2 Corinthians 13:5 “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 Bible is clear that we are to examine ourselves. Typically, we are more out to judge or examine others before we are to examine ourselves. The Lord gives us to simple instructions:
- Examine Yourselves
- Prove Yourselves
There are some principles that would be good to highlight in order to learn to do a self examination.
- Make Jesus Christ Your Mark: We have a habit of comparing ourselves to others, when we are to make Jesus Christ our standard. Remember, if you don’t look like Jesus then you don’t have any business judging others.
- Make The Bible Your Mirror: The Bible is not just a composition of stories and fairy tales, but it is a mirror that reveals to us all our impurities. Reading the Bible requires us to align and adjust to it, rather than making it adjust to us. Allow the Bible to be the device that shows us our imperfections.
- Make The Holy Spirit Your Mentor: There is no greater accountability partner than the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to work in your life by giving Him complete access to your heart. Trust me; the Holy Spirit will definitely be a truthful physician in the examination process.
Today’s Challenge: Do a Self Examination using these tools and see what happens.
2 Corinthians 12:10 “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
This, to me, is one of those verses that confirm the fact that man was truly inspired by God when writing Scriptures. The natural man would not ever write such things. I have often wondered what caused the Lord to instill such qualities into those that follow Him. I am at the same reminded that God placed us here on earth to give Him glory. The greatest display of God’s strength is discovered in our greatest moments of weakness. The reason we can take pleasure in such difficult circumstances is because it gives God the opportunity to display His greatness. God wants to take us to the place of “I can’t” to the place of “He can”. It is at the moment where we say “I can’t” that God says “He can”. This verse teaches a great principle that when we are at weakest, God is at His strongest. The reason we can call are times of weakness our greatest moments of strength is because those are the moments that God gets to display His sovereign power. When we make statements like…
“I don’t know what else to do.”
“I have done everything I know to do.”
It is during the times of making these statements that we must realize that God has got us in the exact place He desires us to be. We must learn to quit operating in our own strength and start relying on God’s strength.
Today’s Challenge: Realize that your greatest moments of weakness, gives God His greatest opportunity to display His power and strength through you.
2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
We have many tendencies to complicate things that God meant to be real simple. We call things hard, that were intended to be real easy and we get confused about things that are supposed to be real easy to understand. We are reminded that Satan’s intentions are to keep us from obeying the Lord. The Lord makes His directions real clear, but Satan is the one that tries to confuse us. When we give place to the Devil we are allowing ourselves to be pulled away from Christ. The intentions of Satan is basically to corrupt our minds from the simplicity of Christ. When give ear to Satan we are allowing corruption to enter our minds.
Satan will corrupt the mind in order to confuse the mind.
God did not intend for the Christ-life to be difficult or confusing. Sure there are difficulties and hard times, but God offers relief, rest, and revival for those that bring those difficulties to Him. Man has tried to complicate the Bible while God intended for it to be quite simple. We must remember the simplicity that is in Christ.
- Christ had a Simple Message – Believe on Christ and you will be Saved
- Christ had a Simple Command – Follow Me
If you think about it, everything about Christ and the Christ-life is real simple. Just do what He says and it will not get complicated. However; we question, we doubt, and we rebel against the very simplest of lifestyles.
Today’s Challenge: Quit complicated things through unbelief and start believing in the simplicity that is in Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:17 “But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
Bragging and boasting is a dangerous thing. God desires that if any glory is to be given then it needs to be given to the Lord. Many times we forget to give credit, where credit is due. My heart breaks over the amount of times I have failed to glorify God when He deserved all the credit. Many times we give ourselves credit when things go well, and give God all the credit when things go wrong. Even when we brag on others, it is usually with selfish intentions. We must come to the place in our lives where God deserves to get all the Glory. If we look inside the intentions of our heart we find selfishness at each corner. We forget that God can promote us just as much as we can promote ourselves. We must move the intentions of our hearts away from our selfish boastings. The Lord is the only one that needs to get the credit. We need to learn to brag on the Lord. Give God the Glory, He deserves it!
Today’s Challenge: Practice bragging on the Lord today!
2 Corinthians 9:6 “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”
This world is filled with laws. These laws include things such as the laws of Physics, the laws of Mathematics, and the laws of the Land. It is good to note that while our world has laws which keep it spinning; our Bible also is filled with laws. In this text we see a Biblical law called the Law of Reaping and Sowing. I am amazed at how many Christians expect such a great harvest with such little investments. The American Church is consumed with the mentality that God should bless us with much on the grounds that we give Him very little. A farmer will expect little fruit if he only sows small amounts of seeds. Likewise, the Christian should not wander why the blessings of God are so sparse when they have not planted much into the Kingdom of God. We must remember that if we want the blessing of God then we must be will to sow bountifully. It will require sacrifice, it will require service, but the end result will be far greater than you would ever expect. Please don’t be so foolish to think that God is supposed to bless your life when you have invested so little into His Kingdom. It is not just about money, but it is about your entire life.
Today’s Challenge: Plant a lot of seeds today, and watch the blessing of God bloom.
2 Corinthians 8:12 “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”
The proof is in the scriptures. The beginning of something great does not start with a talent, or platform. The beginning of greatness starts with a willing mind. The battles that take place in the mind are vast. The mind can imagine vanity, it can create fears, and it can cause panic. It is also a place that can dream big, cultivate vision, and overcome adversity. A willing mind can over look fears, overcome obstacles, and overpower strongholds. A mind that is willing is far more powerful than a body that is able. Ability always helps, but God just needs a willing spirit. It is evident through the people God has used that He does not care about ones talent or ability as much as He cares about their willingness to serve. God is not as interested in our ability as He is our availability. Talent is always God given, but it takes a willing spirit to put that talent in God’s hands. We must make sure we stop dwelling on what we are able to do and start dwelling on what we are willing to do.
Today’s Challenge: Look beyond your abilities and concentrate your attention on your availability. Ask yourself the question: Have I made myself available to the Lord?
2 Corinthians 7:1 “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
The concept of “perfecting holiness” is something that seems really out of reach. We are reminded that we are not only to pursue holiness, but we are to perfect holiness. The Lord desires we live according to Biblical Principles. Here are three things that must be done in order to perfect holiness:
- We are to Pursue Holiness: The process of perfecting it, involves the desire to have it. It is hard to perfect something that you do not desire.
- We are to Practice Holiness: Remember the phrase “practice makes perfect”? The same concept applies here.
- We are to Pattern Holiness: Following Christ allows to model and pattern holiness. It is through the process that perfecting holiness is achieved.
Some might say that we can’t ever be perfect. I agree. We will never be perfect on this earth. However; there is no sense in not trying to settle for less.
Today’s Challenge: One of my favorite quotes “In the pursuit of perfection you will achieve excellence.” Vince Lambarti
2 Corinthians 5:7 “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”
Our walk with God must be a walk by faith. Faith is very broad Biblical subject. However; the Christian’s spiritual journey must be one that is conducted completely by faith. Faith is the ability to see something that cannot be seen. Faith believes God to the extent that it sees what God sees. In order to walk by faith we must first begin to trust God eyesight better than ours.
There are times when we pull up to a busy parking lot that I tell my son to hold my hand and follow me. He grabs my hands and begins to follow me. He can’t see what Daddy can see because of size, maturity level, and inability to see. He must trust the sight of his daddy to lead him safely through the obstacles in the parking lot.
The same thing is true for the Christian. Life is full of obstacles, and dangers that can’t be seen. By faith we hold on to our Heavenly Father’s hand and trust Him to lead us safely to our destination. There are things we can’t see. In order to walk by faith, we must trust God to see for us. After all, His eyesight is much better than ours.
Today’s Challenge: Learn to walk by faith. Trust God to see for you today!
2 Corinthians 4:3 “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:”
God did not design the His Gospel to be hid. He created us in order to expose the Gospel. When we fail to present the Gospel we are hindering the spreading of the Gospel. We allow fear, pride, and rejection to prevent our Gospel message from being presented. There is a great need for Christians to share their faith. Sharing our faith seems to be the most difficult thing Christians try do. As Christians, we possess the cure. We did to look at what we hid when we hid the Gospel.
- We are Hiding Hope: When we fail to share our faith we are failing to share the message of hope.
- We are Hiding Heaven: Can you imagine knowing the directions to Heaven and never giving a lost person the map.
- We are Hiding Help: We possess a one size fits all solution to people’s problems. It is not that Christ is a solution, He is the only solution.
Today’s Challenge: Don’t hide the Gospel!
2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
This is a verse that opens the door to all kinds of opportunities. Many people consider Christianity to be that of bondage. However; this verse shows us that the presence of the Lord produces the exact opposite. The presence of the Lord will always produce liberty. We talk about a life of freedom so much but we neglect the very thing that offers that freedom. Liberty is something that few people ever experience because they fail to experience the Lord. There is no way a person can truly be set free from the bondage of sin without the Spirit of the Lord present. Instead of the presence of Christ in our Church services we have resorted to man-made glory rather than the manifested glory of the Holy Spirit. It does not have to be pumped, or primed by the hand of man. The presence of the Lord is something that must be desired. We must move all things aside and desire the presence of our Lord.
Today’s Challenge: Get the Lord in everything we do