mind
  7. is what I kind of alluded to earlier.
  8. In about 1990,
  9. the church we were in had a split -
  10. a big division -
  11. and I was so discouraged in it.
  12. I was one of the pastors.
  13. And I was so discouraged
    in that experience
  14. that I withdrew.
  15. I did not take a stand
    of confronting people
  16. in a right way, in a loving way,
  17. but still confronting.
  18. I didn't know what to do.
  19. I was afraid.
  20. I had the fear of man,
  21. so I didn't respond right.
  22. And it caused me to
    move in discouragement.
  23. And I didn't realize at the time -
  24. I honestly didn't -
  25. but I think for ten years,
  26. the Lord kind of let that
    wilderness experience -
  27. I wasn't pastoring.
  28. We weren't even settled really.
  29. I worked.
  30. We had twins come along in 1992.
  31. And it was a very difficult time,
  32. because I couldn't
    get any clear direction.
  33. What does God want of me?
  34. And it was a refining time
  35. of loving discipline.
  36. And I don't fully know
    why it took ten years.
  37. Maybe it wasn't even ten years,
  38. but that was a time I was
    truly disciplined by the Lord.
  39. Discipline is loving correction
  40. to make us more fruitful.
  41. It's not punishment, right?
  42. So, I learned huge lessons
  43. in retrospect that I should have done this
  44. as a pastor.
  45. If I would have done this,
  46. I would have protected
    those believers more.
  47. If I had been courageous to say,
  48. "Brother, I disagree,
  49. and what you're doing is wrong
  50. because it's affecting others
  51. and you're being selfish in this."
  52. Saying things like that
    when I should have,
  53. but I didn't have the courage to,
  54. I learned so much through that
  55. as a discipline from the Lord.
  56. And it's borne fruit in my life
  57. to take a stand when I need to;
  58. to see truth is on trial here,
  59. and people are going
    to be affected by this
  60. if I don't respond in love,
  61. but still respond,
  62. so I've got to.
  63. And that was a big hard discipline,
  64. but that's the biggest one I can remember
  65. in my own life.
  66. Now, for the present,
  67. discipline is not joyful.
  68. It's grievous.
  69. It's hard to go through it.
  70. But, it's John 15 -
  71. He disciplines and prunes us
  72. because we are bearing fruit.
  73. Then we'll bear more fruit.
  74. James: So after that season of ten years,
  75. is that when you ended up back in Denton
  76. and the church started up again?
  77. Mack: Well, not the same church,
  78. but yes, we moved back to Denton in 1998.
  79. So it wasn't a full ten years,
  80. but it seemed like an eternity almost.
  81. So we came back because
  82. what came to me clearly was
  83. it was like God had shown me in my heart,
  84. I left where I was
  85. out of discouragement without direction
  86. to go to something positive
  87. and clear and specific.
  88. And so, it's always wrong
  89. to make decisions and choices
  90. out of discouragement.
  91. You'll almost always make a mistake.
  92. It's like marrying on the rebound
  93. four months later,
  94. and you realize,
  95. oh man, what did I do?
  96. You know people who do that.
  97. So we came back to Denton in 1998.
  98. (Incomplete thought)
  99. I truly had matured
  100. I honestly feel like.
  101. And I had been preaching since 1975,
  102. and now it was '98.
  103. I honestly believe I was now
  104. prepared enough to truly preach
  105. and help somebody.
  106. I mean, I don't know how to
    say it any more than that.
  107. My spirit had matured.
  108. God had developed patience in me.
  109. He had given me a pastor's heart.
  110. He let me learn how to view issues
  111. in a right and wrong way.
  112. How to give answers about assurance
    of salvation when somebody comes.
  113. How to help them analyze it.
  114. He gave me a pastor's heart.
  115. But if I hadn't been through
    what I'd gone through
  116. in those years in the 1990's,
  117. I wouldn't have been near as equipped.
  118. So I praise God now for the fruit of it.
  119. I wouldn't want to go through it again.
  120. It's like open heart surgery.
  121. Praise God for that surgery!
  122. Lord, may it never be again.
  123. But when you can have it,
  124. you've got to have it to save your life.
  125. You're thankful for it
  126. and you're thankful for the surgeon.