THE FATAL REFUSAL or RELIGIOUS BUT LOST…


Mark 10:17-22 – “And as He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and began asking Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 “You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'”20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” 21 And looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”  22 But at these words his face fell, and he went away grieved, for he was one who owned much property.”  NASB

This is one of the saddest accounts in the Bible.  The words, “he went away” are heart-wrenching when you consider what was at stake.  This short revelation contains the tragedy of a soul.  I do not believe you can read it without feeling a touch of the heartache and the pain that was in Jesus’ heart as He watched the man walk away.  It has the power to make you feel lonely and empty, at least that’s the effect it has on me.

“He Went Away.”  Jesus did not put his hands on his shoulders and push him away.  It was not that Jesus looked into his soul and saw stains that made discipleship impossible.  Jesus did not read the man’s yesterday and tell him that the soiled pages of his past made it impossible for him to enter in.  NO!  It just says, “He Went Away.”

This man held his destiny in his own hands.  He had the power to say Yes or No.  Sadly, his response was No.  It was no because he turned and walked away refusing to follow Jesus.  The LORD had asked something of him that he could not see himself giving up – Mammon was more powerful in his heart that his desire for salvation.

That is more than a little tragic!  There was not a person in the New Testament who had a personal encounter with Jesus that was richer in possibilities than this young man.  One moment he was running courageously to meet Jesus, kneels at his feet, and the next he is walking away empty. 

CONSIDER THE ASSETS HE BROUGHT TO THE ENCOUNTER…

He has material wealth.  That does not make him better than anyone else, but he had resources to be used greatly in the kingdom.  Money is condensed energy and pent up power and force.  It is an extension of our lives and when consecrated to God does enormous good.  This man was Rich! 

He was also a ruler.  That does not make him better or more special than anyone else but in his position, he could influence more than most of us will in our lifetime.  He was in a position to make laws and affect people’s lives positively or negatively. 

He is young.  That does not make him better than someone who is old but, in his youth, he was likely to have more time left on earth than someone in their sunset years.  There is no better time to surrender to Jesus than in our youth.  The rest of our lives are then focused and directed toward His service.  What a treasure to be young and committed to God.

He possessed a noble restlessness as was expressed in his inquiry of the LORD.  He was not satisfied with the status quo and wanted to know what more he had to do to press into the fullness of God.  When a person is self-satisfied, they see no reason to learn more, become more and become stagnant.  He wanted that which would lift him higher than where he was spiritually.  He recognized his deficiency.

He eagerly sought that which would expand the peace of his heart.  He was eager and enthusiastic.  He ran to Jesus!  He was a man of courage because a man in his position was looked down upon for reaching out to Jesus.  He was reverent.  A humorist said sarcastically, “If you were to examine the bump of reverence on the head of modern man you would find it a dent.”  That was not this man, he was reverent and recognized Jesus as one worthy of reverence.  He was morally clean.  He had kept the Law.

Jesus looked at this man, saw his heart, and reached out to him in love.  He saw the potential.  Our LORD also saw that which held his heart and exposed it giving him an opportunity to give up earthly treasures for eternal wealth.  Mammon held his heart too tightly and “He Went Away.”

I want to address this a little more in the next devotional, but I plead with each of us to hear carefully what the Holy Spirit is saying to our hearts and do not be one that “Walks Away.”  What Jesus offers is worth more than anything!

God bless you as you enjoy this day in Him!

POSITIVE FAITH…


Mark 9:23 – “And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can!’ All things are possible to him who believes.”  NASB

I want to take a brief stroll down the highway of faith and hit some high points regarding positive faith.  Faith is something that everybody desires!  Working faith is something that is desired by most believers but exercised by too few.  The disciples requested, “Lord, increase our faith.”  Paul informs us that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”  The Bible declares, “unto every man is dealt the measure of faith.”  The simple truth is, “We All Have Faith!”  What we need to do is put that faith into action and develop what I call Positive Faith.

POSITIVE FAITH CLIMBS MOUNTAINS…

No obstacle is too imposing for Positive Faith! When I think of positive faith in the Bible one of the first people, I consider is Caleb.  He refused to allow his age to deter him from the promise. He considered God as His partner as well as his LORD.  He expected to succeed because he believed God was a Promise Keeper and he had a Promise from God through Moses.

POSITIVE FAITH PRESSES THROUGH TO THE VICTORY…

In life, we find that there are times that we must press in and press on almost beyond our own strength and in the face of incredible obstacles and circumstances.  When I think of a faith that presses through to the victory I think of the woman with the issue of blood in the New Testament.  She saw Jesus as the answer to her situation and condition.  She believed that He could and that if she could just touch Him, she would receive.  Fighting the crowd and in her weakened state, she went to where He was, pressed through the crowd, and touched the hem of his robe.  Healing was hers! 

I also consider Jacob as he wrestled with God all night long and refused to be denied.  He was changed and became a prince with God the father of the nation of Israel.

POSITIVE FAITH REVEALS GOD…

What we are and what we believe is demonstrated in what we do.  The faith that reveals God is the faith that exhibits the qualities and characteristics of His character and nature.  It exhibits Trust in His ability to do what He says He will do.  His Omniscience and knowledge of our need.  His desire and willingness to meet that need.  It reveals God as our Loving Compassionate LORD!

POSITIVE FAITH REFUSES TO DOUBT…

I had someone tell me, “Roy, I have to talk myself out of doubt.”  I found that interesting and after giving it some thought, I realized there was some validity in that statement.  When circumstances are contrary, we have the choice of giving up, giving in, or pressing on.  We either trust or we doubt.  We either set ourselves in the position to fail and rest all our hope in Him or we pull back and trust our own ability. 

When circumstances say, “No Way” faith says, “I refuse to doubt”.  It stands when the basis of hope has vanished.  It stands when the enemy launches a full-scale attack.  David encouraged himself in the LORD.  How?  I believe that Paul addresses that telling us that it is in “psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our hearts.”  It is through focusing on Him!

POSITIVE FAITH OBTAINS THE PROMISES…

When I read Hebrews 11, the Hall of Fame of Faith and look back over the encounters and exploits of people in the Bible I find a common thread.  They Trusted and dared to fail.  They rolled all their care on Him and were determined to succeed of fail in Him, through Him, and by Him.

Abraham was willing to lose everything to win.  He left his known world to pursue the unknown. He was willing to offer up his son believing that God would raise him from the dead.  It was in hope when things appeared hopeless that he believed and hoped.  David believed God and faced Goliath and overcame with a sling and stones.  Elijah believed and saw the rain come.  Noah believed and built the ark.  Bartimaeus believed and received his sight. 

Positive Faith refuses to give up and because it presses into the presence of God it wins because it refuses to die.  To have positive faith is to have a living faith.  To have a living faith is to have an active faith.  To have active faith there must be trust and obedience.

My prayer is, “LORD, help me to completely trust You in all things and at all times!”

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!

MIRACLE FAITH – ME?


Mark 9:23 – “And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can!’ All things are possible to him who believes.” NASB

I had a person say to me, “I wish I could have miracle faith!”  They were sincere and genuinely wanted to have the kind of faith that moves mountains.  The individual was and is serving God and walking in all the ‘light’ they have.  Their cry was, “More God!”  Not more so that they could heap things on themselves but so they could help others and fulfill the words of Jesus to “destroy the works of the devil and see the captive set free.”  That is commendable.

Their declaration, once again, sent me to the prayer closet, the Word of God, and caused me to do some deep introspection into my own heart and life.  Do I have Miracle Faith?  Can I have Miracle Faith?  What is Miracle Faith?  All questions that I sought the LORD for confirmation and reconfirmation. 

This passage is incredibly powerful when embraced fully and incorporated into our lives, but lifeless when rejected or ignored.  The statement of this verse is that the person who believes has an open door to the realm of the impossible. That is intriguing, challenging, and inspiring on one hand and depressing on the other.  It demands more investigation. 

A casual look at this passage or any passage is insufficient to enable us to reach a lasting conclusion and develop a conviction as to its validity or truth.  The words of 2 Timothy 2:15-16 keep pounding in my head and heart, that we are to “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.”

I believe there are four considerations that are germane to our consideration of this verse.  We must examine and consider the Person of the passage, the Reason this is possible, the Provisions contained in its message, and the Implication that it reveals.  I ask that you walk with me as we briefly touch on each of those points.

THE PERSON OF THE VERSE – “…him who believes.”

For this to apply to us we must be in the company of ‘those who believe.’  But what are we to believe?  I believe that wild bears live in the woods, is that enough?  NO!  I believe that birds eat worms, is that enough?  NO!  I suggest that it is a belief in something specific and that specific is directed toward God and the need presented to Him. 

What are we to believe?  We are to believe that the thing we are asking God for will happen based on and in harmony with His word!  We must believe that God is and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  We must believe not only that He can but that He will and is doing what we ask.  We see it done!  That is the eye of Miracle Faith, the finished product not the pesky problem.

THE REASON – The Word of God!

The reason for our belief is that we are members of the family of God and thereby ‘heirs’ of God and ‘joint-heirs’ with Jesus.  We are totally and completely dependent on God’s ability, integrity, and power.  We have the historic record demonstrated in the Word of God and in life that He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent.  He is God and nothing is impossible with Him! 

When I consider His miraculous work in the fledgling nation of Israel bringing them to their Promised Land, I find hope.  When I consider His work in the early church, my faith grows.  When I consider the work that He has done in my own life, I find cause for rejoicing and hope.  Jesus said in John 10:10 that He came to give ‘abundant life.’  In Luke 12:32, our LORD informed us that it is the Father’s ‘good pleasure’ to give us the Kingdom. And in Romans 12:3 we read that God has given to each of us a or the ‘measure of faith.’  The Reason I believe is because of God’s Word and His Promises!

THE PROVISION OF THE VERSE – “All things are possible…”

When I turn to Matthew 19:26 and Mark 10:27 and hear Jesus say, “With men this is impossible but with God all things are possible” my heart soars with hope and inspiration! 

But what is possible?  What did He say?  ALL THINGS!  I take the revelation of the apostle John to heart and read, 1 John 5:14-15 – “And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”  That is more than amazing! 

The Promise and Revelation of John is a promise that either causes our hearts to leap with joy or brings sorrow.  It makes a declaration of guaranteed answers and if I am not getting those answers, I question what might be wrong.  It is not God, therefore James 4:2 must be involved or what happened with Daniel when he prayed is the key.  Either way, I need to come to Him, persist, and press in until I know that I know that I know and rest in His promise.

Let me offer the following passages for you to consider:  John 15:7; 14:13-14; 15:6; Hebrews 4:16; Mark 11:22-24; and Romans 8:17. What is Possible?  ALL THINGS!

THE IMPLICATION FOR YOU AND ME.

We are, according to the revealed and declared Word of God, more than conquerors through Jesus!  If we live John 15:7 – “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.”  Asking amiss will not exist for us.  The signs and wonders of Mark 16 will be present in our lives.  We will pull down the devil’s strongholds and enforce the Victory of Calvary.  We may lose a few battles, but we win the war. 

All things are possible with God.  All things are possible to the believer and all of us have been given a or the measure of faith.  We need to dismiss the word “Impossible” from our vocabulary.  God Can and through God, we can!  What do you need today?  Ask and receive!

May the LORD help you in all things as you press onward in this wonderful day!

FOUR NECESSITIES FOR SERVICE…


Matthew 16:24 – “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”  NASB

In this passage, our LORD is speaking of service!  If I understand the meaning of service as implied and taught in the Bible, I discover it involves total commitment or surrender of all that we have and all that we are to god.  It is to place Him before all and above all.

I am convinced after over 50 years of Christian ministry that too many people have little desire to become involved.  They are satisfied with the status quo, not wanting to rock the boat.  Some churches have grown into a condition of formalism and lost the Power of Christianity.  That is tragic!  I am convinced that the reason we sometimes do not have what we need spiritually is because we have become deficient in some areas of our Christian walk.  I don’t mean that as a railing indictment but a factual reality that is correctable.  I believe that to serve God in the biblical manner prescribed God’s Word, four things are needed:  Love, Faith, Involvement and Determination. 

LOVE IS NECESSARY.  (Matthew 22:37-40)

Although there are, more inter-division, basically there are two kinds of love.  There is brotherly love which can be both paternal and maternal and there is heavenly love which is love for, of, and unto God.  Heavenly love is unselfish love.  If we are to truly serve God, we must have a love for God and a love for man that is manifested in Christlikeness.  It is a demonstrated and compassionate love.

Our LORD was moved with compassion which could be rendered “He was compelled by love.”  He saw the need and reached out to bring a resolution and extend His help and grace.  We need this kind of love to enable us to love as He loves and that comes with the ‘new heart’ of the ‘new birth.’  Love seeks to protect and provide for that which is loved.  Jesus’ love for mankind should shine through us as we love as He loves.  The message and demonstration of Love is a sign of our salvation.

FAITH IS NECESSARY.  (Hebrews 11:1)

There are basically two kinds of faith.  You may argue that there are many more divisions of variations, but I suggest that there is Dead Faith (inactive and rooted in head knowledge) and there is Living Faith (active and established on our confidence in His Promises and His word). 

In order to accept God’s Word as Truth, we must exercise faith.  I believe that the Bible teaches that Faith was ever-increasing.  Why do I say that?  Because in Romans 10:17 that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.”  Therefore, the more we hear the more our faith grows.  I believe that faith like gifts, abilities, and muscles grow in use and deteriorate with lack of use.  If we believe that God can we step out on His promises and exercise faith.  Faith, in a sense, is the confidence that what God says is!  We know that without Faith it is impossible to please God. He demands our trust!

INVOLVEMENT IS NECESSARY.  (James 1:22)

I said earlier that some do not want to become involved and are satisfied with the status quo, but I contend that we are involved.  We are involved through our birth into the kingdom and family of God.  We have become targets of hell and have our marching orders from the Throne of God to ‘Go.’  It is important to remember the words of Jesus, “If you love me keep my commandments.”  You are in the Army of the Lord and a target of the devil, so why not fully invest yourself and allow the Holy Spirit to equip and empower you to pull down strongholds?

DETERMINATION IS NECESSARY.  (Genesis 32:24-26)

Love may cause us to want to do something, but unless we set our faces like flints and become determined to see it through to the finish, we will not fight the good fight and finish the course.  We will become discouraged and throw in the towel.  The directive of Paul in Galatians 6:9 – “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” 

The beginning is of no value or importance if we do not finish the course.  Paul finished his course.  Jesus cried, “It is Finished!”  Jacob refused to turn God loose until He was blessed, and Elisha refused to accept anything but a double portion anointing.  They were determined.  Daniel determined he would not defile himself and his faith, obedience, and determination elevated him to rulership in the kingdom.

Love will motivate us to both trust and become engaged in the work of the Lord.  The knowledge of what God can do and His love for mankind will inspire us to become determined and never be satisfied with less than God’s Perfect Will.  We are more than conquerors through Jesus and if we abide in Him and His word in us, we have the assurance of answered prayers and the ability to pull down strongholds.

Let’s set our hearts to serve God with our whole heart!  May the LORD bless you richly as you enjoy this day in Him!

DISCERNMENT or JUDGMENT? (Part Three) …


Matthew 7:1-2 – “Do not judge lest you be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”  NASB

Let’s move on in our consideration of this testy topic.  We have considered the reality that the person who discerns thoroughly examines him or herself before evaluating others.  We have also considered the truth that the person who discerns seeks to verify the accuracy of all the facts before reaching a conclusion.  Now, let’s move to a third consideration.

THE ONE WHO DISCERNS – Deals as privately as possible with the problems they see.

If you put everything you see and hear on the street, Facebook or other Social Mediums you do great harm and make restoration and reconciliation virtually impossible.  Paul addressed this in 1 Corinthians 6:5-6 – “I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge (diakrino) between his brethren? 6 But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!” 

The objective of Love is always Restoration!  The one who judges publicly exposes those they condemn and seek punishment, not restoration.  Tragically, the person engaging in public judgment often fails to realize that their actions may result in others condemning them for having the same problems.  Luke 6:37 addresses this, “Judge (krino) not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” 

In our first devotional on this subject, we mentioned a family member expressing a view about the newly appointed Sunday School teacher.  That family member, it appears, judged according to appearance and gave a bad report to those not directly involved with the problem.  If that person had been discerning, they would have privately investigated the matter, gathered all the facts and factors and gone to the teacher before addressing it with anyone else. 

I heard about a pastor who asked a college student to give him a report on the spiritual life of another church member who was attending the same college.  The student said, “I haven’t seen much of him, but he doesn’t seem very interested in spiritual things.  He has dropped out of our fellowship group and spend quite a bit of time with friends who I don’t think are helping him spiritually.”  That seems benign, right?  Was he judging or discerning?

Let’s consider several points.  He did not have recent contact with the individual, therefore, he was not qualified to give an accurate report.  Yet, he left the pastor with the impression that the other student was in a backslidden condition.  Judgment involves opinions that are unverified to determine their accuracy.  Discernment involves a desire to restore and seeks all the facts before giving the report. 

I suggest he should have said, “Pastor, I have lost touch with him, but I believe a contact from you would be beneficial and appreciated.”  Christianity is not simply shouting the victory in a church service.  It involves spiritual growth and development in ourselves and in others.  I plead with each one to resist the temptation to be judgmental and refuse to allow the devil to tempt us to give ‘bad reports.’  If we become involved in judgment, we will likely participate in gossip and slander.  True Christianity seeks to restore the fallen. 

Galatians 6:1-5 – “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load.”  NKJV

My prayer for myself and each of you is, “LORD, help me seek restoration, not judgment.  Help me discern the need and seek to provide help rather than rendering judgment and creating a divide.”

Have a great day in Jesus!

DISCERNMENT or JUDGMENT? (Part Two) …


Matthew 7:1-2 – “Do not judge lest you be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”  NASB

As we delve deeper into this testy topic which some may consider more meddling than preaching or teaching, I ask that you carefully and prayerfully evaluate what I offer and allow the Holy Spirit to bring you to His desired conclusion. 

THE PERSON WHO DISCERNS – Thoroughly examines himself before evaluating the actions of others.

In Galatians 6:4, we read, “But let every man prove (dokimazo) his own work.”  He is to test, examine, interpret and demonstrate it based on the principles of God’s Word.  That would is used again in 1 Corinthians 11:28 – “But let a man examine (dokimazo) himself.”  It is used again in v. 31 of that Chapter, “For if we would judge (dokimazo) ourselves we would not be judged.”  Then in 2 Corinthians 13:5, we find it again, “Examine (dokimazo) yourselves… prove your own selves.”  That reveals that it is God’s desire that we clean up the inside of the cup before judging other cups.

It includes a willing submission to God’s examination.  We will be examined by God whether we are willing or not but if we willingly submit to His examination there is redemption.  We should each, daily, seek to place ourselves under the spotlight of God’s Love and Word.  We should eagerly seek to have the Holy Spirit examine the minute details of our lives and cleanse us where cleansing is needed.  We should seek purity before we seek power.  Too often, we justify our own deficiencies by looking at those we see in others.  That dog won’t hunt with God!

The person who judges condemns others for their visible problems but usually fails to realize that their own attitudes stem from inner problems that the judger has not yet overcome or dealt with.  I call to mind the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 2:1 – “Therefore you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment (krino), for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.”  Also, in Romans 14:10 – “But you, why do you judge (krino) your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.”

The motive of judgment is to expose and condemn whereas the motive of discernment is to restore and resolve!  That is a critical distinction that we must never lose sight of.

THE PERSON WHO DISCERNS – Assures the accuracy of all the facts and related factors before reaching a conclusion.

That is addressed in 1 Corinthians 2:15 – “But he who is spiritual judges (anakrino) all things, yet he himself is judged by no one.”   In 1 Thessalonians 5:21 we read, “Prove (anakrino) all things; hold fast that which is good.”  Then in 1 John 4:1 we are told, “Beloved, believe not every spirit but try (anakrino) the spirits, whether they are of God.”

This is not to gossiping with every wagging tongue in town or the church, it is going to the individual and the word.  God to the source, not the gossip to make a judgment or discernment.  The person who judges ‘forms opinions’ based on first impressions or hearsay, then looks for evidence to confirm those opinions even when the evidence may be taken completely out of context and slanted wrongly.

We are warned in John 7:4, “Judge (krino) not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”  In verse 51 we read, “Does our law judge (krino) any man before it hears hm and knows what he is doing?”  I ask that you consider the stern warning and admonition of James 4:11, “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges (krino) his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.” 

How can we know what a person meant unless we go to that person and discuss it?  Would you want to be judged by the same hearsay and circumstantial evidence?  Before you exercise judgment against another consider how you would feel if you were treated the same way.  The Golden Rule is applicable – “Do unto others the way you would have them do unto you.”

I want to address this one more time so I will pause and wait until the next devotional to conclude.  I ask that you seek to verify the accuracy of the evidence or charges before you reach a conclusion. Hear the whole matter and examine all the facts.

God bless you as you enjoy this day in Him!

DISCERNMENT or JUDGMENT?


Matthew 7:1-2 – “Do not judge lest you be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”  NASB

How would you like to live in a society where no one would give a bad report about you unless they came to you first?  The Bible is quite clear about Christians and judging.  We are warned that if we judge the same measure of judgment will be used to judge us.  The Child of God who is an overcomer and fully committed to Christ will be able to make wise discernments.  Sadly, many call their judgment discernment when it is judging with no redemption in mind.

We are told in 1 John 4:1 – “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”  Our primary focus and objective should be to become the best possible Christian we can become and to build qualities in others that will help them become might in God and overcomers.

Let me offer this illustration and hope it resonates with you.  One Sunday a family on their way home from church was having a discussion.  One of the family members said, “Based on the man they just appointed to teach our class, it would appear that the church has some very serious spiritual issues.  This man has major problems in his marriage, his children are rebellious, and the way he dresses offends many in the church.”

The question is, “Was this family member judging or discerning?”

To have true insight as to the meaning of discernment and judgment we need to turn to the Greek and how those words were used in the New Testament.  In the word discernment, we find three verbs that give insight as to its true meaning.

Dokimazo – To test, to examine, to interpret, to discover, to prove, and to demonstrate.  Anakrino – To ask questions, to examine, to evaluate, to scrutinize, to investigate, and to search out.  Diakrino – To make a distinction (between persons); to weight thoroughly each part.

In the word judgment, we find the primary verb used gives insight as to the scope and action of the word.  Krino – – To pass judgment on, to sentence; to mentally or judicially condemn; to conclude, to decide, and to determine.

Based on those definitions, if that family member was investigating the spiritual needs of the church, they would be discerning.  However, if they were simply concluding that there were spiritual needs without taking proper steps to resolve them, they would be judging.  There is a dramatic difference and although the Bible tells us that we know them by the fruit their lives it does not give us a license to become self-appointed fruit inspectors and judges.

I want to deal with some specific aspects of this topic and hope that my meager offering will resonate and inspire you to more carefully consider your own life and attitude.  As I write this, I sense the conviction of the Holy Spirit upon me and some of my attitudes that I glossed over are not pleasing to Him.  Therefore, I am speaking as much if not more to me than anyone else but invite you to come along for the ride.

God bless you and we will address this more in the next devotional.  Have a fantastic day!