Grow in Knowledge and Discernment

Greetings fellow sojourners!

“And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment.”  Philippians 1:9

Discernment is a must in this generation.  The knowledge we gain from media and entertainment sources would have us discern our life will never be found in a Godly perspective. We must sense truth from error.  How is this accomplished?  By knowing the word of God which equips us to discern.

Can we join Paul in praying for a strong reckoning within our hearts of the magnitude of love God has for us?  Can we unite in prayer that His truth will abound within us with such fullness we overflow with HIS knowledge and discernment?  This fullness should lead us to advance from a knowledge that sits to a knowledge that puts into practice what we know.

Do we have a kind of knowledge that beholds God’s word with such delight that our soul is gleefully moved to fulfill this truth in our daily life?   Do we discern there is a real difference in the things of God and the things of the world (which if not careful, becomes our own thinking)?  That there is an excellent way?  You were born of God; do you seek to know your Father or do you stand at a prideful distance insisting to know yourself more?  To ‘keep on growing in knowledge’ means to have full and complete knowledge of the things of God.  Does this motivate you to the core on a daily basis?   Do you discern what is right and shrink from what is wrong?  Do you instruct your heart and soul to live for Jesus?  What would this look like in your life?

The mature is someone who has control over their mental habits.  Are you currently training your thoughts to have full and complete knowledge of the things of God?  Are you able to discern what is good and what is evil?

“But solid food is for the mature — for those whose senses have been                                trained to distinguish between good and evil.”  Hebrews 5:14

The more we lean into acquiring knowledge of God, the more our mind is renewed and the more we are conformed to the image of our Creator.

“You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator.”           Colossians 3:10

In His grace,

Amanda

Postscript ~ If you are enjoying the Bible study Charisma, would you mind making a comment on the book at Amazon?  Thank you!

Also…WOC is planning a medical mission trip to Guatemala.  Each small group has been requested to make a donation towards this trip. Our group has been asked to donate 25 bottles of Acetaminophen for children and 400 (total individual count) acetaminophen chewable for children.  Expiration for both must be after May 2018.  If you are interested in participating in this donation please bring your items this Wednesday the 22nd or next Wednesday the 29th.  Thank you!

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Faith and Wisdom; Found in Each Other

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.”  James 1:5

Greetings fellow sojourners!

James is giving us an exhortation to ask for equipping in order to address a great deficiency which is lacking in the average Christian character ~ wisdom.  The New Testament expounds at length regarding the fear of the Lord being the basis for Godly wisdom.  If we had a clear and on-going insight into the things of God, there should be little we lack.  Keeping the thought of God vividly before us, as well as the beatitude of righteous, loving obedience, and if we see the joyful condition of every God-pleasing act, if we vividly see the foulness, folly, and grimness of sin, then our utmost desire would be to perfect our character.

Lacking wisdom is a root-deficiency.  Instead of restricting ourselves to seek and cure our isolated and specific faults, or attempting to attain specific virtues, let’s dig deeper down to the root and realize the more our whole nature is submitted to the power of God’s truth the closer we shall come to the condition of being ‘mature and complete, lacking nothing’  (James 1:4).

The exhortation given does not say we will find wisdom by thinking, reading, or by some other pursuit, but by asking God for it.  Now, if wisdom resided merely in the intellect it would be strange to conclude that wisdom should be attained by asking God and not by thinking or reading.  But because Godly wisdom has its seat in the depths of the human spirit, it is not strange.  Divine wisdom is attained by a humble request from God which He then generously bestows through His Holy Spirit that dwells in our hearts.  Have you ever reflected that the portion of your current wisdom is related to the measure of your desire and request for it?

Do you believe in the power of prayer?  The willingness of the Giver?   Then ask for wisdom and expect to receive.

Ever wonder why you hunger when the banquet table is full of provision?  Why you thirst when the stream in front of you is broad and deep?  Why you feel cold when the blazing fire before you never has dying embers but has broad flames that reach to the heavens?  James says you do not have because you do not ask (James 4:2).  If you lack wisdom, ask God.  He is a generous Giver.

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1

Faith always has been the mark of God’s servants.  Faith gives us the ability to hope.  Evidence is convincing proof to the believer in what the eye can not see.  The unbeliever is not expected to have faith in God but the believer IS.  If you believe then you have faith because a measure of faith is poured into each believer.  Do you want more faith?  Romans 10:17 tell us we can have more faith because faith comes by hearing the Word of God.

Do you allow faith in the things of God to control your thoughts so that what you are unable to see with your fleshly eyes becomes reality to you?  Faith enables us to feel and behave in ways that line up with what the Word of God says regardless of whether our fleshly eyes reveal it to us or not.  Faith empowers us to rely on Biblical facts.  As we all know, faith applies to many other subjects and not just religion. For example, we believe the sun will rise tomorrow morning even though we have not yet seen it happen.  We believe the season that follows winter will be spring even though in the dead of winter there is no evidence of spring anywhere in sight.  We believe when we lay down to sleep at night that we will indeed rise the next morning.  We have unwavering faith in these sort of things; we should have more tenacious faith in the One who is behind ALL faith.  As long as faith continues, it gives all the force of reality to what is believed.  All of us feel and act as if what we believe in is so; as if it were right before our eyes.  Do you have this kind of faith in God?

Wisdom and faith are found in each other.  If you do not have wisdom, ask God and He will supply you.  If you have faith, you will ask for God’s wisdom and believe it will be given.  I have included a link to a fascinating site that discusses faith and science.  Will you find that science contradicts the Bible?  Hardly.  Must we possess ‘blind faith’?  No.  God is brilliant and the more you learn the more you will see Him in the details of this fabulously intricate place we temporarily call home.

http://harvardhouse.com/site-map.htm

In His grace,

Amanda

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You Will Be My Witnesses…

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses.         Acts 1:8

Does our life involve pouring out, spending all that is possible, not drawing on Him to satisfy us?  Are we His witnesses?  A life of proof should be unblemished, uncompromising, an unstoppable commitment to Jesus, and a satisfaction to Him wherever He places us.  Be on your guard for anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ.  A great contender of our devotion is our service for Him.  The intention of the call of God is the fulfillment found in God, not a call to do something for Him.  We are not sent into warfare for God, but to be used by God in the warfare.

Our hearts shall never be more devoted to service than it is to Jesus.  We have been studying the gifts the Spirit grants us as Christ followers and this week we are examining the gifts of giving, leading, helping, and administrating.  Wonderful as they are, God does not set us out to give, to lead, to help, and to administer for God as we see fit.  He sets us out to be used by Him to give, to lead, to help, and to administer His marvelous purposes in the earth.  I believe it is a fine balance we wobble between wanting to do these delightful things and loving Him and allowing the Spirit to teach us how He would have us be His outstretched arm in order to fulfill His purposes.  Let’s also remember we must not be dedicated to the cause of humankind because we will sooner or later be crushed and disappointed due to humankind’s lack of gratitude.  No, we are dedicated by our love to God therefore no ingratitude of man shall hinder us from serving wholeheartedly because our motivation is never fed by man but by God.

Oh yes, we shall serve Him with the abilities He has entrusted to us!  We shall serve in giving, leading, helping, and administrating purely out of a deep love for the Father and nothing else shall steel our gaze.  Be His witness and serve wholeheartedly sweet things!

In His grace,

Amanda

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