Monday, January 3, 2011
I think a lot... about a lot of things. Often I am thinking about biblical passages, or doctrines, or even my own beliefs concerning such things.
Years ago my family and I lived in Mesa Arizona, and the Pastor of the Church we attended there used to give a New Years teaching, every year, based upon 2 Cor. 13:5, which says "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" The message, of course, was meant to stir up the people to take a new, fresh look at themselves as we were entering into a fresh new year (not unlike new years resolutions I suppose, which start out in great hope and prospect, but usually end up by the wayside for most). I don't mean to imply that his message was a doctored up new years resolution. I think the idea of calling upon people to heed 2 Cor. 13:5 anytime is good, but it certainly seems especially appropriate at the start of a new year.
However, how many of us as individuals truly take a good, hard look (a serious self diagnostic, if you will) at ourselves, our beliefs, our actions, attitudes, etc.? I doubt that very many of us do in any real real nitty, gritty sort of way. And why? Well, frankly, because it is painful. And difficult. And unnerving.
Where I work, we make oil field process equipment. When a new vessel has been built, we put them through a pressure test wherein we test them at a higher psig than that of their normal working pressure. We are putting them under intense stress in order to test the welds, etc., of the vessel to make sure that there are no leaks. An improperly built vessel can be very, very costly, if not downright deadly as well.
Paul said that we should examine ourselves, to see whether we are in the faith. A self audit, if you will. Not only do I doubt that many people today actually do this, how many Churches, or even denominations do this? Well, in a way, I suppose it is happening to many. Unfortunately, many Pastors, Churches, and Denominations are going in the WRONG direction! Instead of auditing themselves against God's word, and changing accordingly, they are looking at the trends of the world, and changing accordingly!
I'm not sure that this could be stopped, large scale, save for a Ninevah type intervention from God. However, it certainly CAN be stopped in your individual life, and home.
When was the last time that you actually scrutinized yourself, your behavior, actions, doctrines, and beliefs? Perhaps now is the time? Perhaps today is the day (or night, however the case may be). Instead of examining your beliefs in light of the latest teaching you've heard, why not look deeply into the word of God, and ask some tough questions. Do the things I believe hold up in light of the counsel of God's word? Do I fashion my beliefs and faith after the bible, or by the current trends and ideas floating around christiandom, or my inner circle, or the latest trendy fad book to come out on the Christian market?
You would do well to to such a thing - to examine (put to the test, scrutinize) yourself, to see whether you are actually in the faith! We ALL would do well to do so. So I encourage you to do just that. It's time for an audit! What do you say?
Posted by JRM at 7:33 PM