Many of you have just finished your school year in the past few weeks. And, as you know part of finishing a year involves taking final exams (one of the things I did not like about school). Taking exams are part of life. We take exams during school. We have physical exams sometimes at the doctor’s office. And many times, if we want to enter a certain profession like becoming a real estate salesperson, we have to take an exam.
However, there is one critical exam that we should take that many people overlook. And that is the examination of our lives as believers in Jesus Christ. Have you ever stopped to look at your life to see if it proves you really have faith in God? Many people claim to have faith in God, yet if you look closely at their lives, they prove otherwise.
The Apostle Paul told us in 2 Corinthians 13:5; “Examine yourself, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourself.” David took it a step further and wrote “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24) He was asking God to see if there were any things in his life that shouldn’t be there! What about your life? Do you prove by your life and by your actions that you are indeed a believer in Jesus Christ, or do your actions show otherwise?
There are many things we can look at in our lives, our priorities, our values, our motives, etc., but here are four what I think are critical things we should examine:
1. Do We Have a Changed Life? – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Have our desires and choices in life changed since becoming a Christian? Are we trusting in Jesus Christ and Him alone as our means of salvation?
2. Do We Love God’s Word? – “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” (Psalm 119:97) Do we love to read and meditate (think about) the Bible? Do we have meaningful times in His Word, and does it speak to us?
3. Do We Seek to Obey His Commandments? – “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) Do we consistently seek to obey what we know God commands us in His Word? Do we desire to know His will and please Him?
4. Do We Keep A Pure Heart? – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) When we disobey God, does it bother us? Do we seek to confess and forsake our sins daily so that we can keep our hearts pure and right before Him?
These are just four of the basic things that we should examine in our lives on a regular basis. However, if we honestly answer “No” to any of these, we need to pray and seek God’s wisdom and guidance as to whether we truly know Him or not. Salvation is nothing to mess around with – our lives for all of eternity depend upon truly knowing God. Have you examined your life lately?