Posts Tagged ‘self examination’


Under Gods Command

Time to conduct a self-evaluation.  I try to better myself everyday.  I am not where I want to be, but I am not where I used to be.  If you need help with this, try speaking to that guy you see every morning when you are shaving or brushing your teeth in the morning.  What would you say to that guy.  We have a lot to say about others, but what about that guy in the mirror.  What Sins are we hiding?  What have we done to in the past where the Judge would have found us guilty as charge.  Well, remember that the Lord is our judge, and he differently knows we are not innocent.  Read the Scriptures below and lets do a Spiritual Cleansing.   

1 Corinthians 11:28

But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 

When you examine yourself, then you do not need to be judged of the Lord for this. If we try our own motives, then we will not take the communion so lightly. The unworthiness here, is speaking of someone taking communion not really believing. It would be as if you were mocking the communion.“Not discerning the Lord’s body”: When believers do not properly judge the holiness of the celebration of Communion, they treat with indifference the Lord Himself; His life, suffering and death.

Psalm 139:24

And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. 

“The way everlasting”: David expresses his desire/expectation of eternal life (see notes on Phil. 1:6).

The psalmist here, is asking for a spiritual house cleaning. The one who leads us and guides us and teaches us is the Holy Spirit of God. Every one of us have something in our life that could be improved upon. We need to join in with this psalmist and ask God to search our innermost being and to purge out those things which be not of God. The best way to get rid of any darkness that we might have hidden away, is to turn the Light on it. The Light does away with all darkness. 

Psalm 139.23

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

He had searched him, and knew his heart thoroughly.

“Try me, and know my thoughts”: He had tried him, and knew every thought in him (Psalm 139:1). This therefore is not said for the sake of God; who, though he is the trier of hearts, and the searcher of the reins, is indeed a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart at once. And knows immediately what is in man. And needs no testimony of him, nor to make use of any means in order to know him and what is within him. But David said this for his own sake, that God would search and make known to him what was in his heart. And try him by his word, as gold is tried in the fire. Or by anything difficult and self-denying, as he tried Abraham. Or by any afflictive providence; or in any way he thought fit to make him acquainted thoroughly with himself. His sense is this, that if he knew his own heart and thoughts, and the inward frame and disposition of his soul, it was as he had expressed it. That he was grieved with sinners, and hated those that hated the Lord. Even with a perfect hatred, and reckoned them as his enemies. But if it was otherwise, he desired to be searched and tried thoroughly, that it might be discovered. And he might say this also on account of others, who charged him falsely with things he was not conscious of. That never entered into his thoughts, and his heart knew nothing of, and could not accuse him with. And therefore he appeals to the heart searching God, that he would so lay open things that his integrity and innocence might appear to all. (see Gen. 22:1).

The psalmist (probably David), is assured that when God looks into his heart he will find nothing but love for God. Thoughts come from the heart. If our heart is right, then the thoughts that we have will be pure thoughts as well. One very good reason for a request like this would be, for God to find anything that needs to be changed and help him change.

Job 13.23

“How many are my iniquities and sins? Make known to me my rebellion and my sin.

“How many are mine iniquities and sins?” Job wanted to know how many so that he could determine if his measure of suffering matched the severity of his sin, and he could then repent for sins he was unaware of.

This was not a statement that he had no sin. This was a true statement, that if he had sinned he was unaware of what the specific sins were. Job truly did want to repent of any sin he had committed, and make it right with God. He just did not know what to change. 

Psalm 26:2

Examine me, O LORD, and try me; Test my mind and my heart.

“Examine me … prove … try”: Theses 3 invitations to divine scrutiny are essentially synonymous ways of testing, refining, and purifying (compare Psalms 11:4-5; 12:6; 17:3; 66:10; Jer. 17:9-10).

God looks upon the heart of man, and not at the outward appearances. David is explaining here, that he wants God to look into his heart and see that it is not evil. This prayer that David prayed in the verse above, is like us saying purge me Lord. My prayer and your prayer should be like this, that God would judge us now and burn out all of the evil left in us. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

2 Corinthians 13:5

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?

Paul turned the tables on his accusers, Instead of presuming to evaluate his apostleship; they needed to test the genuineness of their faith. (James 2:14-26) He pointed out the incongruity of the Corinthians’ believing as they did, that their faith was genuine and his apostleship false.

Paul was their spiritual father and if his apostleship was counterfeit, so was their faith. The genuineness of their salvation was proof of the genuineness of his apostleship.

All true Christians have Jesus within them. The ones who fail the test totally reject Jesus as their Savior.

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

This verse reiterates the “desperately” (incurable) wickedness of the human heart. The primary characteristic of being in the flesh is an absolute inability to please God (Gal. 5:19-21). Only surrender to the Holy Spirit can guarantee motives that will be pleasing to God.

The heart of man before he turns his heart over to God, is deceitful and wicked. The heart after God has written His laws on it, is a totally different thing. Only God knows the heart of man.

Psalm 4:4

Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

“Stand in awe and sin not”: In this context, the admonition means to tremble or shake in the fear of the Lord so as not to sin (compare Isa. 32:10-11; Hab. 3:16). This can be translated “come to your senses” or “be stirred, tremble”. Being in this state is not an excuse to surrender to emotions and “sin”. Anger and sin do not have to go hand in hand (Eph. 4:26).

To stand in awe is to reverence God. The fear, or reverence of God is the beginning of wisdom. If we truly fear God we will not sin, because we do not want to displease Him. Commune with your own heart means to think in your heart on God. Sometimes, in our bed, is the only quiet time that we can think in our heart about God. Let me give a Scripture that covers “be still”.

Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 77:6

I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, And my spirit ponders: 

“My song in the night”: The remembrance of happier times only deepened his depression.

“Spirit made diligent search”: His spirit continually meditated on possible solutions to his problems.

This appears to be saying that there were better times in the past. He even remembers a joyous time of singing in the night. He is talking to himself here. He is telling his broken heart to look back with him on better times. Then he says, the spirit within him is searching for better times to remember.

Lamentations 3:40

Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD.

Seeing God does not grieve us willingly, nor delight to crush us, though we be his prisoners, and seeing the hand of God is in these things upon us. And that justly, to recompense our iniquities into our bosoms, instead of mourning and fretting against God, which is not reasonable, nor will be of any profit to us. Let us examine our thoughts, words, and actions, and consider what they have been, and reform, and turn again to the Lord, by apostatizing from whom we have brought these evils upon us.

This is something that everyone living should do, and not just these Israelites. We should all examine ourselves, and see whether we be of God or not. Just to say we are of God, is not enough. We must live the salvation that we have received every day. Christianity is no good, unless it is an everyday affair. Turn to the Lord while He can be found. He will help us stay on the narrow path after we get there.

Psalm 139:23-24

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

He had searched him, and knew his heart thoroughly.

“Try me, and know my thoughts”: He had tried him, and knew every thought in him (Psalm 139:1). This therefore is not said for the sake of God; who, though he is the trier of hearts, and the searcher of the reins, is indeed a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart at once. And knows immediately what is in man. And needs no testimony of him, nor to make use of any means in order to know him and what is within him. But David said this for his own sake, that God would search and make known to him what was in his heart. And try him by his word, as gold is tried in the fire. Or by anything difficult and self-denying, as he tried Abraham. Or by any afflictive providence; or in any way he thought fit to make him acquainted thoroughly with himself. His sense is this, that if he knew his own heart and thoughts, and the inward frame and disposition of his soul, it was as he had expressed it. That he was grieved with sinners, and hated those that hated the Lord. Even with a perfect hatred, and reckoned them as his enemies. But if it was otherwise, he desired to be searched and tried thoroughly, that it might be discovered. And he might say this also on account of others, who charged him falsely with things he was not conscious of. That never entered into his thoughts, and his heart knew nothing of, and could not accuse him with. And therefore he appeals to the heart searching God, that he would so lay open things that his integrity and innocence might appear to all. (see Gen. 22:1).

The psalmist (probably David), is assured that when God looks into his heart he will find nothing but love for God. Thoughts come from the heart. If our heart is right, then the thoughts that we have will be pure thoughts as well. One very good reason for a request like this would be, for God to find anything that needs to be changed and help him change.

“The way everlasting”: David expresses his desire/expectation of eternal life (see notes on Phil. 1:6).

The psalmist here, is asking for a spiritual house cleaning. The one who leads us and guides us and teaches us is the Holy Spirit of God. Every one of us have something in our life that could be improved upon. We need to join in with this psalmist and ask God to search our innermost being and to purge out those things which be not of God. The best way to get rid of any darkness that we might have hidden away, is to turn the Light on it. The Light does away with all darkness.

Psalm 119:59

I considered my ways And turned my feet to Your testimonies.

What they were, whether right or wrong. Whither they led, what would be the consequences of walking in them. The Septuagint and Arabic versions read, “thy ways”; no doubt the psalmist thought of both. Of his own ways, in which he had walked; and of God’s ways, which he directed him to walk in. And, considering the superior pleasure and profit of the latter, he preferred them to the former. The Targum is, “I thought to mend my ways”, or “make them good”. Hence he took the following step.

“And turned my feet unto thy testimonies”: He took himself to the word of God, which testifies of his will, and directs to those ways he would have his people to walk in. And he steered his course of life and actions thereby. He turned from his own ways into the ways of God; under the influence of divine grace, he turned, being turned.

He is saying here, that his decision to turn unto God’s testimonies was not a sudden decision. He had considered carefully and then made his decision

1 Corinthians 11:31

But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.

He is just saying, consider what you are doing, before you sin against God. If we judge ourself, then we will do the correct thing and not need to be judged of others. 

Galatians 6:4

But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another

“Prove”: Literally “to approve something after testing it.” Believers first must be sure their lives are right with God before giving spiritual help to others (Matt. 7:3-5).

“Then shall he have rejoicing” If a believer rejoices or boasts, it should be only boasting in the Lord for what God has done in him (2 Cor. 12:12-18), not for what he supposedly has accomplished compared to other believers (see note on 1 Cor. 1:30-31).

The self-delusion of verse 3 (Galatians 6:3 “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”) is caused by an inflated comparison of one’s moral life with the known faults of his Christian brother. To prevent this, “every man” is to “prove” [examine] “his own work” (i.e., life, virtues, deeds). Then his “rejoicing” shall be “in himself alone, and not in another:”

Joy comes not from comparing one’s moral strengths with the weaknesses of others, but in realizing that one measures up to God’s standard by God’s help.

If your work is of God, it will prove itself. Do your best, work hard, and know in your heart that you are doing the very best that you can. Regardless of the outcome, you can be proud within yourself that you have done your best

 

 


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Your heart determines your life. This may be the most important proverb. The favor or grief in your life depends on ruling and training your heart. If you direct and instruct your heart with godly inputs, there is no limit to your potential success before God and men.

Every sin starts in your heart, and your character and speech reflect your heart. You can only pretend to be different than your heart for a short time, for it will quickly regain control and dictate your actions. Others know your heart by your words and choices.

Our heart, our feelings of love and desire-dictates to a great extent how we live because we always find time to do what we enjoy. Solomon tells us to guard our heart above all else, making sure we concentrate on those desires that will keep us on the right path. Make sure your affections push you in the right direction. Put boundaries (Guard Rails) on your desires: don’t go after everything you see. Look straight ahead, keep your eyes fixed on your goal, and don’t get sidetracked on detours that lead to sin.

David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). What a description! This should be your life goal! But David guarded his heart by careful self-examination, confession, prayer, friends, singing, etc. (Ps 4:4; 9:1; 15:2; 17:3; 19:8,12,14; 24:4; 26:2; 27:3,8,14; 28:7; 32:11; 34;18; 37:31; 51:10,17; 57:7; 61:2; 62:8,10; 66:18; 77:6; 84:2; 86:11-12; 101:2-5; 108:1; 111:1; 112:7-8; 119:11,32,36,63,111; 139:23-24; 131:1; 141:4-5).

Your heart is your greatest asset, for it can do more for you than anything else. It is much more than the muscle beating 70 times a minute in your chest. You need to consider and prize the inner, decision-making part of you that loves certain things and chooses to do them over other things. Learn to set your affections on good things (Col 3:2; Matt 6:21).

You can keep your heart good, or you can let it become bad. You can be diligent in this project, or you can be lazy. God’s children have an old man that tempts them to evil, but their new man calls them to godliness. Your heart must decide between the two often. Every person makes a series of choices each day. What are you going to do today?

Whatever is in your heart comes out in your life. If your heart is full of good things, your life will show that goodness; if your heart is full of sinful thoughts, your life will show them. The large tests and decisions you will face many times in life are dependent on your heart, and so are the small choices that you make hundreds of times a day.

Is your heart pure? Are you working to keep it pure today? Do you know that laziness in this matter will bring severe trouble and pain to your life? You must eliminate negative inputs to your heart e.g. Hollywood entertainment, foolish or sinful friends, and worldly music. You should feed your heart with godly music, the Bible, prayer, and holy friends.

Jesus Christ condemned the Pharisees for emphasizing man’s outward appearance; He emphasized man’s heart instead. He said the following in two different places:

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
Matthew 12:34-35

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
Matthew 15:18-19

Sin begins in the heart. Lust for a sin attracts your heart, so you think about it. If you think about it enough, you will do it. The result of this choice is death. Protect yourself by keeping your heart diligently from sinful thoughts (James 1:13-16). God sent the Flood to drown the earth for their wicked imagination (Gen 6:5), so hate any evil fantasies.

Think about an evil heart and how it affects the various issues of life. Sexual fantasizing will lead to filthiness, fornication, adultery, or defrauding your spouse – all because you allowed sinful thoughts in your heart. The same is true of bitterness toward others, coveting things you do not have, pride, excess ambition, envy, and other sins like them.

How can you keep a pure heart? Protect it from influences toward sin (Ps 101:3; I Cor 15:33), and supply it with influences toward holiness (Ps 119:11,63; 101:6). Get away from evil things, and spend your time with good thoughts and things (Phil 4:8). This is actually quite simple, but it takes strong personal commitment and discipline to do it.

Since even thinking about foolishness is sin (Pr 24:9), and desiring another woman is adultery in your heart (Matt 5:28), you must often examine your heart with the Lord’s help (Ps 139:23-24). Hiding scripture in your heart by reading, meditation, and memorization will further protect you from sinful thoughts (Ps 119:9,11,15,105).

Jesus Christ sees your heart clearly and fully (Heb 4:12-13), so He will reward diligence if He sees a faithful heart (II Chron 16:9), and He will punish folly if He sees a heart with idols set up in it (Ezek 14:3-8). It is foolish to think He does not see every idea and thought of your heart (Jer 17:9-10; Rev 2:23). He knows you better than you know you.

As David kept his heart, you can keep and perfect your heart. Remember, he was careful and faithful to examine himself, to confess his sins, to pray, to delight in God’s words, to choose only godly friends, to give thanks and sing praises to God. These heart exercises will keep your heart noble and righteous, and keeping it like this will bring God’s favor.

Solomon taught you to work at fearing God each day. He wrote elsewhere, “Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long” (Pr 23:17). The apostle Jude put it this way: “Keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 1:21). You can and will stop loving and fearing God, if you allow sin to harden your heart (Heb 3:12-13). Never forget this proverb, and with God’s help and strength, keep your heart diligently.