January the Seventeenth Spiritual Discernment
"My sheep hear My voice!"
-- JOHN x.19-30.

This is spiritual discernment. We may test our growth in grace by our expertness in detecting the voice of our Lord. It is the skill of the saint to catch "the still small voice" amid all the selfish clamours of the day, and amid the far more subtle callings of the heart. It needs a good ear to catch the voice of the Lord in our sorrows. I think it requires a better ear to discern the voice amid our joys! The twilight helps me to be serious; the noonday glare tends to make me heedless.

"And they follow Me!" Discernment is succeeded by obedience. That is the one condition of becoming a saint -- to follow the immediate call of the Lord. And it is the one condition of becoming an expert listener. Every time I hear the voice, and follow, I sharpen my sense of hearing, and the next time the voice will sound more clear.

"And I give unto them eternal life." Yes, life is found in the ways of a listening obedience. Every faculty and function will be vitalized when I follow the Lord of life and glory. "In Christ shall all be made alive."

My Saviour, graciously give me the listening ear! Give me the obedient heart.

january the sixteenth the distinction
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