Greg Spires – Teaching Pastor
Diamond graders work to determine the quality of the diamonds they are given to examine. The process the graders use is meticulous. They examine the diamonds under different lighting conditions to identify unique characteristics of the stones. They also use powerful microscopes to look for any flaws in the diamond. When the grader makes their final assessment of the diamond, they will summarize their findings with emphasis on the diamond’s clarity, shape, symmetry, and flaws. The grade the diamond receives will have a significant impact on its selling price.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to the work of “grading.” Notice what the Bible says in Philippians 1:9-10, “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.”
We are called to “approve what is excellent.” Notice this is a very different job from “approving what is right and wrong.” The Bible has numerous places where it gives us a clear indication of the kinds of things God calls sin. The question at hand in Philippians 1:9-10 is not, “Is this a sin?” No, the question being asked is, “Among the many good things I could do, what is the best thing?”
A diamond grader does not spend their day trying to figure out if they are looking at diamonds or not. A diamond grader spends their day determining which diamonds they are looking at are the BEST diamonds. This requires training, skill, and patience.
Do we spend our time seeking to have the skill and wisdom to offer God our best? Or, do we spending our time with the much more basic (and trivial) work of trying to determine if something we want to do is right or wrong?
How we answer those questions will reveal our motives. When we want to grow in wisdom and discernment so we can offer God our best, we discover we are motivated to please and glorify God. On the other hand, when we want to try and determine if some choice or activity is right or wrong, we must realize we are motivated to determine “what can I get away with?”
One of the markers of a growing relationship with Jesus is seeing our questions change from “Is this right?” to “Is this best?” We are given such a brief time in this life to live and worship Christ by faith. With so little time, we have none to waste. Since each of us finds ourselves in different life circumstances, our answers will all be different. However, we can have confidence we will be going in the right direction when we realize we only have one day that is called Today; and when we approach today asking, “What is best for today in my life for Jesus?” we do so as those living with wisdom and discernment.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together! This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Philippians 1:3-8.
See you Sunday,