“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith;
test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you
-unless of course you fail the test?”
2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)
Paul speaks very frankly here. He advises the believers at Corinth and to us to get a ‘spiritual check-up.’ As I heard this passage read during an Ash Wednesday service, I felt convicted of ignoring the basics of the faith.
The following questions came to me then next day as I sat down to meditate on Paul’s words.
Do we notice Christ in our lives?
Do we notice Him in the lives of those around us?
Do we spend time with Him through prayer and Bible reading?
Do we speak kindly to those around us?
Do we show concern for others when they have difficult circumstances facing them?
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to bring a Sunday message to the church we were in. It was a day where most of the congregation would be at Family Camp. The pastor was required to be there, with one exception to the rule.
I found myself spending the whole week before looking at everything I did or said to anyone. Imagine if you will, a person studying his or her actions by looking through a microscope. That’s how I viewed my deeds.
A few days prior to that Sunday, a man in our church entered heaven. Most of those who planned to go to the campground remained in town in order to attend the calling for the gentleman who had passed. Because of the change in people’s plans, I spoke to the backbone of the church, those who made the decisions, who paid the bills, and kept the doors opened. As I reflect on this time, I realize God was allowing me to go through that time of introspection in order to prepare me.
Can we forget to do the basic steps of our faith? I believe we can. We can also use certain seasons of the church year to intentionally spend more time in Bible study and prayer.
A friend of mine is using the season of Lent to memorize scripture-a verse a day. Some devotional magazines publish special Lenten Bible studies to help those who seek a closer walk with God. A few years ago, a Sunday school class decided to perform positive acts of kindness to people who were going through tough times. I am trying to send cards and notes to people who were ill or had illness in their family.
As believers, we want to honor Christ in what we do.