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Sermon Quotes

Discernment

Oswald Chambers

God does not exist to answer our prayers, but by our prayers we come to discern the mind of God.

Oswald Chambers

If you yourself do not cut the lines that tie you to the dock, God will have to use a storm to sever them and to send you out to sea.
You have to get out past the harbor into the great dephts of God, and begin to know things for yourself….beg in to have spiritual discernment.
Beware of paying attention or going back to what you once were, when God wants you to be something that you have never been.

Sinclair B. Ferguson

True discernment means not only distinguishing the right from the wrong; it means distinguishing the primary from the secondary, the essential from the indifferent, and the permanent from the transient. And, yes, it means distinguishing between the good and the better, and even between the better and the best.

Michael Horton

The key to maturity is time and community. Discernment and godly wisdom develop in a community that spans generations. The church is called to be this place where the [God’s] Spirit uses normal patterns and rhythms of the Christian life in a community, so that we may bear fruit like a well-watered tree. Despite common appearances, the church is the place where God’s new creation is coming into existence and being sustained by the Spirit like a great vineyard.

Victor Hugo

“Nothing discernible to the eye of the spirit is more brilliant or obscure than man; nothing is more formidable, complex, mysterious, and infinite. There is a prospect greater than the sea, and it is the sky; there is a prospect greater than the sky, and it is the human soul.”

Les Misérables

Anne Lamott

It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.

 

C.S. Lewis 

At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.” 

The Weight of Glory

Margaret Millar

Some people become so expert at reading between the lines they don’t read the lines.

Eugene Peterson

It is easier to find guides, someone to tell you what to do, than someone to be with you in a discerning, prayerful companionship as you work it out yourself. This is what spiritual direction is.

Charles Spurgeon

Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right.

J.R.R. Tolkien 

“Eomer said, ‘How is a man to judge what to do in such times?’
As he has ever judged,’ said Aragorn. ‘Good and evil have not changed since yesteryear, nor are they one thing among Elves and another among Men. It is a man’s part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house.” 

The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2))

B.B. Warfield

Let us, then, cultivate an attitude of courage as over against the investigations of the day. None should be more zealous in them then we. None should be more quick to discern truth in every field, more hospitable to receive it, more loyal to follow it wherever it leads. 

Mencius

Before a man can do things there must be things he will not do.

John Baillie

I am sure that the bit of the road that most requires to be illuminated is the point where it forks.

Invitation to Pilgrimage, Scribner’s Sons.

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

Jesus learned how to discern between invitations. He learned discernment by first saying yes to God’s invitations to rest, wait, pray, forgive, remember and love. Time with God was not a luxury that got squeezed out when business ness picked up. God’s invitation to “save the world” didn’t stop Jesus from attending to his own soul in the process. Saying yes to the invitation to be with God was the wellspring of his heart and the source of all his actions.

Taken from Invitations from God by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun. ©2011 by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun.  Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove  IL  60515-1426. www.ivpress.com

B.B. Warfield

Let us, then, cultivate an attitude of courage as over against the investigations of the day. None should be more zealous in them then we. None should be more quick to discern truth in every field, more hospitable to receive it, more loyal to follow it wherever it leads. 

Ernest Larkin

Discernment in its fullness takes a practiced heart, fine-tuned to hear the word of God and the single-mindedness to follow that word in love. It is truly a gift from God, but not one dropped from the skies fully formed. It is a gift cultivated by a prayerful life and the search for self-knowledge.

Ruth Haley Barton

Discernment is an increasing capacity to recognize and respond to the presence and activity of God—both in the ordinary moments of our lives and in the decisions we face.

Taken from Invitation to Retreat: The Gift and Necessity of Time Away with God by Ruth Haley Barton Copyright (c) 2018 by Ruth Haley Barton. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Ruth Haley Barton

The habit of discernment is a quality of attentiveness to God that is so intimate that over time we develop an intuitive sense of God’s heart and purpose in any given moment.

Taken from Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation by Ruth Haley Barton Copyright (c) 2009 by Ruth Haley Barton. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

B.B. Warfield

Let us, then, cultivate an attitude of courage as over against the investigations of the day. None should be more zealous in them then we. None should be more quick to discern truth in every field, more hospitable to receive it, more loyal to follow it wherever it leads. 

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