DISCERNMENT
The ability to understand why things happen to me and others.
Read Matthew 4:1-11
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   Prior to Jesus' public ministry, He was led into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. After He had fasted and prayed for forty days, Satan approached Him three times with very enticing words and opportunities. Jesus responded with a scriptural answer to each of Satan's schemes. Notice that Satan even used scripture to try and trip up Jesus. Jesus was prepared to handle whatever was thrown at Him, no matter how appealing the temptation sounded.

   Every Christian needs to have discernment to know what is true and what is false. We hear so many conflicting ideas today that we must discern what is from God and what comes from Satan. The Bible says we are to discern good from evil, right from wrong and the best from what is less than the best. How does this take place practically? Here are a few strategies I've tried to apply in discerning the proper response:

   · Pray before reaching any judgment or decision. Ask God to reveal His truth to you.

   · What does the Bible say about it? There are many areas where the Bible gives clear cut direction. Seek out a scriptural passage or biblical principle before applying man made answers. When the Bible is silent on the issue, then pursue the other items listed below.

   · Seek out godly counsel. Trust me…you're not the first person who has encountered this situation. Consult with people you love and trust who can help you in your thought processes.

   · Be a good listener as defined by James 1:19 "be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger." Try to accumulate all the facts before you make a decision. Rushing into things without allowing your situations to work themselves out fully can create unnecessary disasters.

   · Answer the following questions: What would Jesus do? Will this help me grow in my relationship with Christ? Will this bring greater glory to Christ? Will I be a better witness for Christ through this? Do I have peace about this?      

The above noted character quality is an excerpt from Rod Handley's latest book, "Character Counts For Quiet Time and Small Groups" (Volume 1).In addition to sixteen different character qualities, you get a number of Scripture references and appropriate small group discussion questions. This book is perfect for any age, giving helps on how to live out the Christian life. It's retail price is $6.95. Additional character qualities will be put into future volumes.

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Sheridan Productions would like to thank Rod Handley and CTC for their support.
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