The Scriptures exhort us to “examine [ourselves] to see whether [we] are in the faith…” (2 Cor. 13:5b).
1) Am I bearing fruit inward by living in God’s word? Jesus: ” If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:31b, 32).
Ask yourself if these past couple of weeks your time alone with God in prayer and the Scriptures has been your top priority. If not, according to John 8:31, 32 you are living in bondage. Last week I asked a friend in full time Christian service about his time with God. Skimpy. Yet he manages to busy himself with creating and running “Christian” programs. He should be mindful of John 15:5: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
2) Am I bearing fruit outward by loving others? Jesus: ” A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (Jn. 13:34, 35 – NIV). The caliber of Jesus’ love lived through us is:
- Selfless : “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor. 4:5).
- Forgiving : “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk. 23:34b).
- Sacrificial : “…Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” (Lk. 14:33b).
3) Am I bearing fruit upward by winning the lost and discipling the saved? Jesus: “ If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (Jn. 15:7, 8). This abundant fruit is manifest in two ways:
1) Character: “… The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law ” (Gal. 5:22, 23).
2) Service: “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together” (Jn. 4:35, 36).
QUESTION : Would you take a few moments now to prayerfully examine yourself in these three areas, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the state of your inner life. Is there a change you need to make today?
This week may you experience His grace, peace and protection.
R. Dwight Hill
1 Some of the key ideas for this “Facts” credited to Spiritual Discipleship, J Oswald Sanders, Moody Press, Chicago 1994, ppg. 27-34.Views: 702