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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Saturday Sermonette - Gifts of the Spirit: Discerning of Spirits

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11, NKJV

A person with the gift of discernment can be a huge bonus to a church. Churches are just as apt to have bad apples as any secular corporation. Maybe more so, because the devil hasn't much fear of corporations. Not many of those lead people away from hell.

Churches, on the other hand--that's our job. We do our best to show people a God who loves them enough to offer them something wonderful--joy for eternity. The devil and his disciples try to do the opposite, but they are tricky. The person that God has gifted with discernment can tell who the ones are who will try to sow divisive seeds to tear a church apart, lead people into temptation, or convince a church it should ignore God's way.

I think maybe some folks confuse dislike with discernment. Even Christians can form instant dislikes for people who are just fine in God's eyes. That's why John said we should test the spirits (1 John 4:1) and how we should test them (1 John 4:2). They don't recognize that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. Oh, they might acknowledge there was a man called Jesus; but not that He is the only begotten Son of God, come in the flesh for the sole purpose to save us.

I'm not sure I've got enough experience in this area to be an expert, and I've never knowingly seen this gift in action. Have you? Would you be willing to tell us about it?

Lord, You don't hand out empty gift boxes. I know You had a definite purpose for each gift. You told us to earnestly desire the best gift, and I pray You will grant someone that gift of discernment each time it is needed. May we be open to serve You with any gift You give. Thank You, Lord. Amen

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