Preaching to Myself

Ok folks, I guess this is going to be a sit down and talk to myself session.  You get to listen in if you want.  Pastor said something last week that I guess I never took the time to consider.

We’ve been studying about “What is a Christian?” and then the answer to that is “Christians are Disciples”.  It has been a good “get back to basics” study…and even a good “take a good look at yourself” study.  Pastor challenged us to really do some soul searching.  In being a Christian, we are to be Disciples….followers of and under submission to Jesus Christ.  It’s kind of hard to do if we don’t know what He expects of us.  How do we find out what He expects from us?  We are to study His Word.  “Get into the Book!”  This got my attention.  Yes, I have my devotion time, but do I really study my Bible?  Do I know it; is it at ready recall when I need it?  I have to admit, not as much as I should.   That makes me sit back and examine myself.

I can come up with all kinds of excuses as to why I don’t have volumes of Scripture memorized for quick recall, but I guess it all boils down to…..I don’t want to.  That’s a shameful thing for me to say, and smacks of rebellion.  Lord, please forgive me.  I find all kinds of things to do instead…things that are more interesting or things I enjoy so much more.   And then there’s the, “all I want to do is sit and veg” attitude.  That usually kicks in when I get home from work and I’m tired.  But then, that’s another excuse.  What is needed is a complete attitude change.

I Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  How can I “rightly divide” God’s Word if I’m not studying it?  It’s like trying to take a math test without knowing the material.

God tests me, almost on a daily basis. How well I know His Word determines how well I pass the test.  Then there are those tests that I find myself taking over and over and over.  That’s when I think I’ll never get it, but then it goes back to knowing what God’s Word says about that situation or test.  I can blame all the “gadgets” I have…TV, computers, and such…but it basically comes down to what desires do I want to feed?

The enemy knows me almost as well as God knows me, and he knows what buttons to push and what traps to put in my pathway.   He even knows how easy it is to lure me off track.  Sometimes that doesn’t take much doing.  I can be easily distracted; I’m noticing that a lot lately.  Satan knows it too and he uses it to his advantage.  That’s when I need to have the full armor of God in place and use it…because this is a real battle I face almost daily.  I can’t use the Sword of the Spirit accurately against the enemy if I don’t know it well enough to fight back with God’s Word to put the Devil in his place.

Pastor asked us, if we didn’t make it home for some reason and found ourselves standing before God, would He say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”, or “Depart from me, I never knew you”?  I’ve always heard that question put to those who need salvation but never really considered it as a question for Christians and where they stood in relationship with Christ.  Have I kept my relationship with Him in right standing?  Is there anything that I need to take care of, repent of, or for which I need to ask His forgiveness?   I need to keep my relationship with Him in good favor and not allow anything to stand in the way.

Enough with the excuses, the rebellion, and the attitude, it’s time for me to settle down and get serious with God.  My life needs to be such that as I live my life in front of others, they see the results of a life lived in right standing with God.

Heavenly Father, please forgive my rebellion and my excuses.  Place in me a burning, overwhelming desire to study Your Word so that I can be an effective Christian.  I don’t want to be a useless example of a Christian; I want to be a shining example of what You can do in a life that is totally surrendered to You.  I confess my sin and ask for Your help to overcome.  Thank you for Your grace and mercy.  Thank you for Your love, Amen.

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