Good morning! In the morning, many Americans wake-up and look at themselves in the mirror. There are many things that we notice, such as the appearance of our eyes, our skin and changes that seem to pop-up over night. When we examine ourselves it is easy to see changes in appearance, but what is difficult is the examination of our heart and sometimes our faith. Today, we will read further in 2 Corinthians 13 where Paul talks about examining faith.
“5 Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you[b]; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. 6 As you test yourselves, I hope you will recognize that we have not failed the test of apostolic authority.
7 We pray to God that you will not do what is wrong by refusing our correction. I hope we won’t need to demonstrate our authority when we arrive. Do the right thing before we come—even if that makes it look like we have failed to demonstrate our authority. 8 For we cannot oppose the truth, but must always stand for the truth. 9 We are glad to seem weak if it helps show that you are actually strong. We pray that you will become mature.
10 I am writing this to you before I come, hoping that I won’t need to deal severely with you when I do come. For I want to use the authority the Lord has given me to strengthen you, not to tear you down.” – 2 Corinthians 13:5-10 NLT
Paul was under the scrutiny of the Corinthian church. He continously tried to defend himself and help them to understand what he did was not for himself, but for them to know Christ and the new life they have in Christ. Finally, Paul got to the point in this letter, where he said (paraphrase mine) I know where my faith is and where it comes from. He goes on to challenge them, but where is your faith – Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves.
Sister and brothers we will come up against many people who don’t believe and sometimes Christians who undermine our walk with Christ. However, no one knows your relationship with Christ or your motives more than Christ himself. Let us all be mindful to examine ourselves, our faith, our hearts and our conduct.
No matter where you are on your personal journey with Christ or as a Christian there is always room for growth – spiritually, mentally and in faith.
What area of your life do you need to examine? _________
Ask the Lord to help you in that or those areas of weakness, because the power of Christ within us will make us strong. Trust Him.
Father God, we thank you for your son Jesus Christ. We thank you because when we are weak, we are made strong by His power. Father, you are more than capable of teaching us lessons and leading us back to you. Father, when we get distracted or overwhelmed bring us back to you. Fill us with your Holy Spirit and breathe new life into us daily. Hold us as we look to you for the next step and areas in our lives that we have no control over. Father, you are faithful in all your ways. Increase our faith and help us to stay focused on You. Examine our hearts and show us areas that we need to change and help us to change. Father, heal those who are in pain today (e.g., physical or emotional). Touch those who are grieving. Feed the hungry. Cure those who are suffering. Help us to be the eyes, ears, hands and feet to those who are in need. Give us hearts of compassion and make us new. Finally, Lord protect children and adults who are in abusive situations and bring them the help that they need today. In Jesus name, amen.
Keep praying, the Lord hears you! Keep seeking! Keep trusting the process!
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