Category Archives: Discernment

When It Rains It Pours

Yamina’s post hits the mark. “Whatever curveball life has thrown you recently, find comfort and encouragement in the knowledge that God has not left you to do it alone.”

Read more of this encouraging post at FaithLoveSoul.

FAITH | LOVE | SOUL

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Pouring down rain is what’s been going on around me lately.  I don’t mean it literally of course.  The winters here in Florida are picture perfect.  Cooler breeze blowing all day and the sun peeking out just enough to warm my soul.

But to say this past week has been rough would be an understatement. So, with everything that has taken place, the famous expression, “when it rains, it pours,” came to mind. Not only was I scheduled for a medical procedure and was super busy getting ready for that, but just as I was preparing, I was stopped in my tracks by none other than the flu.  NO joke!

Now I’m aware that perhaps you might be thinking . . . first world problems, and maybe so.  But to give you some background knowledge, this all came on the heels of several other difficult trials we’ve endured the…

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GETTING BACK ON TRACK

Getting Back on Track        

Read Acts 22:12–16

Paul was a religious zealot. He believed it was his calling to find fault with Christians. He sought them out and watched their every move, looking for any reason to impeach their testimony or accuse them in front of the congregation. Paul believed he had God’s blessing. He did not.

Occasionally, churches will have someone like Paul in their ranks. These individuals usually hinder the ministry instead of helping it. God loves them, but wants these people to change. If necessary, He will arrange for an encounter with the living Christ and suggest a different calling.

You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name (Acts 22:15, 16).

After the Damascus road experience, Paul was baptized in water to exemplify his new commitment to Christ. His sins, including his self-righteous attitude, were washed away. Now he had a better calling. Paul is our example: It’s time to get up, be baptized, and share our faith with a lost world.

Thought for Today: God has a special calling for everyone.

—Charles Earl Harrel

“Pray that God would secure the peace of Jerusalem.”

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

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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.

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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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