Discernment: Sermon Guide

The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our October 6, 2019 message, Discernment. For more from this series, check out This Is The Life.

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

While we all need discernment in every area of our lives, what is one area in your life you could use more discernment? Share this with your community group and ask them to help you—by counseling you with Proverbs—be more discerning in that area this next week.

Summary

Did you know that the average American makes 35,000 choices per day? When was the last time you or someone you know made a wise choice? What about a foolish choice? As we continue our series, This is the Life, Todd Wagner teaches us about discernment…the power to distinguish what is true, excellent, and appropriate.

Key Takeaways

  • Discern: to sift apart…to deconstruct what is before you so you can put together a plan that works. An ability that an average mind doesn’t have. An ability to judge well.
  • Christianity isn’t just about getting people to make good choices. It will go better for you if you do make good choices, but Christianity isn’t about behavior modification. Jesus alone is Who can make your life everything you ever wanted.
  • The first thing you need to discern in life is that you are a sinner…that you’ve left the God of peace and love. That there is a way that seems right to man but it ends in death (Proverbs 14:12).
  • Discernment lets you live in a way that you won’t want a do-over.
  • Beware if you are choosing something because it feels good, looks good, sounds good, or will make you look good.
  • Wise living will not save you, but Jesus will! He is the perfect picture of a wise life.
  • Discerning people are disciples and true disciples are discerning people.
  • People with the gift of discernment know that discernment is a gift so they continually seek the gift Giver and yield to THE GIFT Who has been given to all who believe and who illuminates His word.
  • Discerning people are merciful and kind to undiscerning people. Don’t be surprised when sinners sin…they are simply fulfilling their job description. It’s exactly what you’d be doing if you didn’t know what you know.
  • Experiences are not evidence of truth, they are opportunities for discerning what is true.
  • It is true that past performance is the best predictor of future results, but current results are not always the best predictor of ultimate outcomes (there is nothing more worthless than a halftime score).

Memorable Quotes

  • "The ultimate effect of shielding men from their folly is to fill the world with fools." Herbert Spencer
  • "Wise men profit more from fools than fools from wise men; for the wise men shun the mistakes of fools, but fools do not imitate the successes of the wise." Cato the Elder (234 BC–149 BC)
  • "We are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it." JI Packer
  • “You don’t need a voice to tell you what to do when you have a verse.” Jim Elliott

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