As I examine my heart, thoughts, and intentions,
I realize my actions don’t align.
I confess this to You now, Lord, and I repent.
Thank You for making me new.

 

Focus of the Month: “A Beautiful Reflection”

Exams to Complete this Fall:

  • Physical
  • Dental
  • Mammogram
  • Continuing Ed
  • Myself  …Wait…What?  Myself?

Ah, yes! Fall is upon us. Vacations have ended, routines have been initiated, and for many, exams of all sorts are taking place. Routine physicals; fall dental cleanings; annual eye exams; and students of every age are back to academic exams. But with all of that getting-into-routine-hustle, do we remember the most important exam?

What exam is that? Truly, the most essential exam is the one in which we are not just the examinee, but also the examiner.

Paul instructed Christians to examine themselves, judge themselves rightly, and see if they are in faith. In doing so, they would know who they are in Christ, they are worthy of the body and blood of Jesus, they would not be judged with the world, and that His power works effectually in them.

We analyze and critique many things each day. Most is outward – things our eyes and opinions fall upon outside of ourselves. But this critical examination we are instructed to do actually begins by us looking at our own reflection, from the inside out. This demands us to honestly evaluate every part of ourselves: our thoughts, intents, ideas, motives, words, actions, and the meaning, purpose, and root of it all.

In doing so, however, there must be a standard of absolute truth and righteousness. That only comes from the Word of God and the witness of the Holy Spirit. According to 1 Peter 4:1-2, we are to arm ourselves with the same purpose – the same way of thinking – as Jesus, and live for the will of God. We can’t judge ourselves rightly if we are unaware of the Truth. We can’t understand our motives if we don’t know the power behind them. And, we can’t pass the test of faith if we don’t believe the scriptures.

In Psalm 119:59, David wrote, “I considered my ways and turned my feet to Your testimonies.” Lamentations 3:40 encourages, “Let us examine and probe our ways and let us return to the Lord.” Job cried, “How many are my iniquities and sins? Make known to me my rebellion and my sin” (Job 13:23).

Jesus, the Living Word, taught us that the Helper – the Holy Spirit – convicts people concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.  His Spirit testifies with our spirit. He leads us into all truth and teaches us all things.

Everyone who goes to the doctor expects a report. All who take academic exams receive grades. Those who examine themselves should produce results, as well. Light is shed on our intents, motives, thoughts and actions: approval of those in line with His Word; conviction of those that oppose it. Those results then initiate our ensuing actions of confession, repentance and becoming more like Him – a true reflection of the Love, Light and Life of God, in and thru Jesus Christ.

David understood that when he kept silent about his sin, he suffered – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. However, when he acknowledged his sin and confessed, God forgave him and revived him (Psalm 32:3-5). 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

So how about it? Take some time this week to get away from the hustle of the season. Look at yourself introspectively. Search your own heart. Know what is good and right and true within you. Confess, repent, and turn away from anything that contradicts God’s perfect law of love. Examine yourself. It’s essential for your health – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Holding fast to Hope,

Maryann

Scripture References: 1 Corinthians 11:27-32; 2 Corinthians 13:5; John 3:20, 14;26, 16:7-14; Romans 8:16; Luke 11:36; Mark 4:22