The Power of Discernment

The Power of Discernment

Romans 12:1-2 (ESV) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 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.

To be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by testing you may discern what is the will of God. What is good? What is acceptable? What is perfect? Here’s a hint. People will never lead you to perfection. It is impossible for the imperfect to go where they have not been. Maturity in Christ is an independent mission of finding completion in Him. Discernment takes knowledge of God and as it becomes our understanding it will begin to produce wisdom in our life. Wisdom is nothing more than applied knowledge. To be wise is to make choices based on sound knowledge and good understanding allowing it to change the way we think, live and speak.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6) A lack of knowledge in our natural life can cause unwanted consequences. For example, if you are not instructed that if you touch a hot stovetop that you will be burned, then when you come in contact with one that you will likely touch it and pay the consequences. Spiritual instruction is absolutely necessary to change our life from natural to supernatural outcomes. We can present ourselves as “living sacrifices” but it is discernment that keeps us aligned with God and following Jesus Christ. We need knowledge. We need understanding. We need wisdom. We need discernment. What if we have it but are not using it? Well, according to Hosea, people are destroyed because they lack…or reject godly knowledge.

I Kings 3:10-14 (ESV) It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”

Solomon was the beloved son of David. David was a man after God’s Heart. Solomon following the footsteps of his father offered a sacrifice pleasing to the Lord. God came to King Solomon in a dream and asked, “What shall I give you?” The king could have asked for anything. He could have asked for riches and honor or a variety of natural desires. Solomon asked for wisdom or more importantly “understanding to discern what is right”. His request pleased the Lord and it was granted to him.

Godly wisdom and good discernment does not make us perfect. It is simply good judgment that readily discerns between good and evil. Good people are not always godly. Religious folks aren’t always godly. We are quick to follow preachers and teachers but reluctant to strike out and follow Jesus especially when He leads us out on our own. People are people. God is looking for those who desire Him above all things.

Remember when Jesus met the rich young man. (Mark 10) He called Jesus “Good Teacher” and quickly the Lord replied, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” Discernment. Jesus was questioning the man’s knowledge and wisdom. He knew the commandments and religious rules and regulations. But did this rich young man have a relationship with God? Did he know God? Did he love Him? Did he recognize the Son of God standing before him? Well…when asked to leave this world behind, sell all his possessions and give everything away to follow Christ…he walked away. There are many people with a whole lot of head knowledge about the Lord. We need heart knowledge called discernment to change us and transform us.

I Corinthians 2:14-16 (ESV) The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

We have the Mind of Christ. We must decide to adopt His Mindset and gain knowledge of who He is from God’s Word. In fact, John 1:14 tells us that Jesus is the Word of God who came to us wrapped in flesh. Without a personal working knowledge, there is no wisdom. Without wisdom, it is impossible to discern between good and evil. God is good! He is always good! His Way is always the best. To know His Way, we must know His Word and allow His Spirit to guide us.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)  Jesus is the Word. He is the only Way to God. We cannot access God through man anymore but must personally enter His Presence. To read the Word is to actively engage in the process of spiritual circumcision as the Lord removes the callous hardness applied by life to break our heart and fill it with the Light of His Love. If Jesus is your Savior and Lord, you have been given His Spirit. The Holy Spirit as you will see in the next scripture is called our “Helper”. He takes the Word of God like a surgeon to cut away the worthless and fruitless desires to give us a new life and make us a new creation just like the Lord promised to do.

John 14:25-27 (ESV) “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

The Holy Spirit is our guide. He teaches us the meaning of God’s Word. He shows us how to apply it in our life through His Gentle Nudging or not-so-easy conviction. We are free to choose our way but in order to choose THE Way – reliance on the Spirit of God in us is important. The Spirit of God aligns our heart and mind with Him. In doing so, it creates inner peace as our heart is no longer in conflict with eternity. It is in this place that God changes us and transforms us. You were not created to be like anybody. God created you to be you. There is no one else that has your potential. There is no one else that can fulfill your purpose. To know Him is to love Him but aside from His Word (Truth) and His Spirit it is not possible to be a true worshipper. Our faith is planted solely in Christ to harvest the confident hoped needed to endure to the end.

Psalm 119:65-68 (ESV) You have dealt well with your servant, O Lord, according to your word. Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.

I will be the first to admit that I have asked the Lord for specific “things” and detailed outcomes more than I care to mention. All those prayers “instructing” God on what I needed, wanted, desired or thought that He should do. God’s Word tells us to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name. Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” But then, I have had many pastors and teachers instruct me to tell God exactly what I want and to pray in specifics. This is where the power of discernment works in our life.

I find that when I pray for “God’s Will” to be done – I have greater success in accomplishing peace in my life. Thinking of all those times I thought I knew what was best, but the Lord had something better in mind. There is nothing wrong with praying for specific things but it is better to seek the Will and Way of God. His Hope never leads to disappointment. His Way never comes up short. His Promises always produce fulfillment and full satisfaction. His Economy is abundance. God is good. His Love unfailing. His Goodness always pursuing me. I must simply know Him and love Him to have it all.

Today, my prayer is simple. “Lord, teach me good judgment and knowledge. I desire discernment. To see people, situations, and opportunities through Your Eyes and consider each with the Mind of Christ. This is my heart’s desire to be a living sacrifice and live a life acceptable to You, Lord.”

Proverbs 16:20-22 (ESV) Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it, but the instruction of fools is folly.


Watchtower or Worm Plant


Psalm 85:6-9 (NLT) Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people. But let them not return to their foolish ways. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, so our land will be filled with his glory.

Revive us again, Lord. The cry of the modern day church is loud and clear. We wait for the Glory of God to fill our churches spreading out across the land. We desire the next great move of God to sweep through our country but do we really know what that will look like? God revives us individually through our personal relationship with Jesus Christ day by day. His New Mercy meets us each morning to prepare us for a new day with another set of choices and footsteps of opportunity to respond to His Gentle Summoning and Still Small Voice. I believe that the outcry of the Body of Christ is within earshot of God but He knows in His Omniscient Wisdom that His People have no idea what exactly they are asking for. It is important to understand what it is exactly when the Lord His Spirit and an outpouring as Joel hints at is made manifest on the earth. This is not a personal plea for our individual life. Revival is a wide spread epidemic of repentance that draws all people to the Lord.

Psalm 85:10-13 (NLT) Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed! Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from heaven. Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings. Our land will yield its bountiful harvest. Righteousness goes as a herald before him, preparing the way for his steps.

What a beautiful thought! Unfailing love and truth meeting together consummating to provide righteousness and peace to all mankind. As men and women grasp this new place in God – it begins to live and breathe inside of them producing a Gospel of Love to reach the farthest place in this big world. Right? The Lord pours down His Blessings. To us right…to those who are righteous. To those who “have” repented, right? The abundance of heaven is for God’s Children. The ones who live right. Do right? Speak truth. Those who are generous in all things. The do-gooders right? It belongs to us. We are waiting for You, Lord to come and fill “the temple” of our church with your great love and prosperity. It’s all about me…I mean us. The rain falls on the just and unjust. God is ready to bring revive and bring to life every seed of potential called eternity in every human heart. This is revival. It is the justice of God for all mankind. Not judgment against those who don’t get it…yet.

Jonah 4:5-7 (NLT) Then Jonah went out to the east side of the city and made a shelter to sit under as he waited to see what would happen to the city. And the Lord God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah’s head, shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant. But God also arranged for a worm! The next morning at dawn the worm ate through the stem of the plant so that it withered away.

Poor Jonah! We have heard of his plight. God tells the prophet to go to Nineveh and tell the people that the Lord is about to destroy them. Apparently Nineveh was not a good place but filled with prevailing evil that had drawn the attention of God. Jonah did not want to go to this wretched place to warn the unsavory and violent people of God’s Wrath. So he thought he chose a ship headed in the opposite direction that turned into whale food. The whale deposited Jonah on the beach and Jonah obeyed God. Upon his arrival, he shouted to all the people that in 40 days God would destroy them according to their sin and betrayal of him.

Well, Jonah did not expect them to respond as they did. They didn’t throw him out of the city. They listened and believed. All the people including the king repented and returned to the Lord. When God witnessed their change of heart, He relented and did not carry out the destruction. Revival broke out in Nineveh that day. One might think that Jonah would rejoice and in turn seek justice from God for these people, but instead he climbed a nearby hill overlooking the city and waited for God to destroy them anyway. When God did not destroy the city for its overwhelming city but honored their return to Him and rending of their hearts – Jonah was mad. In his anger and distress, God arranged for a temporary shelter in the form of a “leafy plant” to spread its leaves over his pouting prophet and shade him from the sun. He also arranged for a worm. The worm ate the stem of the plant. The plant represents God’s Grace for Jonah as the Lord reasoned with Him. The worm is the bitterness that comes when a person chooses judgment over mercy for others. Poor Jonah! He was waiting for judgment but God provided justice. When a person repents, He offers righteousness. Jonah thought he was right, but God honors righteousness.

Habakkuk 2:1-3 (NLT) I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint. Then the Lord said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.

Habakkuk was crying out for revival. This man was waiting and watching for the Lord to come and shower righteousness on the people. He said to the Lord, “I will wait to see what the Lord says and how He will answer my complaint.” Expectation makes all the difference in the world. While Jonah expected judgment, Habakkuk desired justice for the people. There is a difference. Judgment is the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion or conclusion based on current circumstance or evidence presented. Justice is to be just, righteousness, equitableness, and moral rightness. There is a profound difference in these two words.

John 3:17-21 (NLT) God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.  And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.

There is no judgment or condemnation in Jesus Christ. His Spirit who is the very essence of revival is not being poured out in judgment but to offer justice. To pay the debt of sin owed by every single person and offer the grace that is enough to overcome every test, trial and temptation ever faced. To cry out for revival is to swing wide the doors once housing religion to allow the Light of His Love to illuminate the way from every reprobate, perverse, violent and felonious person to enter our sanctuaries and discover our Great God. It is a cry for every sinner to meet our Savior. Is it what we really want? As Children of God, it is important to look around our waiting room and prayer room to discover what it is made of. To inspect our heart and examine the contents thoroughly. Revival is not here yet for a reason.

Luke 15:25-32 (NLT) “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’ “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’ “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

What if that thing desired, but delayed is not because of the Lord but by me? Could it be that the Great Outpouring of His Spirit called revival is to protect me from myself? The prodigal son had returned home safely. The brother who remained at home working side by side with his father was angry. Like Jonah, he expected his father to punish his brother for his abandonment and rebellion, but instead the father celebrated his return. He would not attend the banquet held in his honor. Justice declared the son a son and safely home. Judgment cried for punishment for wrong doing. Mercy always triumphs over judgement because Jesus came to give us all grace. A son is a son to God and a daughter a daughter through true repentance. Can we accept that in our church setting?

Rightness has no place in the church. Righteousness is the relationship offered only through repentance and acceptance of God’s Grace through His Son, Jesus Christ. Religion is to add order to the body to incorporate a higher standard than already set forth by God. Why do we attempt to crucify sinners? We hug them and welcome them into our churches. It makes us feel good to help someone who is struggling. We want them to come to the empty altar – God knows we don’t need it anymore – yes I am being sarcastic. Why are the altars empty? Because we don’t believe they are needed in our rightness. We talk about the sin of other people ignoring the most vile sin of all – self-righteousness. I am a sinner. I need the Savior. Every single day of my life from here to Eternity I need His Grace and Mercy to cover me. The moment I think another person deserves less than God’s Full Justice or my full attention in sharing His Love – my own life is in jeopardy.

“For your brother was dead and has come back to life!” This is what revival looks like to God. It is for restoration of life. It took only one sin to require every ounce of Jesus’ blood. There is no hierarchy of sin and nothing anyone can do to earn salvation. When we are ready to receive every single person with mercy – the Lord will spark revival in our midst. When saints of God cut down the worm plants and choose watchtowers waiting for God to revive all mankind again – change will come. The only righteousness possible is through the Love and Grace of Jesus Christ who doesn’t offer judgment but justice to all mankind.

Isaiah 30:16 (NLT) So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.

Where are you waiting today? If you are waiting on God to judge the world, the shelter you sit in may just be God’s Grace protecting you while He changes your heart and mind. God desires mercy. So much so in fact that He gives it to us brand new in each day. Our hearts must become soft and pliable filled with compassion overflowing in grace. If the first thing you notice about someone is their sin or appearance, you may be in danger of judgment. Judgment causes us to fall under judgment again. It is one of the biggest things holding back revival. God is after hearts today beginning with each one of us. We must wrap our head and heart around true repentance and righteousness to offer it to another. If the altar is a foreign place, maybe its time for a return trip. Consider your conversation. What do you say about the lost? Wandering? Those who live beneath your expectation. Your opinion is judgment. The truth is that God has no grandchildren and Jesus no stepbrothers or stepsisters. God’s Grace poured out to you the “good” kid is equal for all God’s Children. The Lord is waiting for us to change our opinion of others so He can send them straight to us. His Grace is all we need. His Love is the binding force that allows His Spirit to flow through us. It doesn’t matter how much you or little you do when it comes to His Love. It is there for the asking. Lord, change our hearts and minds to always walk in righteousness not rightness. Lord help us to love justice and never again walk in judgment. Increase the fruit of your spirit especially mercy until our love for others is equal to ourselves. Mercy always triumphs over judgment. God delights in those who show mercy.

Proverbs 8:19-21 (NLT) My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold, my wages better than sterling silver! I walk in righteousness, in paths of justice. Those who love me inherit wealth. I will fill their treasuries.



Mercy Triumphs


Lamentations 3:22-26 (NLT) The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.

“You delight in showing mercy…Mercy triumphs over judgment.” Mercy by Bethel Music has been set on replay the last few days. God delights in showing us mercy so much so that He gives us new mercy and a fresh start every day without fail. The next verse yields the secret to God’s Mercy. “My past embraced…My sin forgiven.” The certainty of God’s Grace is full acceptance of His Mercy. To wake each morning believing that His Grace is enough for you releases everyone and everything from your expectation. It means that all the wrongs, hurts, offenses and failures of the day before fall off in waves of grace as His New Mercy covers us. “I’m blameless in Your Sight…My history rewritten.” Do you believe that God’s Grace is enough for you today? I am challenged daily with pride that tells me I deserve better than how I am treated and that I have earned more than I have. Faith must overcome such rebellious thoughts to be reminded with each new day and His Gift of Mercy that Jesus is all that I need to share His Mercy with others.

Do you delight in showing mercy? What is your response to hurt, rejection, or offense? Is it immediate forgiveness? Yeah, me either. If you feel left out, slighted or ignored? Do you press in or move away? If you become angry, do you lash out? Do you fight for what is yours? Does love mean more than being right? See God is love and He is filled with unfailing love and compassion for people. Are you? Am I? God’s Faithfulness is enough to complete our life and bring us into full completion and absolute satisfaction. This requires putting all of our expectation in Christ alone. Releasing others from fulfilling our wants, needs and desires. Placing our complete and absolute total trust in Jesus Christ believing that His Grace is sufficient for me.

What is mercy? Mercy is compassionate and kind forbearance shown toward an offender or enemy. It is to maintain a disposition of loving forgiveness. It is also the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone. God’s Mercy is kindness, compassion and favor. The very qualities that people desire but are often reluctant to give. Feelings and emotions are powerful driving forces in people that will take years of learning to lean on, trust in and depend on the Lord to overcome. The human heart is held together by soul ties. Connections that must be cut and grafted into Jesus Christ (the Vine) in order to overcome to be free to love and be loved. God’s Love is unconditional. To live in His Love our love must reflect His Love. This is full acceptance of Grace when it is enough so we can give it to others..

Lamentations 3:17-21 (NLT) Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is. I cry out, “My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!” The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this…

Many who read this will immediately have an image in their head of the event or trauma in life that left a mark so deep that a scar has formed on your heart. For some, there is only a festering wound. Constantly poked and prodded by the enemy who uses people as his pawns, whispering lies like “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” to cause division, strife, and bitterness. Has your peace been stripped away? Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Have you been in living in a “barren, dry” land? Nothing is going right, nobody can help, and misery accompanies you day and night? He is our Provider. He is the Bread of Life. Jesus is Living Water for thirsty souls. Do you feel like everything you hoped for is lost and every dream dead in a valley of dry bones? Hope is the anchor for our soul. It keeps us trusting and believing when everything falls apart in our life. Without hope, there is nothing to have faith in anymore. Have you decided that you will “never” forget this awful time? Does it feel that your life will be forever marked by sadness, grief and sorrow? “Yet I dare to hope when I remember this…” Mercy triumphs over judgement. Those things that you have ordained as dead, gone and impossible – hope says that His Mercy is new each morning. His Grace is sufficient for us. We must learn to live in grace that allows us to live, breathe and hope in His Mercy for us.

John 3:16-18 (NLT) “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[a] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.”

Mercy triumphed over judgment when Jesus Christ came to this world. He died to pay the price for our sins giving us our freedom to enter right-standing with God the Father again. We can do nothing to regain righteousness except accept His Gift of Amazing Grace. Jesus came to give us mercy not judgment. This is so important to know and understand to grow in our relationship with the Lord. You cannot have mercy and judgment at the same time. They are opposites. If I accept God’s Grace, I am giving up my right to judge other people. This includes the “right” to be offended, mad, bitter, jealous, retaliate or reject others due to their actions or attitude. Forgiveness is not option to those who desire to be redeemed by God.

Sowing and reaping includes our actions and attitudes toward others. If we sow love in our life, it will be our harvest. If we sow judgment which means demanding what is deserved, it will be the dismal future of our next season. What you give – you will receive because what you plant you also harvest? With this in mind…

John 8:15 (NLT) You judge me by human standards, but I do not judge anyone.

Jesus judges no one. He said it right here. God judges people. Those who are covered in the Blood of Jesus accepting His Grace will have mercy. Jesus is our example. I cannot judge others and be one with Christ. So now when given the opportunity to be hurt, mad, resentful and bitter…these words rise up in me…”mercy triumphs over judgment.” “And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.” (Romans 2:16)

James 2:12-14 (NLT) So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?

The “Law” that sets us free is God’s Grace. To fully accept God’s Grace is to let go of our right to judge other people. I could not and still cannot keep all of the rules and regulations of God’s Law, therefore; His Grace must be sufficient for me. The minute that I choose to judge another person as unworthy of mercy is the very moment that I exempt myself from it as well. I need God’s Grace to make it into forever with the Lord. I cannot imagine this being all there is to life. My faith is investing in faith. Faith though small it is mighty. It allows me to plant things in others that they are not willing to give me because they are not the source of my life or satisfaction. When I put my full expectation in Jesus – it really doesn’t matter what others think of me or how they treat me because if I will just give them the mercy that I have God’s Promises are mine. I will be complete lacking no good thing. I will have the Mind of Christ and peace that goes with it. I will remain free indeed because I will be one with Jesus. No man or woman can do for you what Jesus did for you and continue to does for you each day. His Love is perfect. His Grace is flawless. His Favor is abundant. Why settle for less by being unforgiving, unrelenting and unmerciful when you already have more than enough and full sufficiency in His Grace! Jesus will satisfy the soul that cuts the ties to human emotions and rights to be right or revered.

Faith is not only the acceptance of God’s Grace but administration of mercy, love, compassion and favor to others as you have received from the Lord. Judgment is to withhold any of these because you feel the other unworthy. Submission to Jesus means surrendering our mind, will and emotions to a God who is greater than our feelings. He is giving us new mercy today! Mercy triumphs, wins, overcomes and removes judgement from our life. What will you do to preserve God’s Grace and give mercy in your life today? What are you willing to give up? Forget? Forgive? His Mercy will meet you the moment you let go!

Mercy (Bethel Music)

I will wake and spent my days…Loving the One who has raised me up…From death to life, from wrong to right…You’re making all things beautiful. You delight in showing mercy…mercy triumphs over judgment.

2 John 3 (NLT) Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.

Don’t Judge Me – A Devotion

Matthew 7:1-2 (NLT)

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others.The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.”


It is common knowledge that it is best to avoid two subjects in public conversation: politics and religion. The mixture of personalities in most workplaces would certainly support this statement and be sound advice. Imagine my dismay when my superior asked for an informal survey of political affiliations of my staff. Working within a political environment with an upcoming election year, it is not uncommon for a rally of support for our leader. However, it was no doubt surprising as I polled each member of my staff their reaction to such a question. I simply asked, “Are you a registered voter? If so, what is your party affiliation?” Holy cow! While some answered with great hesitation, others would reply, “It’s none of their business.” Many were afraid to be judged by this information so refrained from sharing it. However, one response caught me by complete surprise. When asking a close friend of mine her affiliation, she told me. We talked a little about the poll and I shared my affiliation with her. We laughed about the difference in our views yet our ability to remain good friends. She then said, “You are probably the only Christian that I can stand to be around.” (Insert sinking heart) She went on to tell me that when we talked about things including politics, religion and social views that she did not feel judged by her opinion unlike in similar situations with other people. This made me so sad. As a whole Christianity and evangelism for Jesus Christ is failing as we judge others rather than loving them. When will believers begin to be the Light of God’s Love sparking faith rather than executioners of hope? Why in the world would people come to God if His Children do not love and accept them just as they are, then why would they believe that He would? As Children of God, we must study the Father’s Love and learn how He loves in order to “judge” the world. Yes, God puts His People in judgment but it is according to His Word and not societal norm that we are to do so. You may be as surprised as I was to discover the Power of Judgment. Don’t judge me according to the Law is my plea, but judge me according to the Righteousness of Jesus Christ. God teach me to do the same each day with every single person I encounter!

Psalm 96:12-13 (NKJV)

Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord. For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with His truth.


God will judge the world according to His Truth. In order to be good judges with sound judgment, believers must know and understand His Truth. The basis of the truth is “…God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” The only thing separating you and I from the Judgment of God is the Blood of Jesus Christ and His Righteousness. There is not one good thing about us except the Lord. However, somehow after people are saved rather than decreasing and allowing the Love of God to grow, we become puffed up boasting in our own good works rather than the Jesus at work inside of us. He justifies us from sin making it “just as if” we never did, but the truth is we failed miserably in keeping the Law of God just like our brothers and sisters around us. God sees the Blood of His Precious Son when He looks at us. We have nothing to brag about other than this. It does not raise us to a higher level. (Psalm 75:4-7) Obedience does not make our sin less offensive. Sin offends God all of it equally. You have nothing over the person that you are judging. You have been pardoned but the record of your past still remains. God has sealed it with the Blood of Jesus but to judge another opens your record once more! It empowers the Law of God over your life once more. God gives justice to His People and compassion to His Servants. For the Lord will give justice to his people and have compassion on his servants. (Psalm 135:14) Where do we stand in all this? Well that really depends on us. Only God has the power of exaltation rising up and laying down. To live as His People, one must be identified with the Blood of Jesus Christ which forfeits our right to live our life according to society and the Law. Those who choose to live as Servants of God daily laying down one’s life and residing in the New Life according to His Kingdom must strive to live compassionately and NOT judgmentally. However, we are still called to judge and discern or to hear and decide upon. How does one judge effectively according to the Kingdom of God?

John 5:24-30 (NLT)

“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son. And he has given him authority to judge everyone because he is the Son of Man.Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment. I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.”

Eternal life is found in God’s Word. Jesus Christ was sent to be His Word in the flesh that we may know the Father once more. When Jesus sacrificed His Life that mankind could gain access to God through His Righteousness, people would be able to reestablish a relationship with God! So far, we have no power whatsoever rendered powerless by sin. God gave His Power to Jesus. When Jesus died, He gave His Power to judge to us according to the Will of God. Don’t believe me. How can you remain powerless with the Spirit of the Living God inside of you? Know the most important part of a decision is the truth on which it is based. If we remain in our old life living according to the Law, then we are ineffective judges for God. However, as we begin to live this New Life in Jesus Christ, we discover the Will of God which is unconditional love and compassion allowing us to love sinners and hate sin. God has empowered us now that we do not have to fight for our own life to fight for the lives of ours with Love and Compassion. God apprehended our heart in this way and it is our mission to do the same for others. But to operate in righteousness first requires humility. Pride assails others in their sin. Humility lifts them up in the midst of their mess. It is the Word of God that raises man from the dead and He speaks in love. Even Jesus said, “I can do nothing on my own” for it was God’s Power operating in Him. We are God’s People saved by the Blood of Jesus Christ and filled with His Spirit – our words should not be our own and our thoughts and choices infused with His Love and Compassion. To judge is to hear and decide upon. To judge righteously is to hear and decide upon how to love this person like Jesus! “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.” (John 7:24) We must learn to look beyond the exterior appearance into broken hearts and not let the ugliness of sin deter us on our mission to bring our family back together! We are all Children of God. We daily make the mistake by living in human judgment according to worldly standards rather than embracing the Word of God and Will of God alive in us. They did it to Jesus, too. (John 8:15-16) We will never be successful in sharing the Love of God with others until we move fully into His Kingdom and live according to the principles of righteousness that while we were yet sinners – Jesus died for us. It is important to fully embrace this Truth so that we can see beyond the sin and differences of others to the heart of the matter and sincerely love them back to God the Father.

Luke 12:57-59 (NLT)

“Why can’t you decide for yourselves what is right? When you are on the way to court with your accuser, try to settle the matter before you get there. Otherwise, your accuser may drag you before the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, who will throw you into prison. And if that happens, you won’t be free again until you have paid the very last penny.”


It is a tragic mistake when Children of God fail to gain the knowledge and true understanding of God’s Way and become entangled in the trivial matters of this world. It really does not matter what another person says about you if their soul is dying. They have no power over you because Jesus Christ overcame the world. The sin of another is of no greater consequence then the little white lie you told today or the slanderous gossip you shared about another. See people would like to create a hierarchy of sin with some lower on the consequential scale while others unforgivable, but the ugly truth is that sin is sin and it all offends God. Even more unsettling is that it ALL nailed Jesus to the Cross. I hardly think one nail driven in our Savior was less painful than another for I am quite sure each one caused unbearable agony to my Lord. If God through His Overwhelming Love has settled our sin debt in Heaven and given us a new life filled with all of His Promise and Potential, it would seem His People would stop fighting over “things” here and accept His Gift graciously. Not so much, as we drag each other into court and haul each other’s names through the mud and that is just what we do to our fellow Christians. Not to mention, the condemnation and judgment passed along to those already floundering in darkness. No wonder people do not like Christians!

Romans 2:5-11 (NKJV)

But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds” eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.


Sin is sin. You are no better off than any other person outside of the Love and Grace of Jesus Christ who was willing to lay down His Life for you. To judge is to determine the outcome and Jesus determined the outcome of His People on the Cross exchanging death for life. We determine the outcome of using good judgment based on Knowledge of God through Christ Jesus to love others. We have the power to change the life of another in our words. (Proverbs 18:21) Furthermore…

Romans 14:7-13 (NKJV)

For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and roseand lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.For it is written: As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”  So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

We are all going to be in the same place when Jesus comes back for “every knee shall bow” and “every tongue will confess”. Those people who you have condemned will be there right beside you as Jesus begins to separate the “goats from the sheep” with terrified eyes and trembling voices perhaps they will look at you and whisper desperately, “Why didn’t you tell me?” God is the Judge. Jesus pardoned us from judgment that we may make sound decisions regarding our brothers and sisters to hear and decide the best course of action to share the Light of God’s Amazing Love. We have the Power of God in us to share the Gospel which gives us the sound judgment to determine the result.

I Corinthians 4:4-5 (NLT)

My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.


Though we strive to live godly, righteous and holy lives do not be deceived but think on the words of Paul who said, “My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right.” Only the Lord knows the full contents of the human heart. Choose to live in the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and work diligently to not rely on your own ability to observe the Law. When we do – it moves us out of grace into judgment. It is in this place that we feel the right to judge others to justify our sinful condition in our attempt to do good. Remaining in the Love of God covered in the Blood of Jesus can be a struggle enough as the enemy uses pride to try to entice us from a place of humility in the Presence of God. Do not pass judgment on others but choose to judge the best way to love them and serve them as instructed by Jesus Christ and led by His Spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:13-15 (NLT)

If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. Either way, Christ’s love controls us.Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.


I belong to Jesus. My life should bring glory to His Name. I am filled with His Power. Don’t judge me. I will work desperately to remain humble and not judge you. We are all in this together. We will wind up in the same place. I pray it is forever! Love one another and we’ll get there just fine!

You Be the Judge – A Devotion

I Corinthians 4:1-5 (NIV)

This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

Everyone feels as though they have something to prove, if not the court system would not be overflowing with plaintiffs and defendants. Our prisons would not be a holding center for the accused. If one ventures into the local jailhouse, it is quite probable that a vast majority of its residents will proclaim their innocence despite lengthy convictions. Could it be that some people actually are innocent however the evidence complied against them was circumstantial and subjective? The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. DNA testing has revealed the intricate secret human identification. Since that time over 271 wrongly convicted people have been cleared of the crimes which once convicted them. The United States Department of Justice admits that 8% to 12% of all state prisoners are actually innocent. Now to you these numbers may seem small. However to the man or woman serving time for a crime they did not commit, they are huge. The justice system is not perfect. However, it is for the greater good. Judgment is based on the information that is received and one’s ability to discern and evaluate such information. How can a judge be impartial and decide who is innocent and guilty knowing that his imperfection could result in an approximate average of one out of every ten people who are convicted may be innocent? Historically, he could be wrong. The only thing that a judge can rely on is the law of the land.

God is partial. He is partial to His Children. Our Father is sovereign. He is all-powerful. His Omnipotence combined with Omniscience enables God to be the perfect judge of mankind. When we choose to judge ourselves or others prematurely, it becomes an act of treason against the perfect government of God. God the Father, Jesus His Son and the Holy Spirit rule in triune sovereignty over everyone ever created. As a Child of God, we have submitted to the Trinity. As a Believer in God, we have committed to uphold His Word. As one given to Jesus Christ, we uphold a mandate of love. We were convicted to die for our sin, but Jesus exonerated us from our conviction. Now we are ministers of Christ and trustees of the mysteries of God, not as those who decide the innocence or guilt of another but one who discerns the secret purposes of God for His People who we have been mandated to love. Judgment calls for a destination. It is a final determination that cannot be made yet. People have limited insight into the human heart but God sees past DNA to the intent of a person. His creative purpose deep within. God has many hidden things concerning you that have not been brought to light yet. To make a judgment about oneself or others would be premature and out of order. When we determine a person’s destiny based on who they are today, where they are or the mistakes that may define their journey thus far, we have jumped ahead of the Lord. God has given us time to work out our salvation. Once we are enlightened with God’s Truth, He does not strike us dead but gives us time to establish our commitment to Him. We are given time to be proven faithful. He allows us opportunities to trust His Sovereignty at work for our benefit. Jesus has amended the Law of God with a Covenant of Love that extends not only in the life of the righteous but those who are wrongly accused just waiting to hear the Good News that Jesus has come to set them free.

Romans 14:11-13 (NIV)

It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’”So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.


There is coming a day when every man, woman and child will bow their knee before the Father and acknowledge God. It is inevitable because His Sovereignty requires it. This is when humanity will be judged and approved by God. For now, it is our mission to set free the captive and proclaim the Good News. By the Blood of Jesus Christ, we have been pardoned of sin and its death sentence. It is not our job to judge mankind. By doing so, we take God’s place. We become subject to the Law of God once more because we have stepped out of His Grace. However, it is our great commission to let the captive know that freedom can be found in Jesus Christ. They have been improperly sentenced by this world to mediocrity, poverty of soul, brokenness in spirit and are waiting for someone to show them the way out of the hell in which they live. Condemnation can be found in this world and is given freely without solicitation. But grace though abundant is seldom overflowing from those who God has expressly given the privilege of sharing His Pardon.

Isaiah 42:6-7 (NIV)

“I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”


Imagine if it was your job in life to tell the prisoners who are serving time that they have been pardoned and set free. How exciting to be the one who tells the wrongfully accused that innocence has been restored? Imagine their joy. Your face would forever mean freedom. God has given you this wonderful job. Jesus Christ has presented you with the supreme task of carrying this message throughout the darkness of this world opening the prison doors and setting His People free to live for Him. I like this position way better than having to discern and divide the truth for each man. Isn’t it just like the Lord to give us the best things in life? We have the profound privilege of sharing His Gift with the world. The keys to the Kingdom provided for our use have many benefits. They can open the door to healing, wholeness and restoration for all of God’s People. They can reverse adverse judgment to those who will answer His Call. Righteousness with God makes room for others. He is our judge. Rightly discern His Word by dividing it and sharing it with others. Crawl down from the judge’s bench and take off the garment not meant for you to wear. Pardon yourself and others with the Love of God. Doors are opening. Freedom is yours. Prepare your heart and life to be presented to God. Lift others up rather than condemning them. What better job could there be? You be the judge. Make your last determination to follow Jesus Christ.

The Scales of Justice – A Devotion

Psalm 118:81-84 (NKJV)

My soul faints for Your salvation, but I hope in Your word. My eyes fail from searching Your word, saying, “When will You comfort me?” For I have become like a wineskin in smoke, yet I do not forget Your statutes. How many are the days of Your servant? When will You execute judgment on those who persecute me?


“It’s not fair”. How many times have we heard and uttered these words in a lifetime? Truth is life is not fair. The scales of justice tilt back and forth teetering and tottering while people wait in the balance as an unjust world ruled by an unsavory spirit attempts to dole out that which it has no concept of. God is justice. The early Greeks depicted justice as “lady justice” who they formed to be the goddess “Themis” who was a titan and consultant for the great god “Zeus”. Blindfolded as not to sway equality and fairness, she simply weighed all the facts and executed its finding with the powerful sword in her opposite hand. Though only a character of ancient mythology, she has survived as the symbol of justice. The scales of justice are subject to that which is being weighed. One must have all the facts as not to sway it but have perfect justice. Only God knows the beginning from the end making Him able to execute perfect judgment. With that in mind, the justice of this world is unequal rendering it unfair. Marcus Tullius Cicero, ancient Roman scholar once said, “The foundation of justice is good faith.” Without faith, one will always doubt the scales of justice and premise of truth. Without faith, there is no authority. Authority is necessary in creating and preserving justice as it is foundational in such a process. The world cries out for fairness and equality…or does it?

In the midst of being tested, David cried out to God for judgment. “When will You execute judgment on those who persecute me?” Ever felt that way, I know that I have. Times when in the midst of striving to please God and walk in His Way when literally all hell breaks loose. Satan has a target painted on my good intentions and is using all his firepower to decimate progress. In our weakness, we cry for God’s Justice. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.” She was right. For God to be just, He must weigh both sides equally. He loves you and your transgressor. This poses a definite problem. Though you may be right today, it has always been so. Judgment is a problem for man because he will always fall short of righteousness. The goodness that is enjoyed today and favor with God in which we live is the result of being pardoned. It means that God had to help us out. He gave us a second chance or an edge in life. However, if we seek justice for ourselves then that is removed to be weighed impartially. Without God’s grace and mercy, life becomes more than fair in the trials and turmoil for it is only a glimpse of the days to come for those who face the justice of God without Jesus Christ. The cost of personal fairness and equality in this life has a great price in the future.

Matthew 7:1-2 (NKJV)

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

To utter the words “it’s not fair” is to declare God’s Law unjust as a believer. By pointing out the inequalities in life, we are indicating dissatisfaction with the mercy and grace that we have received. To judge another suggests that we are unhappy with our pardon and seek that of another. This is a dangerous position for as lady justice remains blindfolded so are we unable to see the beginning from the end in regard to the life of man. We live in the moments of life while God oversees Eternity. He is a good judge. The Lord is a righteous God. He deals unfairly with His Children giving them good things for their mess. When Adam and Eve chose to remove the blindfold of God’s goodness in exchange for the knowledge of good and evil, God removed them from the garden for if they ate of the Tree of Life as well they would live eternally in the torment of sin. God could not bear that for His Precious Children. By removing the blindfold of His Grace and Mercy, we subject ourselves to judgment all over again. “Judge not, that you be not judged.” It is not a fair exchange. However, we are the benefactor. Looking for fairness and equality in life comes at a high price, one that those who live by faith and trust in the Lord under the provisions of His Grace are not willing to lose.

Romans 14:10-13 (NKJV)

But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”  So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.


The next time the words “it’s not fair” arise in your mouth, I challenge you (and me) to choke them back down. It is nothing more than a trick by your enemy to steal your salvation from you. He cannot take it, but if you are willing to give it away for natural justice he is more than willing to assist you. God’s mercy and grace cannot flow except where His Pardon has been accepted. Those that are being used to stir dissatisfaction in your life are in grave danger as well. Offer them an answer rather than a dose of what is to come. Love and mercy flows through life always focused on the great things to come while anger and bitterness halts digging in roots that keep you bound to this world. Praise God that life is not fair! Rejoice in your pardon today! Thank Jesus that the scales of His Justice do not apply to you for you have been forgiven! Take full advantage of your freedom today and use it to set another free!