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? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. (2 Corinthians 13:5-8 – NIV)
Paul asks the Corinthians to examine their own lives to see whether they are in the faith. It is clear that Paul not only wanted the Corinthians to have assurance of their salvation in Christ, but he also desired strongly for them to grow into mature believers who give glory to God by the way they lived. He wanted them to not only profess their faith, but live out their faith in action. Paul also asks the Corinthians to look at his own life, trusting that they will see that he has not failed the test and the evidence of his love for Christ is manifested in the way that he lived.
It’s one thing to express verbally to others of the good news of the gospel. But what is even more compelling is the way that I live my life and even more so, the evidence of the Holy Spirit residing in me. The evidence of my love for Him is directly in proportion to how well I pass my test, and I am challenged to examine the evidence of so many areas of my life.
How is my trust in Christ, especially when life circumstances seem overwelming?
How is my obedience to God, especially since the Bible teaches that my obedience is in direct relation to the level of love that I have for Him?
Am I experiencing growth in holiness?
Am I bearing the fruits of the Spirit?
Am I loving others, especially Christians and those set apart in His family?
Am I positively influencing and encouraging others?
Do I have abounding joy in my heart as a result of the Spirit residing in me?
I know that apart from Christ, none of this is possible, so I must continually draw near to Him in prayer and present myself a living sacrifice for His glory.
O great and merciful God you know me perfectly, far beyond my knowledge of myself. You know my every action and you even know the manner of which I pursue them. You know every thought and every word I speak you know before I even speak them. There is no way I could even think to pass the test of faith without you. I depend on you completely to work in me and through me, not because I desire to be better than others but instead, because I love you and I want my life to be used as an influence for your pleasure and your glory.
Lord, take this existence and use it. Make my life into a love offering for you. Help me to invest my life into the things that will outlast my life. Rid my life of any anxiety or distraction that is keeping me from being focused on bringing you praise and glory. I do not want to waste one day of the life you have given to me.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Amen.
I love you!