Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Moment By Moment"1 (Lyrics)
2 Corinthians 13:5 – 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? (NIV)
Now that the starter plants have been transferred to the outside garden beds, I stop amidst my morning chores to pop over and examine them. I check to see if each plant looks healthy and has enough moist soil around it. If not, then I do what is necessary to keep the little seedlings well rooted and growing as much as possible.
Likewise, as a Christian, I am called to examine myself, test myself, and see that I am healthy spiritually and growing in Christ. I do this through the Word of God, the Bible. Within its pages, I find God's truth, which outlines what one of Christ's followers should be like. Here are just a few examples:
Galatians 5:22-23a – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (NIV)
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (NIV)
Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (NIV)
Yes, through His Word, I am able to examine myself and test to see if I am healthy and growing, for God's Word gives us clear direction. It also empowers us as we study it, for its truth is "useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16b-17 NIV 2011)
When I examine my little plants, struggling to grow amidst the heat and the cold, the rain and the wind, I do not condemn them when they need my helping hand. So, neither must we condemn ourselves when we examine and test ourselves against God's Word. Rather, we must be honest before God and humbly admit our weaknesses and shortcomings as His Word reveals them to us, knowing that He, our heavenly Gardener, will supply all that we need through the power of His Holy Spirit to keep us becoming healthy and mature plantings of the Lord.
How are you doing today as a seedling of Christ?
Prayer: Father God, thank You so much for Your Word and its truth which is able to examine and test us in Christ Jesus. Bless us with humble and honest hearts that we might be open within to the power of Your Holy Spirit, Who yearns to keep us healthy and growing spiritually. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.