It’s been said that never in the history of mankind has a study of the life of Jesus been more vital and rewarding. In an age of anxiety and despair, the ministry and message of Jesus speak more clearly than ever of God’s purpose for the world. Amid the chaos and confusion of our time people the world over are hungering for the good news of God in Jesus.
Perhaps the most significant responsibility that preachers are charged with is to deliver the good news of Jesus Christ who offers us freedom from anxiety, wholeness of life, and the opportunity to be beacons of hope in our families, in our communities, and in our world.
“I am, as Isaiah prophesied; a voice that cries in the wilderness: make a straight way for the Lord” (John: 1:23).
There is a story in which God is interviewing persons who want to be chosen as Jesus’ Apostles …
He says to one man, “If I should recommend you to My Son, what would you do for Him?” The man replies, “O Lord, if I am chosen, I will build shrines in His honor all over the world. They will be made of the finest materials, fashioned with the most expert craftsmanship, and their beauty, for all to see, would be unsurpassed.”
Then God asks a second man, “If I should recommend you to My Son, what would you do for Him?” “O Lord,” the man replies, “If I am chosen, I would design for Him the finest robes and they would be sewn by the most expert tailors, and their beauty, for all to see, would be unsurpassed.”
Then God asks a third man, “If I should recommend you to My Son, what would you do for Him?” “O Lord,” the man replies, “If I am chosen I will tell His story throughout the world and to the ends of the earth.” “And what is your name, son,” God asked. “Lord, my name is John,” the man replied.
“But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” The apostle John issues a similar warning when he says, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). According to the New Testament, discernment is not optional for the believer — it is required.
Discernment intersects the Christian life at every point. And God’s Word provides us with the needed discernment about every issue of life. According to Peter, God “has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3). You see, it is through the “true knowledge of Him,” that we have been given everything we need to live a Christian life in this fallen world. And how else do we have true knowledge of God but through the pages of His Word, the Bible? In fact, Peter goes on to say that such knowledge comes through God’s granting “to us His precious and magnificent promises” (2 Peter 1:4).
Discernment — the ability to think biblically about all areas of life — is indispensable to an uncompromising life. It is incumbent upon the Christian to seize upon the discernment that God has provided for in His precious truth! Without it, Christians are at risk of being “tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).