|photo made with the #vrsly app, photo subject...a very much loved Zeke-y. :)|
Day 5 – Discernment is
So much is excellent in our
lives. We know that every good and perfect gift is from above. All the gifts we
have come from the Lord. Look around you, take a moment, and praise Him by
lifting up some things, some people, and some moments in life you are thankful
for. He is truly an Awesome God.
Today we are going to
reflect on one more form of “excellent.”
Philippians 1:9-11 tells us
that we can approve what is excellent, we can discern that which is excellent:
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and
more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and
blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of
righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and
praise of God.
Again Romans 2:17-23
reflects the same phrasing:
“But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and
boast in God and know his will and
approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the
law; and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind,
a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a
teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and
truth— you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you
preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not
commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob
temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law.”
I added the emphasis in the ESV translations above, but can you see the
similar phrases stick out this way?
The Greek word in these passages for excellent is diapheronta, which means to carry through, to show
what is different, to surpass or excel. Let’s use Scripture to interpret
I love the way the
passage in Philippians says, “that your love may abound more and more…so that
you may approve what is excellent…”
is in love that we are able to see what is excellent. When we look at everything around us.
We look with the rose colored glasses of God’s love for His people.
zeal for the law, our legalism for things that are, in fact, excellent and
righteous even, blind us to being able to see what is Christ. Certainly the
Gospel cannot be understood apart from the Law, but we can be so wrapped up in
how we think the law or the gospel should look, that we miss it
standing in front of us. Let’s let our discernment be Christ’s discernment in
us, not our ideas about what is right and wrong, but firmly planted in God’s
Justice and God’s Grace, revealed in His Word.
Romans 2:21 above,
asks, “you then who teach others, do
you not teach yourself?” It is only
in being the constant learner that we can discern.
We identify our assumptions and call them out for what they are. We approve what is excellent by sitting as Mary sat at
Jesus’s feet, by letting Grace sweep over us; letting dishes stay unwashed and
work left undone. We daily are invited to pick up the Word, and use a moment to
bask in His purity, His goodness, and His Words of Excellence.
Excellence in the passages today is discerned in the daily
life with Christ. It’s not found in the Sunday morning box we check, but in the
authenticity of the journey because we firmly believe in an authentic God, and
He gives us His authentic Word to learn and grow and love.
What, therefore, is excellent to you? What do you see around
you that surpasses because it is of Him? That may be your church (It is
excellent! He created it!). It may also be your garden, it may be the laughter
in your home or the tears of a friend shed over a shared life. It changes our
idea of what is excellent, because to be excellent, it simply needs to be
touched by Him, redeemed by His Grace.
Go and discern, ladies. We have something a little different
to share. Something that will carry us through. This life, this walk…excellent.
Labels: discern, excellent, love