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Summary: Working for God or doing God’s work?

JUNE 15, 2002

CHRISTIAN DISCERNMENT

OBJECTIVES

· To achieve a shared understanding of the basic principles of discernment.

· To understand its applications to our secular and spiritual circumstances.

· To realize and accept the object of discernment, which is God’s plan for us within His perfect will.

OUTLINE

1. FOUNDATION VERSE

2. PREREQUISITES TO DISCERNMENT

3. DEFINITION OF DISCERNMENT

4. PURPOSES OF DISCERNMENT

5. TYPES OF DISCERNMENT

6. WORKSHOP

1. FOUNDATION VERSE

“I appeal to you therefore, brethren, 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 you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:1-2 RSV).

2. PREREQUISITES TO DISCERNMENT

a) Offering of one’s self

b) Not conforming to the world

c) Transformation through renewal of the mind

3. DEFINITION OF DISCERNMENT

a) “Discern” comes from the Latin word “discernere” meaning “to sift, distinguish”

b) “Disciple” comes from the Latin word “discere” meaning “to learn, follow”

c) A process where prayer meets action.

d) A process where one’s relationship with God becomes a partnership.

e) A process where one deepens his relationship with God through prayers.

4. PURPOSES OF DISCERNMENT

a) Universal Will of God

b) Personal Will of God (plan)

· To discover what is good

· To discover what is acceptable

· To discover what is perfect

5. TYPES OF DISCERNMENT

a) Practical Process

· Social

· Economic

· Political

b) Spiritual Process

· The Word – The Rod (Ps. 119:105, 130)

· The Spirit – The Staff (1 Cor. 2:9-16; 1 Jn. 4:1-6)

6. CHALLENGES

a) Recall a decision that in retrospect was wise one. How did you make it? What factors did you weigh? Who did you consult?

b) Recall a decision that you now regret. What was the process by which you made that decision? Have you since discovered clues about how you could have made that decision differently?

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