Importance of Self-Examination

Oct 25, 2023 | The Chuck Wagon

“This people honors Me with their lips,but their heart is far away from Me.”
Mark 7:6; NASB

In this passage, Jesus was addressing the Pharisees and scribes in response to a question they had regarding the disciples. It appalled them that the disciples didn’t follow tradition by washing their hands before eating bread. This was just one of many empty deeds they performed to show their piety. If Jesus was the Son of God, His disciples should at least be performing the rituals they determined were necessary to prove allegiance to God. Jesus’ response here made a point we should all take to heart. It is not what’s displayed on the outside; it is what’s contained inside that matters.

Have you examined your relationship with God lately? Paul encouraged the Corinthian church to do this. He said, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? (2Cor. 13:5). This test is for your heart, but how do you know if you pass the test? John gives us an answer in 1 John 2:3, “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.”

It is impossible to keep His commandments all day, every day. This point is without debate. It would require every thought, every action, and every motive for every action to be pure and holy. Jesus was the only One capable of that because, as we know, He was sinless. Even for believers, this will not happen. Although we are new in Christ, we still have a sinful nature (see 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 7:14-25). Our salvation is not determined by what we have done or what we will ever do. Salvation is a gift from God (see Eph. 2:8-9). With it comes a new heart, which is the actual issue here. If we have Christ in us, we will want to glorify Him in all we do. We will fall short daily, not because we want to, but because it is our nature to do so. The beauty is we are forgiven by the Blood of Christ.

Every believer should take time to look closely at three areas of their life. Their your prayer life, their Bible reading and studying habits, and their daily thoughts and behaviors. By comparing your daily behaviors to what you know is right from reading the Bible, you can see your shortcomings and work on the problem areas. In prayer, you can address these areas, asking God to strengthen you and, if necessary, heal you in those areas. The beauty of all this is there will always be something to work on, seeking God’s guidance along the way.

The main point of all this is, if you say you are a Christian, act like one. Many give God lip service and actions that mean nothing. Freedom in Christ comes from seeking Him with all your heart and obeying His commands. The rewards are limitless, even in this world, but the ultimate reward comes when we go to be with Him for eternity.

God bless and have a great week.

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