Category Archives: Discernment

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.

Advertisements

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…

View original post 698 more words

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

View original post

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…

View original post 464 more words

Understanding Truth

Understanding Truth

Read Matthew 22:23–46

Charles was new to Full Gospel Tabernacle. He often heard people praying in different languages. He was not against it, although it annoyed him at times. Speaking with other tongues didn’t fit his doctrine. Besides, what purpose did it serve? He still prayed, right? Wasn’t that good enough?

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).

Phil, a deacon at church, sensed his frustration. He suggested that Charles take a second look at the Scriptures concerning the Holy Spirit, then pray about it for a while. Phil even gave him a list of verses. A few weeks later, something powerful happened. Charles was baptized in the Holy Spirit and began praying in a language he had never learned. Experiencing the power of God firsthand changed Charles’ perspective on tongues.

It helps to know all the Scriptures concerning an issue, but we also need to know the power of God. The Scriptures and the Spirit of God work in harmony to confirm truth. When we leave one of them out, doctrinal errors can occur.

Prayer Suggestion: Take your Bible to prayer. Let God’s Word enlighten you while His power touches you.

Quicklook: Matthew 22:23–32

—Charles Earl Harrel

God’s Word for Today © 2007 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

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

 

We Must Be Broken

Working ClayWe Must Be Broken

Read Matthew 21:28–46

“He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed” (Matthew 21:44).

Wheat must be ground before becoming bread. Grapes are pressed to make wine. With hardened clay, artisans must pound it until pliable; only then can they mold it into pottery. In each case, the breaking process is arduous but necessary.

Jesus understood the spiritual application better than anyone. If we are not broken voluntarily, by falling on the stone, then the stone will crush us on Judgment Day. Jesus Christ becomes either the cornerstone of our salvation or the divine rock of judgment (see Psalms 118:22, 23).

When we fall upon Christ, we surrender to His mercy. Brokenness ensues. This life-changing process is God’s way to make us useful. Likewise, when pottery shatters, it creates potsherds. In biblical times, these broken shards served as plates, vessels for scooping water, writing tablets, or trays for carrying hot coals. Ironically, a vessel was more useful after being broken. The same is true for us.

Thought for Today: We have two choices in this life—be broken or be crushed. Please choose the first way.

Quicklook: Matthew 21:42–44

—Charles Earl Harrel

God’s Word for Today © 2007 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

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

Delivery Day

Kingdom of God

Delivery Day   

Read Matthew 24:1–28

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains (Matthew 24:7, 8).

The nightly news has begun. By the time it ends, reporters will cover the latest military conflict, increasing crime, devastating earthquakes, and record-setting weather. After the commercial break, we hear about deadly viruses, diseases with no known cure, inner cities filled with hate, and hungry children. In some countries, whole cities are starving.

Fires of unrest are sprouting in every nation, bloodshed their answer for everything. Death tolls are rising on all fronts. The newscaster ends his broadcast on a happy note, but even a heart-touching story cannot erase the images just seen.

All these “birthing pains” were foretold by Jesus. They are laborious but leading somewhere. With each contraction, the world announces the delivery of something grand—the arrival of a new kingdom—one filled with righteousness.

Challenge for Today:  Be patient, the delivery will be on time, and soon.

Quicklook: Matthew 24:4–8

—Charles Earl Harrel

God’s Word for Today © 2007 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

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