Scripture reading for August 15th: 2nd Corinthians 13
Key Scriptures for over-comers: 2nd Corinthians 13:2-5 “I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others, since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For to be sure, He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in Him, yet by God’s power we will live with Him to serve you. 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.”
Pastor Paul was concerned about those in the church that were still living in sin. He had warned the church that this was dangerous and repeated the warning that these people should be dealt with. He would come in Christ’s authority and power to deal with these people if necessary. But a better way was for them to do a healthy self-examination. Each member must test themselves to see whether they were truly in the faith through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit. When we have Christ in us, we have the power to repent and live free from sin.
Observations for over-comers: Regular self-examinations concerning Christ in us is a healthy form of discipline. “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” (Proverbs 12:1)
Scripture reading for May 29th: Job 29-31
After all his friends were silent and their accusations ceased, Job was still suffering! He remembered his past time of blessing with a sense of joy. (Job 29) He was taunted by the young men of the city and then felt driven to do a self-examination and moral inventory. (Job 30:1) He had some inner convictions about what was good and evil. Job went over these convictions in a systematic way to be sure that he had not violated any of the things he knew were evil and that he had done those that were good. He was judging himself so that God would not judge him.
Job first dealt with his personal life. (Job 31:1-12) He was careful with his eyes, not to look lustfully on a woman. He stayed away from his neighbor’s wife. He knew that this would lead to trouble! He knew that sexual sin was something that God would judge! (Job 31:11) He also checked his honesty and truthfulness. God would weigh him with honest scales in this regard! (Job 31:5-6)
Job next dealt with his public life. (Job 31:13-23) He tested his heart for his treatment of his servants. Was he fair and respectful of them? He then looked to his treatment of the poor and orphan. Was he willing to give to help them with food and clothing? God was watching all of these and would judge! (Job 31:23)
Job also checked his spiritual life. (Job 31:24-40) How did he treat money? Was it a ‘god’ in his life? Did he secretly worship anything other than the God who created everything? He also checked his attitude about revenge. Vengeance belongs to the Lord–we must not get even or even rejoice over someone’s misfortune. How had he treated strangers? Were his motives pure in all that he did?
What an inventory! Take time today and allow this 4000 year-old inventory to give you insight into your own walk with God. Remember, Jesus Christ has already paid the penalty for our sins and if we confess them to Him, He will forgive us and cleanse us from all sin! (1st John 1:7-9)