“Take the Test” October 12

 

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?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?

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 9 & 10
Psalm 118.5-9
Proverbs 27.7
Colossians 3.1-25

 

Take the Test

 

Colossians 3.1-25:

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.

 

The Test

 

□  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).

 

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?


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:

Idolatry

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.

 

Psalm 118.5-9:

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.

 

Proverbs 27.7:

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.

 

Your Thoughts:

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.

 

Coming Up:

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.

Be sure to sign up so you won’t miss any of these upcoming posts.

Blessings,
Donna


You can also sign up for special “Christian Living” posts like this week’s “Praying through the Bible.”

Praying through the Bible - One book that continues to resonate with me and impact my life, particularly my prayer life, is Donald Whitney's book Praying the Bible. Even though I had prayed many Bible passages in the past, his book encouraged me to pray more from the Scriptures, especially the Psalms. One of my goals for next year is to pray through the Bible as I read. I'd like to share with you what that will look like and give you some examples of how to pray passages of Scripture.

 

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Featured resources on Kindle or in books:

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life
Drawn from a rich heritage, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney will guide you through a carefully selected array of disciplines. By illustrating why the disciplines are important, showing how each one will help you grow in godliness, and offering practical suggestions for cultivating them, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will provide you with a refreshing opportunity to become more like Christ and grow in character and maturity. Now updated and revised to equip a new generation of readers, this anniversary edition features in-depth discussions on each of the key disciplines.

Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health
Are you spiritually healthy or just spiritually busy? These 10 probing questions will help you look beyond your spiritual activity to assess the true state of your spiritual health. This book by Donald S. Whitney provides thought-provoking insights that will help you on your spiritual transformation journey. See how the spiritual disciplines—including prayer, worship, and meditation—can take your spiritual health from fair to excellent.

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4 thoughts on ““Take the Test” October 12

  1. Eph. 4:26 be angry and do not sin; let not the sun go down upon your wrath,

    Matt. 5:22 but I — I say to you, that every one who is angry at his brother without cause, will be liable to the judgment, and whoever may say to his brother, ‘[You] empty fellow!’ will be liable to the council, and whoever may say, ‘[You] fool!’ will be liable to the gehenna of the fire.

    [Corrupted Alexandrian texts omit the Greek word ‘eike’ from the verse Matt. 5:22. But you can find the word ‘eike’ from the Byzantine Majority Text and from the Textus Receptus. So such kind of English translations, which are based on Alexandrian Texts, omit the words ‘without cause’ from that verse.

    • I believe one of the gospels translates it without cause in most translations. Because God the Father and God the Son demonstrate righteous anger, we know it is possible for us. When God is angry there is no sin involved, so even when anger is justified (righteous), it must be dealt with biblically and not sinfully. Righteous anger will have to do with God’s glory (i.e. Jesus throwing over the money changers tables, etc.). Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I welcome your input.

  2. Great Post, I love how you broke down each as a question, to pause and ponder each one. And I love what you said, “Sometimes we are more concerned about what people will think than what God thinks, but God and His truth are what will stand.” This seems to be a recurring theme lately, that I need to worry about what God thinks and be more “fearful” of Him than of people. Many Thanks! 8)

    • It’s so easy to fall into the fear of man, rather than fearing God. I’m so glad God loves us enough to keep reminding us when we do. So glad you were here, Debra. Have a great week-end.

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