Tag Archives: spiritual discernment

In Whom the Spirit Dwells

In Whom the Spirit Dwells  

Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” (Genesis 41:38).

Scripture: Genesis 41:37–46, 50–52
Song: “By My Spirit” (by Almeda Herrick)

My son, Christopher, grew sicker by the hour. I decided to skip the last service of our citywide crusade at the Portland Coliseum, even though I held a reserved seat with the evangelist on the platform. My wife drove the fully loaded church van in my stead. After the group left, I felt sad, then desperate when I checked my son’s temperature: 101 degrees and rising. I strapped him into the car seat and headed to store for a bottle of children’s aspirin.

At the store my line stalled as a couple counted out quarters to buy a handful of groceries. Obviously, they were experiencing hard times. The Holy Spirit tugged at my heart, so I offered to pay for their purchase. He stood speechless; she wept. Now realizing the Spirit had led me there, I shared God’s plan of salvation.

When we returned home, I rechecked Christopher’s temperature—no fever, no flu symptoms either. That day was providential. For me, ministering to a needy couple proved a higher priority than sitting on the platform with a famous evangelist. When we follow the Holy Spirit’s gentle guidance, miracles can happen—and people will find eternal life.

Dear Spirit of God, Your indwelling has many purposes. You lead me each day and help me reach out to others in need. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for giving me wisdom, anointing, and discernment to carry out Your ministry. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“In Whom the Spirit Dwells” by Charles Earl Harrel. First published in Devotions® © 2012 Standard Publishing. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

Purchase printed issue of Devotions or 365 Devotions.

Advertisements

The Correct Interpretation

                          The Correct Interpretation                                 

Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream (Genesis 41:12).

Scripture: Genesis 41:1-13
Song: “The Solid Rock”

I had trouble sleeping that Saturday night. My spirit was troubled—something at the church maybe—I couldn’t put my finger on it. Finally, the tiredness overtook me, and I fell into a deep sleep. I usually don’t remember my dreams, but this night the dream came alive in vivid detail.

Three lions paced back and forth in the backyard of our parsonage. As they drew closer, I could hear them roaring underneath the bedroom windowsill. Then, I saw three sets of paws tearing at the screen. They were forcing their way into our house, intending to harm my family. I could not let that happen. I jarred myself awake and rushed to the window to face them down. When I got there, I saw nothing.

Unnerved, I sat down and prayed for wisdom. In reply, God gave me a sermon about three problems stalking our church. That Sunday morning, three sin issues were uncovered and dealt with. My dream and its warning proved all too real.

Most dreams are triggered by something we’ve read, seen on TV, or eaten the night before. Some dreams, however, are God-sent and inspired. I can personally attest to it.

Lord, when I read my Bible, hear a sermon, or study a daily devotional guide, I hear Your gentle voice talking to me, leading me. Praise to You, through Christ. Amen.

“The Correct Interpretation” by Charles Earl Harrel. First published in Devotions® © 2012 Standard Publishing. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

Purchase printed issue of Devotions or 365 Devotions.

Sometimes, God uses dreams to speak to His people. But not all dreams are from Him—most are not. If you think you’ve had a spiritual one, you should first pray for discernment and then seek God’s wisdom in the matter.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

       A Series of Unfortunate Events                      

“I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon” (Genesis 40:15).

Scripture: Genesis 40:9–15
Song: “Safely, Safely Gathered In”

The newscast that night caught my attention. A man charged and convicted of a ghastly crime would soon be released from prison. The court system and his attorneys had reopened the case after they discovered certain inconsistencies. After evaluating the new DNA evidence, the jury exonerated him of any crime. Such testing methods were not available during his first trial, so he’d spent 15 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. Even so, the man did not appear sad or angry. Instead, he was looking forward to redeeming the time he had lost.

With advances in crime scene investigation, some people wrongly incarcerated are enjoying freedom, a new lease on life. Joseph found himself in a similar situation. A series of events landed him in an underground prison cell. Yet he had done nothing wrong. Still, he didn’t allow his imprisonment to sour his spiritual outlook. He used the situation to tell people about his faith in God.

God often uses adversity to birth a greater purpose for our lives. In Joseph’s case, he earned an Egyptian pardon and became Pharaoh’s highest-ranking advisor. Exercising patience and trusting God worked for Joseph, and it can for us as well.

O Lord, without all the facts, people are prone to misjudge. When that happens, remind me to pray for wisdom and to trust You for the outcome. Through Christ, amen.

“A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Charles Earl Harrel. First published in Devotions® © 2012 Standard Publishing. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

Purchase printed issue of Devotions or 365 Devotions.

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.

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

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…

View original post 24 more words

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…

View original post 458 more words

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.