Discernment Is For Intercession, Not Criticism

Today is Wednesday, November 23, 2016. One more day until Thanksgiving.

Quote of the Day

“Any time not spent on love is wasted.” – Torquato Tasso

Word of the Day

Callithumpian -Designating a group of people making cacophonous music or noise using a variety of instruments, utensils, etc., as a demonstration of a general feeling of celebration, dissatisfaction, etc.; of or relating to such a band or its music. For example, Polyphonic Spree.

Today is Fibonacci Day. The Fibonacci sequence was introduced to the world by Leonardo of Pisa, who was also known as Fibonacci. It is a sequence of numbers, beginning with either one or zero, in which, after the first two numbers, each number is the sum of the preceding two numbers. For example, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144. and so on.

94 days until the first Spring Training Day.
131 days until Opening Day.

Not much happening, today. However, First Baptist Church in Mineral Wells will be laying to rest a dear friend of their church family, as well as our personal family. Please be in prayer for them around 10:00 today, if you happen to think of it.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8

Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Psalm 86:4

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! Psalm 119:10

I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High. Psalm 7:17

To him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and brought Israel out from among them, for his steadfast love endures forever;
with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who divided the Red Sea in two, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and made Israel pass through the midst of it, for his steadfast love endures forever;
but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who led his people through the wilderness, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who struck down great kings, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and killed mighty kings, for his steadfast love endures forever;
Sihon, king of the Amorites, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and Og, king of Bashan, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and gave their land as a heritage, for his steadfast love endures forever;
Psalm 136:10-22

“History is a museum through which the praising person can stroll, finding down every corridor evidence of what God has done in judgment and deliverance. Everything we observe is inserted in the story of praise and labeled as an exhibit of ‘steadfast love.'”

“God, give me a mind as relentless as this psalmist’s in discovering instances of your steadfast love. I want no gaps in my praise and no blanks in my thanksgiving. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt. Psalm 123:3

“The temper of mind is tremendous in its effects, it is the enemy that penetrates right into the soul, and distracts the mind from God.”

I could probably just end the day’s devotion with that statement, but there is another idea in the reading that needs to be expressed as well. But we must be careful in allowing our mind to indulge in certain tempers, as they can easily distract us from God. I know this full well, as I indulged in just such a temperament yesterday, and it translated into a sour mood which affected how I felt about almost everything! It is so easy to fall into this, but we must guard our minds against just such tempers.

The other danger Chambers mentions is the idea that we must always be vindicating ourselves. Jesus never explained things (except for when his disciples asked him for explanations of the parables). We must resist the temptation to lust for vindication.

In the area of discernment, we must also beware that our discernment doesn’t turn into criticism. Oh, how I am guilty of this! “God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.”

Father, help me to heed these teachings, today. I need them so desperately in my spiritual walk, as I have fallen prey to all of them. Help me to control the temperaments that I allow my mind to indulge. Help me to not need vindication always. And most of all, help me to not every use discernment as an excuse to be critical of people.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)

Grace and peace, friends.

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