Take the test: look into the mirror of God’s Word and ask yourself, “Which of these characteristics describe me and which don’t?” What do your answers tell you about your walk with God, your trust in Him, and your level of spiritual maturity?
Jeremiah 9 & 10
Take the Test
The Mirror of God’s Word
In chapter 1 of James’ epistle, he compares the Word of God to a mirror (Jas. 1.23) and goes on to say that “if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it” (Jas. 1.25).
Here in Colossians, Paul commands us to “set our mind on things above, not on the things on the earth” (v. 2).
This chapter gives us a great summary of what a mature Christian life should look like—kind of a composite mirror image of Christlike character. Read back through Colossians 3 and take the test. Ask yourself what you are reflecting to the world.
□ Are you putting sinful desires to death? Do you repent when you recognize them (v. 5)?
□ Do you covet what others have, either relationships, material things, or prestige (v. 5)?
□ Are you worshiping anything besides God alone (v. 5)?
□ Do you allow yourself to get angry or malicious (v. 8)?
□ Do you use unwholesome or filthy language (v. 8)?
□ Do you use the Lord’s name in vain, even those OMGs (v. 8)?
□ Do you lie to avoid conflict or problems, cover sin, or mislead (v. 9)?
□ Are you seeking to become more like Christ (v. 10)?
□ Are you merciful and compassionate (v. 12)?
□ Are you kind to friends, family, co-workers and strangers (v. 12)?
□ Are you proud (defensive, self-righteous, demanding, selfish …) (v. 12)?
□ Are you patient (longsuffering) (v. 12)?
□ Are you willing to bear with (put up with, be inconvenienced by) others (v. 13)?
□ Are you forgiving (v. 13)?
□ Do you demonstrate the love of Christ (v. 14, 1 Cor. 13.4-7)?
□ Do you have God’s peace (v.15)?
□ Are you thankful (v. 15)?
□ Are you growing in your knowledge of God’s Word (v. 16)?
□ Are you growing in the wisdom of God (v. 16)?
□ Are you sharing God’s Word with others (v. 16)?
□ Are you willing to speak the truth in love to others (admonish) (v. 16)?
□ Do you have a worshipful heart (v. 16)?
□ Do you do all things in the name of the Lord (is what characterizes your life pleasing to Him) (v. 17)?
□ Wives, are you submissive to your husband (v. 18)?
□ Husbands, do you love your wife biblically or are you bitter toward her (v. 19)?
□ Children, do you obey your parents in all things (v. 20)?
□ Parents, do you provoke your children to anger through your ungodly attitudes and behavior (v. 21)?
□ Employees, do you obey and submit to your boss or supervisor (v. 22)?
□ Are you a man-pleaser, instead of a God-pleaser (v. 22)?
□ Do you fear God (worship, respect Him and His Word) (v. 22)?
□ Do you do all things heartily (v. 23)?
None of us will do all these things perfectly. In fact, that’s why Christ died, because we can’t … and certainly not in our own strength. But as we learn to rely on the Holy Spirit working through us, we should see growth in these areas. When we read prayerfully through passages like Colossians 3, we allow the Holy Spirit to convict our hearts and show us areas where we may need to repent and seek God’s help to change.
What do your answers reveal to you? What do they say about your relationship with God, your trust in Him, and your level of spiritual maturity?
“But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it” (Jas. 1.25 NLT).
Today’s Other Readings:
Jeremiah 9 & 10:
Tongues like Arrows
I love the imagery in the Bible. As you read, think about what some of these images portray.
Verse 9.3, “And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies …”
We don’t use a bow and arrow today, but we have all seen one. We understand how the bow is loaded with the arrow and then it is pulled back and fired at the target. God through the prophet was saying that their tongues were bent back and poised to fire lies.
This is a picture of people whose lives were characterized by deceit. Just like the bow is known for shooting arrows (its only purpose), so these people were known for a life of deceit. Jeremiah goes on to say,
“They weary themselves to commit iniquity” (9.5).
Their sinful lifestyles came out of their rejection of God and His law. They had forsaken the worship of the true God and decided to live according to “the dictates of their own hearts” (9.13). So God said He would “feed them … with wormwood and give them water of gall to drink.”
Life would not go well with them. Life would be bitter. They thought they would find satisfaction in living life their own way, but it was bitter and empty instead.
Made to Worship
Chapter 10 turns to the subject of worship.
We were made to worship. And we will worship something. Sometimes resorting to utter foolishness. Verses 3-5:
3 For the customs of the peoples are futile;
For one cuts a tree from the forest,
The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
4 They decorate it with silver and gold;
They fasten it with nails and hammers
So that it will not topple.
5 They are upright, like a palm tree,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot go by themselves.
Do not be afraid of them,
For they cannot do evil,
Nor can they do any good.”
But our own “idols” are just as foolish to God. We may worship “self”—our right to do whatever we want without regard to God or His will. Or we may worship “possessions” or “fame and fortune” or some other form of false religion, but we all worship something.
Better to Trust in the Lord
Verse 8-9, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”
Sometimes we are more concerned about what people will think than what God thinks, but God and His truth are what will stand.
Satisfied in Him
“A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.”
Pray that God would satisfy you with His steadfast love (Ps. 90.14), so you don’t hunger for what cannot satisfy—the praise of men, earthly things or pleasure.
How has God spoken to you today? Did you see a passage in a new light? Did you see an area where you need to grow and change? Did you find a promise to hold on to? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
In the next few days, we’ll talk about the danger of “following our hearts,” witchcraft, Halloween and conscience issues, some people’s attitudes about hell, the rapture, and ways to live like we’re expecting Jesus to come back soon, among other things.
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