Discernment – A Gift From His Spirit

Discernment

Discernment is a gift from God, delivered through his Spirit. Discernment is simply the ability to know what is right, or wrong, and that knowledge is delivered through His Spirit to His children, so that we may choose our own path through his gift of free will.

However, that can be problematic can it not? If one has not accepted Christ as their Savior, so that their sins can be forgiven, and receive the Gift of the Spirit, will they have the true power of discernment? If people do not receive the Spirit can they truly discern? Paul had something to say about that very subject:

1 Corinthians 14 (emphasis added)

“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”

I am often mocked and ridiculed, because I allow people to take advantage of me, or mock me, or steal from me, and in return I try to be kind to them. Many will ask why? Quite simply, can a person who commits sin, even a sin of conscious forethought truly know the repercussions of their actions?

Think about it a little more deeply. Here Paul is saying that if they do not have the Spirit within them they simply do not have the true power discernment that is within the Spirit, which is a gift from God! A child one time was playing with a glass on the kitchen table, knocked it off, and it broke. I said “Don’t worry about it” but the mother was frantic because her child broke my glass. In that situation, the child did not with consciousness of forethought make and execute a plan to break my property, she was simply playing with it on the table. This story shows the difference between an accident, intent (conscious forethought), and a lack of discernment if that person was an adult.

The key with discernment is you must feed your gift of the Spirit for it to grow. Many churches today preach the gospel of Salvation and nothing more. In order to grow in Christ, build your faith, and your Spirit, you must feed your spirit daily, even more than you feed your physical body. Or perhaps, you might consider asking yourself: “Which body do I care about more. The physical vessel that my spirit is currently living in, in this world, or my spiritual self that will live in Eternity with the father?”

It is so difficult for people to move beyond the physical trappings of this world; the sins of the flesh, the lust, the greed, envy, and spite. I wish I could communicate to them that this life was intentionally designed with a shelf-life. How long that will be is not up to us, but to God. You who are reading this, on your phone, tablet, or computer screen… can you feel your heart beating? If you place your hand over your sternum, can you feel the blood pumping in your body? What if it stopped… right now!

Are you ready? Are you ready for what comes next? Will God allow every single human being alive now to move on to the next life, or might there be a process to “ween the herd” so that only those that are willing to follow his desires may pass through into the next world.

Hebrews 4:12-13

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

Hey… if you read this far you might consider clicking “share” and “like” if you found the words useful… Would a “click” on Facebook be written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life?

Great Song: “Let Go” by Dewayne Woods :)

I heard a great song this evening while watching a sermon by John Gray. DeWayne Woods, an award winning singer came on stage and played “Let Go.” The lyrics say a great deal, in how we all cling to “things” in this life. We must have the newest gadget, toy, car, or clothes… we are literally tempted and seduced by commercials that we must have “that thing” and rush to amazon or a store to buy it. We spend a great deal of time “sprucing up” the vessel that is our physical bodies, yet spend little, if any time on that which is most important: our souls. As some of you know I faced death once, and it scared the living heck out of me. A friend said “If you know you are saved, why worry about death?” Quite simply, just because I am saved does not mean I am immune to fear, the unknown, or human failings.
 
Romans 6:26 tells us “…the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” With that knowledge I should be confident and comfortable with what comes next. After all death is the natural cycle of this life, in which “… the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
 
A few friends said why do you post things about Jesus on Facebook, aren’t you ashamed? Before I felt His spirit, I might have been a little bit because we all suffer from vanity of some form, a desire for approval from others. However, here is the thing. That moment when we all face judgement, God will not care what others think about our actions. He will know our hearts and why we chose to do what we did. If you know that God is real, and that actions you choose to take in your life are against his will (sin), and you consciously choose to take those actions you will have to face the consequences. Forgiveness is available for all who seek it, you simply must humble yourselves, and realize that if you want to live in peace beyond this life you need help to do it. That’s why I liked the song tonight. Here is the chorus:
 
As soon as I stop worrying,
Worrying how the story ends
I let go and I let God
Let God have His way
 
Have you ever thought about why Satan is so mad.. and evil? Pastor John Gray said something funny tonight. In context he said maybe Satan is mad because he made one mistake and got kicked out of heaven. Yet here we are, making mistakes each and every day of our lives, yet He sends His Son down to us, as a sacrifice for our sins, so that we may be forgiven and return home to him. We really are awfully lucky, aren’t we? Could any of us make it without forgiveness? ✝️🤠
 
I couldn’t find an actual music video of the song, but here is a version on youtube. If your heart has not yet hardened (hardening of the heart is when people can not open their hearts to the Truth about Jesus), this song may bring a tear or two to your eyes ❤️
 

Don’t Be Troubled….

Don’t be troubled….

The God who upholds the stars loves and supports his people. We all grow weary, tired, confused and even sometimes bereft of hope. It is important to remember that hope is never lost, because God knows those who are against you, and those who are for you. He flings stars into space, and walks through time as if it were a revolving door of convenience, because time can not constrain God, nor can gravity, evil, childish affectations, or Satan. The key to troubled times is to understand that all of our trials and tribulations serve a purpose, and we must accept His purpose as our purpose to be part of the plan. Never lose hope and faith, but build your faith and Trust in God, because once you are safely and firmly within His grasp, you will know that nothing on this earth could ever truly bring you harm, because His love is Hope Everlasting. Even Jacob became troubled, and remember Our God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

Isaiah 40:28-31

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Don’t let the troubles of this life bring you down, they are minuscule in the breadth of eternity. Pass the tests placed in your path, shrug off enemies as a minor inconvenience, because next to the power and love of our God, nothing can stand in your way. He is your rod, your staff, and your shield 

I Worry

I worry. Have you ever been in a crowded place like a movie theater, or stadium; and taken a moment to look around to realize that every single person you see is an individual human life? Each with their own thoughts, dreams, fears, joys, hopes, and more importantly, their own view on life. At the same time, each of those people will at some point face the end of their life. Then…. What will happen?

We all have our personal view of the purpose of this life. Why are we here? Are we here to trudge through each day going through the motions of living, or perhaps is there a chance that something else is involved?

The truth is that God is real. I was literally healed on the altar, and felt the touch of the Holy Spirit. I’ve always believed in God, but only once in my life felt the truly awesome, powerful, and wonderful touch of his presence. So why do I worry?

Our souls, our spirits are trapped within our physical bodies. We are influenced and tempted by the flesh. Most people will casually disregard these temptations as nothing more than folly, or joy in living. The reason they do this, is they have not felt the touch of the spirit, taken the time and effort to learn the truth, or accepted Christ as their savior. Sadly, even those that have accepted Christ and attend church regularly will often times yield to temptation, usually through self-validation, and consciously commit sins even when they know better. The good thing is Jesus knows our failings, and forgave us through his Blood at Calvary.  So why do I care?

Every life is an absolutely precious gift. Try not to disregard a stranger that crosses your path, as they could be an angel on earth, or a person in need. Have you ever been in need, alone, or suffering, and been walking around somewhere that people simply passed you by, and wished someone would say “are you O.K.”? How nice would it be if you took a moment to do that for someone else?

Take a moment each day of course to praise God, and not just tell him your problems, because he already knows what they are. Then, more importantly, take a part of your day to help a fellow human being. In this day of modern technologies, how many people wake up alone, live alone, and go to sleep alone each and every day? That is a horrible way to live, and no one deserves to spend a life like that.

Many people will have stopped reading by now, but if you have not, here is something to help you out. In this life that you and I are living, we are literally in bondage. Our souls are chained to our physical bodies because of the original sin, and these physical bodies are a constant source of temptation. If you glance at someone that you find physically attractive, are you tempted? Is that temptation pure? How about lying to make yourself look good? Or lying about something you did wrong, so other people will not look down about you. How about stealing because you could get away with it, or hurting someone’s feelings to make you feel good for a moment.

By accepting Christ as your savior, you can break the chains of bondage, but that is only the beginning. You must fill your soul with His Spirit by reading his word, learning his word, and living your life for Him. If you have attended a church and left because you did not feel welcome, that is O.K., find another. I’ve been to churches all across the country, and witnessed people that have attended for years pretending to live for Christ, while falling to unimaginable temptations. None of us are perfect, nor can we achieve perfection in this life, but we can try. Finding a good church that serves His needs, and Your needs is difficult. Don’t give up. Has your Pastor walked up to you and said: “How is your soul?” This is important in many ways. If your Pastor doesn’t ask, ask yourself, and just as important, ask a friend.

No human knows the absolute truth about this life, but it is quite possible that this is a one-shot deal. If it is, are you sure that you are ready for what comes next? I worry about myself, but I also worry about anyone that might be reading this.

Please don’t make the mistake of not seeking the truth; of striving for eternal salvation. Your chains CAN be broken. Accept Christ, learn his word, but more importantly live for Christ every single day. You will love yourself more if you do.

 

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Billy Graham would often quote this saying of Jim Elliot, to emphasize that people who live this life for this life, will risk losing eternity… One of the greatest stumbling blocks for men of this generation is the sin of pride. Believing that they know better than God, or that God is an a la carte amalgam of morals and values that they choose, instead of what God has decreed. I pray that everyone studies the Word for themselves, instead of relying upon teachers that may not have the leading of Christ, or desire to serve that they should, to elevate themselves to the position they hold.

James 4:14 states well and true: “…What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

Do not depend upon others to do what God has enabled you to do for yourselves. Admit your sins, accept Christ as the one true path to eternal salvation… then learn, live and breathe His Word. The more you read the Word the more your hearts will be opened, the greater the strength and influence His Spirit can have in your life.

Don’t let pride be a barrier to you and your salvation. Humble yourself before God, because you can not fool him, nor pay lip service when you are falling into the crevasse and expect salvation to be granted.  

–Patrick L. Francis

To Rebuke is to Love – Proverbs 27:5-6

Proverbs 27:5-6 spoke to me:

Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses.

In our politically correct society, people often say to only speak kind words to one another, and to never criticize each other. However here in Proverbs, Solomon, who was granted wisdom by God, says something entirely different. Those of us who were reared during the times of “tough love,” or when punishment was given for wrongdoings, can better understand Solomon’s intent with these passages than those who have been raised in different times.

“Open rebuke” in verse 5 is best defined as when someone provides honest criticism, or disapproval of the action of another. For example, historically one of my failings was the common use of vulgarity, because I spent a great deal of my life in a culture where that behavior was considered normal and accepted. While I have always believed in God, I never considered the use of “colorful metaphors” to be against God, until someone recommended that I research our Bible more deeply to see if perhaps there might be something contrary to my belief. So several years ago I did just that, and found that in the Book of Proverbs, our current reading assignment, there are 25 verse referencing our “mouth” in one form or another. Indeed Jesus himself said: “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Therefore the person who loved me enough to rebuke me, helped guide me closer to the path of righteousness!

This brings us to verse 6, which may not be as direct, or clearly understood as verse 5. Essentially what Solomon is saying here is that there is value in reproof. Let’s re-examine the verse again:

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Here “wounds from a friend” is referencing where someone loves you enough to correct you when you perform an action that is against the intent of God. Perhaps he could have stated it better something like this “A friend who corrects you out of love can be trusted.” If someone truly loved you, would they ignore your sins, or would they try to guide you back to the path of righteousness?

An “enemy multiplies kisses” is more obvious. This is something I have found over the years to be common among churches around the country. People will freely gossip behind your back, yet speak praise in front of you. This was one of Jesus’ pet peeves as is demonstrated throughout scripture.

One might round up the thoughts of Solomon in this manner: True friends understand that all are sinners, and attempt to keep one another on the path of righteousness, so that we all may celebrate His Glory together in the Eternal Kingdom!

Whoever Digs a Pit or Rolls a Stone – Synonymous Parallelism

Today I read Proverbs 26 for my daily reading, and within the chapter is an old literary device common to Hebrew Poetry of the time called “Synonymous Parallelism.” So I thought why not share a quick blurb on the idea! The words sound somewhat fancy, but really just mean to say the same thing in two successive lines in a different way. For example the word Synonymous means ‘to have the same meaning,’ and Parallelism means ‘juxtaposed’ or side-by-side.

Here is an example from our reading:

Proverbs 26:27:

Whoever digs a pit will fall into it;

if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.

These sayings may not mean much to us today, but were similes common to the time.

A simile is nothing more than a figure of speech where you compare one thing with another thing that is different in order to state your idea more clearly or with emphasis. Such as “Crazy like a Fox, or “Brave as a lion” – here [“Crazy” and “Fox”] or [“Brave” and “Lion”] have nothing to do with each other, but help express an idea more fully.. this is a simile.

It helps if we examine each line by itself, in the context of the author’s time.

  1. Why would someone “dig a pit?” Quite simply, to trap an animal, or person
  2. Why would someone “roll a stone?” Stones were rolled to great heights for primitive warfare, literally to drop on someone else.

So what Solomon is saying here, is that if a person works to do harm to another, or institute another form of mischief, the result will inevitably be punishment of themselves. Why? God is a God of justice, and he is always watching. At this time God already clearly decreed to love one another, and to not be foolish (ergo not heeding the His Word). Notice that much of Chapter 26 in proverbs discusses the idea of fools. Here is is simply expounding on the idea that if you are foolish, in trying or working to harm another, harm will inevitably befall you.

We could generally reword the ideas to something like this for ourselves:

Harm will only come to you, if you dig a pit to trap another.

Harm will only come to you if you roll a stone up a hill to drop it on someone else. (doesn’t make as much sense to us today, but you get the idea)

So if you plot or scheme to bring harm to someone else (this can take any form.. physical, mental, emotional, gossip etc..) since God sees everything, you will not escape his Judgment.

Some proverbs are more fun than others… but hopefully you found this tidbit interesting 🙂

Many Are Invited, But Few Are Chosen

I love how the Spirit still teaches me as I read the Word. Matthew 22:14 is often quoted, but rarely fully understood. Of course we can not comprehend God’s true meaning in this life. After the Parable of the Wedding Banquet Jesus says: “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” There is quite a lot in those few words aren’t there?

Jesus said: “Many are invited” [to the Kingdom of Heaven]. Important to note here is that He does not say “all.”

Jesus then said: “but few are chosen” [of those invited] to enter His Kingdom. This might make one consider, why invite someone, if they will not be chosen?

Answer: Free will.

God allows us to choose to submit to the qualities that He defines for acceptance to His Kingdom, however if we refuse and blatantly disregard his decrees, will we be one of the chosen? Can we live in this life without regard for the next? Can we consciously choose to disobey our God and expect to be allowed entry?

We are saved by Faith, but chosen through our works that demonstrate our acceptance of, dedication to, and involvement in the Kingdom of God. Krister Stendahl (New Testament Scholar died 2008) spoke well when he said “Man’s behavior indicates whether he is elect or not.” This is similar to how Jesus said “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles a person.”

It’s amazing how the Spirit can still surprise and inspire me after all these years… Of course our life in His Kingdom is eternal, so I’m just trying to live well now, so that I can make it through the door… Hopefully this little blurb might help you think a little too 

If Your Faith Is True, You Need Not Fear the “End Times.”

There are many who fear and / or preach the “end times,” but unfortunately fail to see the bigger picture, in that we each will face our own end time, as defined by God as he allows us to fulfill the number of our days. You know how people have stolen greatly from me in money, loyalty, property, and spirit, and I have allowed them to do so without fear of recompense, for that is what Jesus would want me to do. Jesus’ brother James said in his epistle “Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen in your life tomorrow. [What is secure in your life?] You are merely a vapor [like a puff of smoke or a wisp of steam from a cooking pot] that is visible for a little while and then vanishes [into thin air].” This life that we are all living is nothing but a wisp of vapor in the endless expanse of eternity, so we need not be concerned about building bunkers on earth, but instead, enforce our bunker of Christ through our Faith in Him. If our faith is true, we need not fear the “End Times,” but rather embrace them with open arms, for they signal his second coming that exemplifies the end of our suffering.  

How Can We Save Our Nation, and Ourselves?

Our country has been in a state of moral and ethical decline for many years now, and it has reached a point that people are becoming concerned about civil unrest at a level not seen for some time. Many ask why this could be so, and God has an answer in His Word:

2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV – if my people, who are called by my name,  will humble  themselves and pray and seek my face  and turn  from their wicked ways, then I will hear  from heaven, and I will forgive  their sin and will heal  their land..

The vast majority of people in our nation have lost their humility and love for God, believing that God should live to standards that they decree for Him, instead of what He has decreed for us. That is one of the problems with accepting the gift of Free Will; we have our free will, so we can choose not to obey and suffer the consequences. Here God lays down a simple rule, that for a nation to experience his blessing, (whether that nation be Solomon’s, Ezra’s, or our own) those who have been chosen to be His people must cease from their sins, turn from living lives of proud self-centeredness, pray to the Lord, and yield their desires to his Word and his will. Then, and only then, will he a grant heaven-sent revival.