2 Corinthians 13:5 – Check up on yourselves. Are you really Christians? Do you pass the test? Do you feel Christ's presence and power more and more within you? Or are you just pretending to be Christians when actually you aren't at all? (TLB)
As a little girl, my parents took me to church. Yet before long, they stopped going. At first I missed it, but then they took me for long walks through a beautiful park-like cemetery, so I spent a lot of quality time with them. Looking at the graves and surroundings, I had a lot of questions about death — but they had no answers for me. Consequently I began to have a fear of dying and being put in the ground. I was too young to understand, but now I realize that death is a fact and it comes to all. It is the beginning of a new life and nothing to be afraid of.
I did not go to church again until I was a teenager, and then joined some friends going to a Sunday School nearby. We had a wonderful teacher who showed so much love to us girls and boys that today each one who passed through her class is living a Christian life. I know God had a hand on my life even though I was going for the wrong reasons and was excited to be going just for friendships.
Romans 3:23 states, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (NIV). I had never made that verse personal — as I had done none of the things that I considered sin. I soon found out, though, that lack of obedience to God's Word was wrong, and that He loves me so much He was willing to die for me — even if I were the only person on earth. My Christian walk has been a slow-growing experience, but one day I heard a pastor say, "If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?" That made me see that I would have been out of jail in no time, and I had better start changing my habits.
2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that the Bible is inspired by God, teaches the truth, makes us realize what is wrong in our lives, and helps us to do what is right. Sometimes we are tempted to go ahead with our own plans, but they usually end up in disappointment or disaster. We must always be aware to put Him first: lifting Christ up and humbling ourselves.
It is easy to praise when we are living a comfortable life, but we must remember to praise Him when He says, "Wait" or maybe even, "No." He knows the future that we cannot see.
Jeremiah 29:11 – "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)
Prayer: Lord, thank You for keeping us in Your hands even when we are tempted to go our own way. We want to be obedient to Your guidance and depend entirely on You. Thank You for Your love and strength to keep living the life You have planned for us. Amen.