How many times a day do you examine yourself?
How many times do you look in a mirror?
How many times do you check your hair? Or if you’re a girl, how many times a day do you check if your makeup isn’t smeared and it’s perfect?
The same way that we examine our outward appearance we should also examine our inward character.
The Bible says a lot about self examination.
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you are disqualified.” – 2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV
How many of us can say that we actually examine our Christian walk?
Do we examine what we’re doing wrong?
Do we examine our faith?
The book of 1 John is a great way to examine yourself and your faith. Now John liked to talk a lot about light and darkness, in the Gospel of John you can see that he liked to compare the two, and he did it quite well. For example:
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” – 1 John 1:5, 6 NKJV
In other words, if you call yourself a Christian, a follower of Christ, but are not living a Christlike life, you are a liar, and Christ is not in you, because your life doesn’t reflect that of Christ’s. John cuts straight to the point, he calls out those people who are playing games. He says that if you claim to be in the light, but live in the darkness, you are a liar, and the truth is not in you. That right there should rattle some cage inside you.
It’s quite simply really. If you claim to be Christian, live a Christlike life. Stop playing games.
Are we really imitating Christ in everything we do? Or in other words, are we giving out a Christlike appearance in our daily lives?
“He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in Him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” – 1 John 2:4-6 NKJV
In my opinion, there are too many people in churches claiming to be followers of Christ, Christian, but not living a Christlike life. Did you know that the word “follow”, as it’s used in the Gospels, means to imitate? You can put one and one together. Are you a follower of Christ, in other words, are you an imitator of Christ?
How many of us have a grudge or dislike someone, in or outside the church?
The Bible says that if you hate your brother you are a murderer at heart, and that a murderer will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Simple as that.
1 John 2:19
says, “He who is in the light, but hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”
And many of you might say, well, you don’t know what he or she has done to me, they’ve hurt me. It doesn’t matter! If you can’t forgive them for what they have done, you are not like your Father in heaven. Jesus said that before you come before God to ask for forgiveness, go out and and forgive those who have have done wrong to you, and then come back and ask for forgiveness for your trespasses against God.
This next verse is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. It has cause a lot of arguments in church because of how people explain it and interpret it, and I’m sure it will upset some of you today.
“Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father but of this world.” – 1 John 2:15
What are the things of the world?
Certain TV shows?
To me, things of the world would be anything that doesn’t honor God with it’s message. So, music with profanity, or music with sexual talk, movies with adultery and profanity, TV shows with the same content. I know that many Christians don’t think that that music you listen to is bad, but in reality it is. Is it honoring God? I don’t think so.
The Bible says we are new creation when we deny ourselves and begin to follow Christ. So as a new creation we should stop trying to be like the world, stop listening to the same things that the world does. Stop watching the same things that the world does. Stop trying to be like the world, and start trying to be more like Christ.
“Do not be equally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord had Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are a temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them, and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, Come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
In the simplest of forms, what does a child of God have to do with the world?
What does light have to do with darkness?
If we’re called to be different, why is that it is so hard for the world to distinguish between a follower of Christ and a follower of the world?
Examine yourself. We all need it. Don’t take this as judgment, take this as correction.