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Parable: The Tree and its Fruits Matthew 7:15-20

The world defines “discernment” as being able to distinguish, discern, judge, or appraise a person, statement, situation, or environment.” This type of discernment is of a carnal nature. The Bible, however, describes “discernment” as the ability to distinguish between spirits as in 1 Corinthians 12:10, and to discern good and evil as in Hebrews 5:14. https://spiritualgiftstest.com/spiritual-gift-discernment/

“But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5: 14

Do You Have the Spirit Discernment? If the answer is Yes how do you know?

Hebrews 5: 14 reveals a wealth of knowledge about whom God considers worthy of the spirit of discernment as well as what constitutes a practice. The Scripture confirms that one must not only read God’s Word but must continuously apply it to receive God’s gift of an ability to distinguish good from evil. Continually learning and using God’s Word is how we practice.

This week’s Devotional highlights Matthew 7: 15-20, Parable: The Tree and its Fruits. The passage warns God’s people to be on the lookout for false prophets. Matthew also reveals that “false prophets come disguised as sheep but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Further, He says, “you will know them by their fruit.” However, to recognize evil fruit, one must be a producer of good fruit. Producers of good fruit have the Spirit of discernment, which comes from the Holy Spirit. 

Whether we admit it or not, “our personal values influence the presence and practice of spiritual discernment.”

The two personal values that influence my practice of discernment most are “faithfulness” and “empathy.”

My love for the Lord invites Him to replenish my faith and supply all my needs consistently. Having empathy for others, especially people less fortunate than me, or who may be going through a life-altering experience, is how the two values that I hold most dear influence my practice of discernment.  

God is always concerned with the heart, intentions, motives, and reasons for doing what we do. False prophets produce bad fruit disguised as edible fruit, making it difficult for those weak in faith to distinguish between the two. (wolves in sheep’s clothing.) The only way to see through evil is by having a spirit of discernment.

Living a Christian life is a lifelong work, one that requires routine behavior modification. Behaving in a manner that is pleasing in God’s sight improves the likelihood of receiving the Spirit of Discernment.” Not only that, to live right is to do right.

Honestly, I can think of several values that I can improve. But I would add “a contented spirit.” Having a restless spirit has not served me well. While nothing awful has ever happened; as a result, I realize who controls this spirit, and I do not like it. As far as behavior that I would improve, “I would exert more effort and time leading people to Christ outside of my comfort zone.” 

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6: 12 (NIV)

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