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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Star Barn and fountain 9/16/17 (Click to enlarge)
The Star Barn and Fountain near Elizabethtown, PA
(Click on photo for larger image)

"Examine Yourself"

Message summary: Spiritual self-examination is important so that we can correct ourselves on a regular basis to make certain we continue to bring glory to God in the manner in which we live our lives.

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"But let a man examine himself" (1 Corinthians 11:28a). "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?" (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Mervin on Gator 9/15/17

Each evening around dusk we have a familiar scene in front of our home. Our farmer neighbor, Mervin, slowly drives his John Deere Gator up the tractor lane adjacent to the farm field across the street from our home and eventually makes his way past our home. He regularly drives around the perimeter of his property, partly for enjoyment and partly to check things out, much like a cowboy riding his horse to check the fencing and livestock!

The other night I rode with Mervin on his "route" and he explained to me what he observes; the condition of his plants (corn and soybeans), water conditions, his sheep and baby lambs. He also looks for anything amiss that needs attention.

Mervin's habit of examining his physical property is a reminder of a more important examination, a spiritual self-examination of our hearts.

"But let a man examine himself." Today's first Scripture verse is in the context of participating in Communion at the Lord's Table. Before one eats and drinks of the emblems representing the broken Body and shed blood of Christ he is to "examine himself". Of utmost importance in this personal exam is the answer to these foundational questions,
  • "Do I have saving faith in Christ?" (Romans 10:8,9).
  • "Do I have unconfessed sin in my heart?" (1 John 1:9).
"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves." In the second text Paul uses two words ("examine" and "test") to emphasize his point. "Examine" is the Greek "peirazo" which conveys the sense of scrutinize and "test" ("prove" KJV) is the Greek "dokimazo" which has the sense of discernment.  It implies the expectation of approval and is thus a very positive function. We need to regularly (I believe daily) examine and test our spiritual walk. Let's confess sin, express faith and practice obedience daily.

This vitally important exam asks this question, Am I "in the faith"? Then there's a sobering follow-up question, "Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?"

In his article "The Place Of Self-examination" S. Lewis Johnson comments concerning this verse, "There are literally millions of professing Christians who need to pay attention to this statement of the apostle. They have entered into a shallow commitment to Christianity, they’ve joined the church, they’ve been baptized or they’ve done other things that might make them think that they are genuine believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. They’ve been encouraged to think that, by men who’ve not been careful to point out that there is more to becoming a Christian than subscribing to a statement. They don’t hate sin. They don’t love holiness. They do not pray. They do not study the word of God. They do not walk humbly with God. These individuals, so many of them stand in the same danger in which the Corinthians stood. And the apostle’s words, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith, examine yourselves,” are valid words that each of us should ponder."

Self-examination is important so that we correct ourselves on a regular basis to make certain we continue to bring glory to God in the manner in which we live our lives.

Colossians 1:10

Colossians 1:10-12 provides a list of examination items for our consideration. We will phrase them as personal questions:

    * Am I living in a manner worthy of the Lord?
    * Am I pleasing Him in all respects?
    * Am I bearing fruit in every good work?
    * Am I increasing in the knowledge of God?
    * Am I being strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might?
    * Am I attaining steadfastness and patience?
    * Am I joyously giving thanks to the Father?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I ask myself, "Am I living in a manner worthy of Your name? Do I seek to please You rather than myself? Does the fruit of my labor reflect the Spirit of Christ living within my heart? Do I have a zeal for the things of Christ and a desire to know Him better, to reflect His character every day in my life? Am I steady or do I sputter in my Christian influence?" Father, in all these things I want to be more like Christ, consistent in the ways that bring glory to Your name and growth in my spiritual nature. I want my spiritual walk to be the most important pursuit of my life as I journey here below so that I may influence as many as possible to live for Jesus. It is in His name that I pray. Amen.

Goliath harvester 9/15/17
This huge harvester which is working the fields chopping corn in our area is nicknamed Goliath, though the printed name is too small to show up in this photo!

Mollie running after frisbee in recently harvested field 9/15/17
After the corn was harvested we took Mollie across the road to play frisbee (scroll up if you didn't see it). There were large patches and rows where they did not leave corn stalks which allowed Mollie to do a little running without landing on the stalks.

Mollie catching frisbee in recently harvested field 9/15/17
Got it!

Mollie catching frisbee in front lawn 9/15/17
But her favorite spot for frisbee catch remains in our front lawn.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Search Me O God"  Video  Steve Pettit Evangelistic Team

"Lord, I Want To Be Like Jesus"  Video  Fernando Ortega

Our friend David Penley just posted an thought-provoking article that relates to today's message: "What Will You Do with the Rest of Your Life?"

Finally today:
Ed and Gladys Berkey, 70th anniversary
Last week Pastor Ed and Gladys Berkey were in Lancaster
visiting with our friends Jim and Dorothy Schmidt and celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Ed was my District Superintendent the first several years we lived in New England in the 90's and was an early encourager of our Daily Encouragement ministry.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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