Today’s Bible reading contains a straightforward, much-needed challenge:
Examine yourselves… (2 Cor 13:5)
What’s my temperature?
Jesus warned in Matthew 24:12 about the love of many growing “cold.” If the Lord were to give me an accurate reading of the temperature of my love for him and others, what would my reading be? What do my assembling habits indicate? What do my patterns of hospitality suggest? What do my habits of Bible study show? What do my efforts as a servant reveal? What does my prayer life declare? What’s my temperature?
How’s my vision?
Peter warned about being so spiritually nearsighted that we’re blind (2 Pet 1:5-9). How does it happen? If we fail to supplement our faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with steadfastness, steadfastness with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. “For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.” How’s my vision? Am I getting the spiritual supplements that I need?
How’s my hearing?
Jesus warned in Matthew 13 about those who have ears, and yet they can “barely hear” (13:15). To make it personal, he told a parable about some who hear God’s word and immediately receive it with joy, yet they develop no spiritual roots. When tribulation or persecution arises, they immediately fall away. Others hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. “He who has ears, let him hear” (13:9). How’s my hearing?
How’s my speech?
Are lies, complaining, filthy language and careless words spewing from my unguarded mouth? Have I slipped into a God-dishonoring habit of taking his holy name in vain? Am I using my tongue for deceitful flattery, gossip, and slander? If so, what I really need to ask is…
How’s my heart?
“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:43-45)
Examine yourselves. When we do, what do we find? Undoubtedly you have progress to make. So do I. The good news? Jesus said in Luke 5:31-32:
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Healing is available. The Great Physician is calling. The question? Will I give him complete and total access to my heart in order that he might do his work of transformation in me?