A Study on Discernment

In His Image

Society is mostly indifferent to what others do as long as it doesn’t cause an interruption or inconvenience in their own world. I think we are all pretty clear on the world’s view concerning individual behavior and the consequences: “If it feels good, do it”. “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission”. “It’s okay as long as no one gets hurt”. “If you do it, just don’t get caught”.

That’s the world’s view, but what is God’s view? What does God have to say about right and wrong? What does God want our lives to look like?

Read (Matthew 5:20-48)

In what is commonly called the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus describes for us the completeness of God’s law. He tells us it is not enough to know or even to practice the letter of God’s law, if we are serious about being totally in God’s will, we’ve got to take it a step further.

First, we have to seek to understand Who God is. If we are to look like Christ, we have to know His nature and His character. Paul writes in Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”. Paul is instructing us to abandon the ways of this world and to seek the ways of God’s kingdom world. There’s only one way we to do that, we have to study God’s written word, pray for understanding, and be guided by The Holy Spirit.

Points To Ponder

  • Righteousness not religion.Righteousness-equity (of character or act). In a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God. The doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God. Integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting.
  • Be perfect as your Father is perfect. Perfect-complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.). Consummate human integrity and virtue.
  • Conform not to the world. Conform-conform to the same pattern. To conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern, (fashion one’s self according to).
  • Be Transformed by renewal of your mind. Transform(literally or figuratively “metamorphose”): – change, transfigure, transform. To change into another form, to transform, to transfigure.
  • Prove what is good. Prove-test, examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not),

Something to Think About

When we look to excuse our own behavior because it doesn’t violate the letter of God’s law, we need to ask ourselves, “what does this thing say about who I am in Christ”? If we find we look more like the world than like Jesus, we must ask God to change our spirit of compromise to one of complete surrender and obedience. And if we are serious and willing, He will do it.

©2012 Sandra Bivens Smith

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