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“GIFT OF UNDERSTANDING” – Mar. 28

March 28, 2013

“Only, may the Lord grant you discretion and understanding, that when he gives you charge over Israel you may keep the law of the Lord your God.”  1 Chronicles 22:12

We would say of a man who drives his car 70 mph through a 25 mph school zone, “Does he not understand the danger he is posing to everyone?”

Of a mother who prepares her family’s meals seasoned with arsenic, we would ask, “Does she not realize that will kill her family?”

The young man who takes his inheritance to Vegas for one bet on the roulette wheel would cause us to shake our heads and question, “Does he not understand how irresponsible that is?”

We would say of the middle-aged man who, on national television, assaults a beautiful young woman, “He has lost his mind.”

Of the employee who berates, insults, and curses her employer in the company newsletter, we would ask, “Did she not realize what they would have to do?”

The couple who moves all of their neighbor’s belongings into their backyard would cause us to wonder in disbelief, “Do they not understand that we can see that they stole these possessions?”

Discretion is the ability to make responsible decisions. 

Discretion is a fundamental ability necessary for a society to function under the rule of law.  The rule of law has the assumption that people will understand the law and the consequences of not adhering to the law and choose the appropriate response.  However, the news is full of people whose arrest, prosecution and conviction demonstrates that they lacked discretion and understanding in the activities that they pursued.   Many folks bear the burden of ill consequences due to their lack of understanding and discretion.  Discretion and understanding are essential skills to function appropriately in the world of the physical.

Likewise, we need discretion and understanding to function appropriately in the world of the spiritual.  God gave us His law not to hurt us or punish us.  He gave us His law because He loves us and cares for us.  His law is for our own good.  However, there are many people who live as if the only consequences are associated with the tangible.  They don’t understand that they need a savior.  They lack discretion in their decisions because they don’t recognize that the law of God is over them.

Understanding our position under God’s law is a gift granted by God. presenting

When we understand that we face condemnation because of a life of indiscretion and that leads us to repentance – it is a gift.  It is the first act of God drawing his children to Himself.  No one will ever seek a savior until they understand their deep need for one.  It is indiscretion to think that God will be appeased, as long as the good works of our lives, out-weighs the bad.  That is not a responsible decision.  That is a decision that does not understand the holiness and righteousness of God.  That is a person who does not understand the law and the consequences of not adhering to the law because they are clearly not following the appropriate response that comes from understanding.

When Christ hung on the cross, He prayed for the Father to forgive those who crucified him because they did not know what they were doing.  They did what they did because they lacked understanding and discretion.

That lack of understanding continues on a daily basis.

I have read many articles written by atheists.  They tend to be some of the most mean-spirited, rude, and insulting articles in the blogosphere.  They reject the idea that there is a law from God that applies to them.  They make condescending jokes about those who believe such foolishness.

They are demonstrating a lack of understanding.  They are people of indiscretion.  They do not know what they are doing because they have not been granted the understanding and discretion of God’s law.  When God opens someone’s eyes to the consequences of His law, it leads to repentance because it is the only logical choice.  It is the only responsible decision.

This is why we should have compassion for the lost.  They do not understand what they are doing.  We need to pray David’s prayer for them, “Lord, grant them discretion and understanding, that they may keep the law of God.”  The only why for that to happen is to repent and accept the One who kept that law perfectly, for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for showing me the condemnation that my indiscretion had earned.  Thank you for opening my eyes to my need for a savior.  Thank you for drawing me and saving me.  Thank you for continuing to reveal to me what it means to follow you in grateful obedience.  Lord, I pray for my friends and family who do not understand the true condition of their souls.  Father, grant them the understanding that they desperately need Christ as their savior.  That they must be born again.  Please draw them to yourself – to repentance and everlasting salvation.  Lord, adopt them into the family through the power of your Spirit.  They are stiff-necked just as I was and still have a tendency to be.  Soften their hearts to receive the good news of your Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen

7 comments

  1. The last line of your prayer, JD, reminds me of the scripture I often cling to, as I pray for loved ones not living with Jesus, Ezekiel 11:19-20: “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”

    May you and your loved ones have a glorious Easter — HE IS RISEN!


  2. I, too, wished to read a book written by an atheist concerning his “faith”. I wondered how one made decisions to behave in a moral manner with no guide or consequences. The book began by, as you said, ridiculing Christians in the rudest way. The author particularly was angered by our “brainwashing” our children with our beliefs before they were old enough to resist. At the same time, he intended to keep his own children away from religion. Is this not the same as “brainwashing” them? He didn’t seem to think so. I could not read any further in a book by someone so angry that he could not make a logical argument.


  3. Sometimes I think I catch myself looking at unbelievers as if they aren’t quite to my level. Well, maybe they aren’t. But when I think like that I might as well be in the dark, as well.

    I need to remember that it wasn’t all that long ago when I was right there with them.

    We are ALL beggars. We just happen to (by God’s grace) find out where the bread line is.

    Thanks, very much.


  4. Amen!!!


  5. Amen! Amen!


  6. Amen! God bless you for the wonderful words of truth in this.


  7. amen to that prayer!



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