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Q4. Discerning the Best


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Paul asks for discernment so that the Philippians will know what is pleasing to God. The result will be a closer relationship with God. The better we know what pleases or displeases a person the better we are equipped to do those things that will make that person happy. By being selfish in our relationships we are looking at what we want and not at the needs and desires of the other person. We lose sight of making that person happy. In the most important relationship, that one with God, we risk losing the relationship that we do have. We see over and over in the Old Testament that He is a jealous God. He wants to be first and foremost in our lives. By striving for the good things in this life, we are getting our gratification from the riches of this world instead of from God and doing what pleases Him. God is the best thing in our lives and by desiring those things more than Him we can destroy that relationship. This is only relationship that really matters. I want to know what is pleasing to God, I look forward to hearing those words

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Paul asks for discernment for the Philippians so that as they grow and mature they will recognize what has lasting value and what doesn't. The things of the world do not have lasting value. Paul is asking for maturity for the Philippians so that their knowledge of God grows deeper and is based on truth not on the ways of the world.

Selfishness clouds discernment because we become centered on self and what we want. It focuses on glory and honor for our own name rather than glory and honor for God, which is what it is really all about. We can't do anything. It is God who is doing the work through and in us. He deserves the glory, honor and praise, not us. If we are focused on our own righteousness, we have no discernment to recognize what has lasting value. It is like being caught on a wheel going round and round and never seeing the bigger picture. We get so trapped in it that we forget that we can't "do" righteousness. It is a gift from God.

The "good is the enemy of the best" because we settle for less than God intends for us and fall short of the mark. I used to hear people say "Shoot for the moon -- if you miss, at least you'll end up among the stars." In one sense, the saying has some truth to it, but in another way it could also be pointing to the good as the enemy of the best. If we focus on it, we might find ourselves settling for second-best when God wants us to have only the best.

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So that they remain pure and blameless until they die or when Christ returns (whichever comes first). The result of having Spiritual discernment is knowing what God wants us to do, say, think and what not to. Selfishness puts us first and takes God from the Master position in our lives. If we focus on self then we do what we want not what He wants. God wants only the BEST for us, yet we settle for good. Sometimes we grow impatient and do things our way and find out later God had something far better planned for us. Until we learn to let Him steer our lives, we'll always be settling for good.

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Q4. (1:9-11) Why does Paul ask God to give the Philippian Christians discernment? What will be the result of discernment in their lives? How does selfishness cloud discernment? How is the good the enemy of the best in our lives?

We must have discernment to know what is from God. We are told in scripture to no lean on our own understanding. The reason is that man has sinful thoughts and we are good at manipulating and molding God into our image for our purpose.

To beable to discern, we must be able to know God. To study His word which will draw us closer to Him. When we are closer we can know Him better and be able to recognize Him in every aspect of our lives. His Word is a precious gift we have form GEnesis to REvelation to learn what God's character is and how we are to live on this earth. He has given us everything pertaining to life and Godliness - - all we have to do is study it.

Selfishness - - means we are doing something for us - - and not for God - - our judgment will not be according to God but according to us!

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Why does Paul ask God to give the Philippian Christians discernment?

To know what is best.

What will be the result of discernment in their lives?

They will strive for the best that God has to offer for them.

How does selfishness cloud judgement?

When I am being selfish I am thinking about me and my wants which are substandard to God's desires for me and my ways are not God's ways.

How is the good the enemy of the best in our lives?

When we are willing to settle for the good we give up to soon and miss the best.

God Bless!

Jen

Numbers 6:24-26

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Q4. (1:9-11) Why does Paul ask God to give the Philippian Christians discernment?

Discernment will let them know God better and the better that the know God the more that they will want to please Him.

What will be the result of discernment in their lives?

Same as above.

How does selfishness cloud discernment?

When we are being selfish then our eyes are on ourself and not God or others.

How is the good the enemy of the best in our lives?

Well, if we aren't getting the best, what God wants us to have, then we are only looking with our own eyes are just good. I know that when I'm not staying close to God then even if things are going okay it's not the best.

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Paul expressed some confidence in the direction the Phillipian Church was taking. He is excited by these consistently generous people, and has experienced their love and attention in practical terms when he has been in great need. He wants them to continue safely in this direction, and the best he can pray for them is that they should have discernment to stay in the sweet fellowship of the Holy Spirit Discernment involves wisdom, understanding, appreciation, making assessments of the situations and seeing them as God sees them, and acting accordingly as Jesus would, doing only what He sees the Father doing.

Discernment will result in excellent choices and decisions, with brilliant consequences in terms of the fruits of the Spirit. :D Sincerity also is very important.

Selfishness clouds discernment as tunnel vision limits the function of the eyes. The large part of vision is missed, and discernment is uninformed, therefore the selfish person is bound to make mistakes of judgment. Excellence, or the best possible, is long gone, and mediocrity at best claims the day!

The good = mediocrity, when the "best" is available! Satisfaction with mediocrity makes the "best" unavailable. How sad! :(

The "good" is only a modicum of what is possible in Christ.

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Q4. (1:9-11) Why does Paul ask God to give the Philippian Christians discernment? What will be the result of discernment in their lives? How does selfishness cloud discernment?

Looking in my dictionary I see discernment means good judgement. So what are we (they) supposed to be judging? Looking at these verses again this is finding out what is God's will. Why do God's will? In my experience that is because whatever the situation God knows best.

For example the room where I specifically asked God for help furnishing when we moved in here and followed his leading is the one that I am most pleased with the end result. The one where I said I know what I am doing is the one where I am least pleased. Basic example I know but you could scale it up to any situation in life.

Link this question to my example. The result of discernment was a pleasantly furnished room that suits our needs and has things that match together from a variety of sources that just happened rather than being a hard slog to find. Not only that the result is very pleasing.

In terms of the other room selfishness clouded my judgement. What is being selfish - back to the dictionary - it is being concerned with one's personal welfare, with total disregard to others. How could doing what I want to do be called being selfish? I was doing it in a misguided attempt to boost myself by saying that I know best and I am going to make myself look good and feel capable by doing it myself. Putting your own will before God's will not lead to the best results in any circumstance.

How is the good the enemy of the best in our lives?

What is the enemy of the best? Could it be our stubborn will that says we are going to do it our way rather than anyone else's? Could it be our pride that says we know better than anyone else? Could it be the temptation that is put in our way by God's enemy? In other words we are in the middle of a battle between one party wanting the best in our lives and one wanting the worse for us.

Here in the UK we are in the middle of a election campaign to decide who will run parliament for next 4 or 5 years. Somehow we have to make a jugement about who is the best candidate for us locally and possibly nationally. Each side is putting forwards arguments and saying vote for us , side with us and we will do this that and the other for you. Each side is also saying don't take their side because they cannot do what they say and they cannot be trusted to do what they say.

One big difference between an election like this and the battle to decide what to do in life is that it is obvious which side is which. In the battle over what to with our lives this is not always so clear. Does doing ABC this way mean that I am on God's side or not. Even once we have taken sides with God we need to know what is the right policy. We look at the handbook and see a whole series of stories and very few passages that give a list of rules and those rules that there are apply to an older and very different sort of society to ours. We look at the principles guiding their behaviour and they can be helpful but there are many things we can do or think about doing that are not mentioned in the handbook such as experimenting with animals. Somehow we need to come to some kind of conclusion on this kind of issue and that is where we need to be able to work what God wants us to do for ourselves hence our desparate need for discernment.

Susan

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Q4. (1:9-11) Why does Paul ask God to give the Philippian Christians discernment?

Through discernment they would have the ability to see what is not evident to the average mind.

Discernment would also allow them to grow in and through greater knowledge of Christ. This would allow them to grow and be ready to be used by God. They would be unified in purpose and love.

What will be the result of discernment in their lives?

It would allow them to be able to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, vital and trivial. Maintaining Christian morals is only possible through an understanding of what they are. More importantly, understanding allows you to explain the right and wrong of morals to others. This outreach is what we must do as Christians

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Falling in love is a process, be it with Jesus or others. First something about them attracts us, draws us to spend time learning more about them and when we find out who they really are, we make the decision whether or not to deepen the relationship.

One of the problems prevalent in our culture today is that too many proceed into a deeper relationship before the process has gotten very far and that leads to pain and destruction.

Paul did not want those he carried in his heart to go through such a deal - he loved them and wanted the best for them - God's best.

Paul prayed 'discernment' for the Philippians because he wanted them to have the information they needed to make the choice that would bring them the BEST in life. Only God really knows what is best for any of us.

Discernment is being able to recognize what is God and what in His eyes is not best for us - even if it seems like a good thing. It is trusting in His plan for us. It is maturing to the point where we put aside our desires and choose God's desires for us even if we cannot see the outcome quite yet.

When we want the good things of this life above the things God is choosing for us as better we have replaced God with these things and therefore they have become 'ungodly' things. Quite often what is best for us in God's eyes doesn't look 'good' until we get to the end of it and look back. We need to trust Him and make the wiser choice to wait on Him.

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Paul's prayer is that the Philippians will not just be able to choose between what is bad and what is good, but between what is good and what is best.

As long as we are self-willed, we will never be able to make the choices that God would have us make. To have real discernment, we must surrender our will to the will of the Father, the One who knows best what is best for us.

When we settle for the good in our lives, we often miss out on what is best for us. Our constant prayer must be that we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, as is fitting to the plan of our savior Lord Jesus, and that of our Father who is in Heaven.

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Do we need discernment? I know that I do. Continually we must make choices. Every day a multitude of "opportunities" - many very good ones - cross my path competing for my mind and my time. We all make choices and determine how we will spend our 24 hours. We can easily miss "the best" by settling for "the good". Personally, I have had a very difficult time learning to say "no" - especially to "good" things. But I have also learned that often I must say "no" and concentrate on other things - and that decision making process often takes real discernment. Paul's prayer is a very practical one which I pray every morning.

And, if you are a parent, I think you need an extra measure of discernment in today's world. What will you allow your kids to do?, where can they go?, who can they associate with?, what can they listen to?, how can they dress?, when can they make their own decisions? - and on and on it goes! Parents need to pray daily for discernment! (We also need to pray that our children - especially our teens - will learn and develop Godly discernment.) Fathers and mothers also must have discernment in how they spend their time - work competes for much of our time and energy!

Let's pray that we all may be able to discern what is best and that we may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ. God has promised us the wisdom and the strength to do that! We just need to claim His promises and then be obedient.

Have a great and "discerning" day! :D

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Lesson 1 Q 4

(a) Paul asks God to give the Philippian Christians discernment because he wants them to know who God is and what pleases God, to give them insight. This discernment Paul is talking about comes from love and he wants them to have abounding love so discernment will follow.

(B) The result of discernment in their lives is they will learn to put God first, having time to examine what things are of greatest importance and by doing so they will "become pure and blameless until the day of Christ". (1:10)

© Selfishness clouds discernment by we start thinking more of self and less of God. By doing this we fail to have discernment because we are more in love with ourselves than we are God. Love for God is what brings discernment.

(d) The good is the enemy of the best in our lives by we pursue the good things, that maybe of little worth, not seeing that there are better, more important significant things for us.

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Why does Paul ask God to give the Phillipian Christians discernment?

What will be the result of discernment in their lives?

How does selfishness cloud discernment?

How is the good the enemy of the best in our lives?

1. I believe that Paul expressing his joy over the Phillipian christians , and

knowing they have a zeal for God, was concerned that the enemy would

try to block their spiritual progress, maybe by inflating their ego. When

we are determined to follow hard after God, you can believe that the

enemy will do what he can to stop us.

2.Discernment for the Philipian christians will cause them to make godly

decisions and enable them to stay on track with what God is doing.

3. As indicated by others, selfishness is putting our own needs first, and

putting aside the things God has called us to do.

4. The forum is right in saying that settling for the good will rob us of God's best for us.

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Paul asks for discernment for the Philippians so they will know what is best, pure and blameless. Another words what pleases God.

Our lives will than bringglory and praise to God. We will love God more.

Selfishness clouds our discernment because we are more interested in what we think is the best. We must want to put God first and His will first over ours.

If we are preoccupied with the good things we will not have time to search out for the best, most important things. The things of greatest value. We could spend our whole lives just settling for the good things when God wants us to have the best.

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Q4. (1:9-11) Why does Paul ask God to give the Philippian Christians discernment? What will be the result of discernment in their lives? How does selfishness cloud discernment? How is the good the enemy of the best in our lives?

We need discernment in our Christian walk in order to be mature Christians, we must make decisions in our daily lives what to accept, what to do, what to believe etc. Without discernment we will to astray and accept things that are either not the best for us or will lead us into frank error. Self - ness clouds discernment because it looks through the eyes of flesh and what the person wants for themselves. It causes a blindness to God's best for us. Good is especially the enemy of best because of its appearance. It appears good and so therefore can be interpreted as right. It can lead to mediocrity and lukewarmness, both enemies of our growth in Christ.

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Discernment is essential in making wise decisions. Paul tells the Philippians that he prays that their love grow even more in knoledge and discernment. I believe discernment is the wisdom of God. In order to make wise decisions - decisions that seek to glorify God and not ourselve - we need spiritual discernment.

I believe Paul asked God to give them discernment because he knew they would need to beable to know the difference between right and wrong. Discernment is about wanting what God wants. Paul wanted them to focus on the will of God for their lives and not on what they wanted or desired.

Selfishness clouds discernment because the focu in not on God. Self-centeredness and pride clouds our judgement. Discernment is a gift from God to be used to exalt and glorify God. That's difficult to do when we seek the will of self.

What may appear good may not always be what's best. God knows what's best. Many things and ways look good - and they may be - but if we'll allow Him - He will always do whats best. That does not always means best to us. But - it's always best for the glory and honor of Him. All things work together for "what's bets to God" - for me.

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Q4. (1:9-11) Why does Paul ask God to give the Philippian Christians discernment? What will be the result of discernment in their lives? How does selfishness cloud discernment? How is the good the enemy of the best in our lives?

So that they can understand what is the best--not just the good--things of God.

The result will be that they will become pure and blameless before God--at least be growing in that direction. None of us can consider ourselves pure and blameless this side of Heaven! (To begin with, that would be pride--a sin in itself!) :huh:

We are born selfish--wanting what we want when we want it. As we grow, we should be taught to think of others before we think of ourselves. Many nowadays are not taught this in our country, unfortunately. And, our culture is becoming farther from God because of this! A selfish person cannot discern things of God and His desires because the self is on the throne of the life, and looks always to see "what's in it for me?" before accepting or refusing to obey. :o

Some things are good to do, but if it is done in our own power to fulfill something we want, it takes our attention and strength away from those things that God has prepared for us to do. Thus, we struggle to accomplish something--and usually do a poor job--that we think will be good for us, taking the time and energy away from a task that God will do through us--with wonderful results for God's praise and glory!! :(

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How is the good the enemy of the best in our lives?

I had to look twice at this question. It seemed so odd. When I have come back to it I realised how easy it is to be satisfied with something that is good and not to aim higher and gain the best. Some how the best seems to be that which is unachieveable and unreachable. Something that tires us out as we try and reach it.

However with perfectionism if we try too hard to get something right we can end up in going round in circles so much that we don't actually get the job done. We can be so afraid of not doing something right that we constantly check it. I know of a church where one person who is a keyholder cannot be allowed to be last to leave the premises. They would go back and check if the lights are out the doors are locked etc for hours or until someone came to rescue them. They are so struggling so hard to be good that they cannot achieve the best.

Susan

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  • Pastor Ralph changed the title to Q4. Discerning the Best

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