Category Archives: Discernment

Now I See

Now I See

Read Acts 9:13–19

Karen’s contact lens crumbled between her fingertips as she tried to clean it. The lens was just too brittle. For years, Karen had put off visiting her optometrist, now she had no choice. She needed replacements. Besides, her vision was already limited, especially when driving at night. The next day the doctor prescribed new contacts and Karen could see clearly again.

Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized (Acts 9:18).

Karen did not realize how cloudy her vision had become. Saul came to a similar revelation after receiving prayer from Ananias. Not only did his eyesight return, Saul’s spiritual perception improved too. The first thing he saw was his need for water baptism.

Water baptism is an open expression of our newfound faith in Christ. If we have passed from spiritual darkness into the light, then we should demonstrate that change to others. Baptism is a good start.

Thought for Today: There are two baptisms: The Holy Spirit imparts one; the church conducts the other.

—Charles Earl Harrel

God’s Word for Today © 2010 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

P.S. Both baptisms are important.

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Never Say . . .

Another encouraging post by Yamina from Faith, Love, Soul. And I agree with her: “When you least expect it, God will help you, He will restore you, He will send you the people meant to help you through your journey.” So . . . Never Say [Never].

FAITH | LOVE | SOUL

Never say that all the flowers are dead, the winter has killed them, they are gone.

No!  Although the winter has covered them with a white coat of snow, in the spring they will begin to sprout again and blossom even brighter than before.

pexels-photo-458923.jpg

Never say the sun is not there just because the clouds have hidden it.

No!  The sun is still there, planning to shine for you once again.  It is planning on shining so bright, that the clouds will drop its rain and blue skies will appear once again.

Never say my troubles will never leave, no one understands me, my affliction is here to stay.

No! When you least expect it God will help you, He will restore you, he will send you the people meant to help you through your journey.  And once you get back up, standing on both feet,  you will rejoice and…

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There is Purpose in your Pain

Is there a redeeming purpose in pain? A good question. This blogger has some answers. What he says is worth consideration.

Cory Lebovitz

I was reminded again this weekend of the power found in our story.  God is able to take and redeem the most difficult of experiences and situations and bring about something beautiful amidst the pain.  If you have experienced pain, loss, disappointment – that experience is not void of purpose. Understanding the journey of pain wont solve your pressure in this moment.  It will perhaps reveal something of God’s leading in your life and how God might use you down the road.

There seems to be a process to our pain: Pain – Sadness – Comfort – Redemption. Each of these have a season where they become prominent in our lives. Knowing the process of pain does not make suffering any easier. It simply gives vision for what is to come.

Pain is the first and most obvious stage in the process.  Whether it comes in the form of trauma or…

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Whom Should You Follow?

Whom Should You Follow?

Read 1 Corinthians 1:10–17

After a two-week vacation with his family, Pastor Dave returned to the pulpit. It didn’t take long for negative reports to filter in. Some members stayed away from services because Pastor Dave was not preaching or they didn’t think his associate should perform the baptismal service during his absence.

Obviously, people have personal preferences and loyalties—there’s nothing wrong with such things—but following one person’s ministry exclusively while rejecting others can lead to divisions in the church.

What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:12, 13).

We are not saved in the name of a gifted evangelist, nor baptized in the name of our favorite pastor. Although church leaders are important, we should not center our attention upon them. Rather, we should focus on the Lord.

Challenge for Today: [Next Sunday] don’t dwell on the qualifications of the speaker, open your heart to receive from God.

—Charles Earl Harrel

Pray that God would give you a deeper understanding of the Bible.

God’s Word for Today © 2010 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

Order God’s Word for Today devotional guides.
Visit Gospel Publishing House.

Sifting and Winnowing

Another great blog post by Karen. Perhaps we all need to go down to the Water for some sifting.

WordServe Water Cooler

Photo/KatenJordanMy heart pounded as I braved my re-entry into my writing space. I simply did not want to work on another uninspired blog post. Why, I didn’t know. But I knew I needed to identify the source of my resistance to what I’m passionate about—writing.

From my office chair, I scribbled a few forced phrases—those anticipated first and necessary words. The ones I demanded myself to write. It was a painful hour.

Even though they were interesting, they weren’t satisfying. And I grieved once again for inspiration that would give me life—meaningful thoughts flowing from a grateful heart. But the words I produced were stale and stodgy. Would anyone be blessed by reading them? I thought not.

The next morning, I awoke to another day of blank pages. So I confessed to my husband, Dan, “I’m really struggling with the blog posts I should have already written.”

“Why? What’s the…

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DO YOU THINK IT’S EVER OK TO JUDGE?

Good question. Great answer. This post by Beth is revealing and enlightening.

Beth L. Olson

When you hear the phrase, “You are different than everyone else,” what tone do you hear it in? Is it a positive thing or a negative one?

If we never compare ourselves to each other, how will we recognize and honor the unique gift mix that each person carries?

I would like to propose the idea that comparison is not bad at all. Where we get into trouble is when we… continue reading 

Young woman by the hay roll in the field

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How Much Wrong Teaching is Too Much?

An interesting discussion about Christian-classified books or movies, fiction and nonfiction, and should they support biblical theology. Reblogged for your consideration.

WordServe Water Cooler

There is an ongoing debate in Christian circles about whether non-fiction or fiction books are best. Proponents of each, particularly those firmly planted in their perspective camp, tend to be slightly (sometimes more than slightly) disdainful of the other. I have always maintained, however, that this is not an either/or proposition. As every good preacher (including Jesus) will tell you, it’s vitally important to spend time expounding on the Word, but when you launch into a story to illustrate that Word, that’s when everyone suddenly straightens in their seats and becomes even more engaged. Both are needed. The same is true with fiction. In my opinion, if classified as Christian, a story must be firmly rooted in good theology if it is going to have a powerful, lasting impact on the reader.

But is my opinion the right one? If not, it wouldn’t be the first time. And lately I have had…

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