Biblical Discernment – Missing In Action? (part 1)

Biblical Discernment – Missing In Action?  (part 1)

Why does this even matter today? 

 Isn’t Being Happy the most important thing in life?
      “ . . . Don't Worry, be Happy . . . ”
 
Well, let me ask you a question…
    Have you ever made a decision or had to make a choice?
If so, what concepts, ideas, ideals, and/or thinking did you use?
 
More than likely you used some sort of structured thinking based upon some sort of beliefs, ideals, ideology, experience, “how you were raised”, etc.
 
Well, let me ask you another related question…
    Have you ever made a BAD decision and suffered for it?
If so, welcome to the human race.
 
A Bible Study on Biblical Discernment is not very popular these days.  Of course, if one wants to be popular, being a SOLA SCRIPTURA, Biblical Disciple of Jesus Christ would not be what you would want to be either.
 
But I think that every follower of Christ, including myself, desparately needs Biblically-based, Holy Spirit-empowered Discernment.
 
When making Decisions in Life, as humans, no matter who we are and no matter what situation we might find ourselves in, we all, yes, we all, use some sort of “structured thinking” to “discern” or “judge” or “decide” what to do or what our decision will be.  So, let’s call that: “authority”. We draw upon some sort of an “authority” of thought, ideology, idea, or ideology that we believe to be true and correct to make our decisions. 
 
How we live, how we relate to others around us, how we work, and how we view the world, its origins and its destiny along with our own personal destiny, all are based upon these collection of beliefs we personally hold to.  We may say we hold to a certain set of beliefs, such as a Statement of Faith of our Church or some religious organization, but what we really hold to, what our real beliefs are, they are all displayed in the tracks of our life by our patterns of decisions we each make as we live our lives. And yes, all of us are imperfect.  But, do we want to stay where we are at?  Don’t we each want to improve, to grow, to be more like Jesus Christ?
 
What “Authority” should we use?
If you are a Christian, then the normal, “pat” answer is the Bible.  And of course that is correct.   Let’s look at Ephesians 4:14 (context: Ephesians 4:11-16):

“(11) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, (12) for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, (13) till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; (14) that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, (15) but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ — (16) from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

 
It is very clear that God wants His People to have Discernment, which is the central responsibility of pastoral leadership as they equip Jesus’ disciples within local churches. It is fully and soley based upon Holy Scripture and it is supposed to protect us from the schemes of the devil and of evil people.
 
Have you ever met anyone evil that sought to deceive you, who at first seemed to be good and nice? Well, God has provided protection for us in His Word that supplies biblically-based, Holy Spirit-empowered wisdom that we need in those cases.
 
Has your Biblical Discernment “meter” become more sensitive as you are growing in Jesus Christ? What are some ways you can improve that “meter’s” sensitivity?
 
Do you think Biblical Discernment is being taught effectively and fruitfully from the pulpits of churches around the world on a normal basis?
 
I would be interested in any of your comments regarding this subject as we go through this series.

Please tune in next time for the next installment in this series:
      Biblical Discernment – Missing In Action?

Live like you mean it, for Yahweh’s Sake,

God Bless,

 
Pastor Andy Thomas
  PastorAndy@newlifefellowship.us
  https://simplybiblical.wordpress.com
  http://twitter.com/simplybiblical
  http://facebook.com/simplybiblical

Are you Royalty? Proverbs 25:2

Are you Royalty? Proverbs 25:2

Proverbs 25:2 states a fact about God.  It is the normal, every-day duty and passion of Royalty to search out the hidden treasures of God.  Are you Royalty?

Most folks who read God’s Holy Word, casually, miss the valuable nuggets God has strategically hidden within His Word.

Proverbs 25:2 states the following:
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but it is the glory of kings to search out a matter.

What is God saying here?  Well, it seems that there is more than meets the eye, or mind, than just the words on the paper or online (depending on how you read and study God’s Word).  I am not talking of “secret” knowledge that is not already resident within God’s Word, overall, but I am hinting at the deeper meanings, the deeper connections, the networking of God’s Word interpreting God’s Word as led by God’s Spirit.

Is God hinting at something here?  Does this mean that He intentionally HIDES some things, so that just the surface reading or some traditional understanding of various passages of Scripture just do not get to the bottom of what God wants us to understand?  I believe God is saying something to encourage us, to challenge us to RISE to the occasion and act like Royalty (e.g.: kings and queens… we being born-again, we are King’s kids, of  God, who is our KING)

Could it be that God has all we need for our walk and relationship with Him in His Word?  The concept of the Sufficiency of Scripture is not as much in vogue today, but it was the CRY of the Reformation, especially in parts of Northwest Europe.  In particular the Scots and other nearby tribes, as they loudly and yet faithfully clung to the concept of SOLA SCRIPTURE (i.e.: Scripture ONLY)!

Could it also be that God wants us to passionately study His Word, and understand His Word as He intended it when it was written through His Spirit moving through Holy men of old (please read 2 Peter 1:19-21 and 2 Timothy 3:16-4:4)?

If you remember or have read the Parables section within the Gospels within Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke  8 (i.e.: “the Synoptic Gospels”), you will notice that Jesus taught the people in parables by sea shore of  the Sea of Galilee.  It seemed that the crowds who gathered were in awe of this new Messiah.  They loved what He had to say.  To many He was kind of like a magician and maybe even a revolutionary.  Many Israelis were looking for someone to free them from the oppression of the Roman Empire.  It seemed like Jesus fit the bill.  But Jesus sounded more like a philosopher or a seminary professor instead of some military or political leader.  Yet, when Jesus was finished with His teaching with Parables, there were some in the crowd, namely His disciples, that stayed with Him and did not quickly disperse and go home.  Jesus mentions their “seeking for more” and encourages and compliments them on their deeper search —

Mark 4:11 – Jesus said to His disciples, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables”

 

Jesus continued to encourage His disciples with the following:

Matthew 13:

16  But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;
17  for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men
desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear,
and did not hear it.

 

Those who are outside only receive God’s Word as if it is just a collection of nice sayings or Parables… but to you, to the seeker, to the passionate student of God’s Holy Word, to the one in-love with God and His Holy Word… the Mysteries of God’s Kingdom are revealed.

Please PUSH-ON and discover all that God wants you to know of His Word so that you might live for Him more effectively and fruitfully for His Kingdom Purpose He has for you life.

Live like you mean it, for Yahweh’s Sake,

God Bless,

Pastor Andy Thomas
PastorAndy@NLFJI.org
http://NLFJI.org
https://simplybiblical.wordpress.com
http://twitter.com/simplybiblical
http://facebook.com/simplybiblical