But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only,
deluding your own selves.
For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer,
he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror:
for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away,
and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
(James 1:22-25 ASV)
The word of God provides a thorough examination of the heart. If we were graded on the results of our examination, most of us (myself included) would not even receive a C-. (And the few who have A’s or B’s probably wouldn’t be aware of it anyway.)
But even with a failing grade, this examination is a good thing if it leads us to call out to God for the grace of a lasting change of heart, mind, and actions.
Without this change, the examination is useless. It is like someone who looks in a mirror, then leaves and forgets what he looks like. This is a believer whose Christianity is relegated to a limited portion of his life: Sunday mornings, morning devotions, or the occasional prayer. Jesus Christ is something added to life, rather than what life is all about. There is no continual meditation and communion with the Father and Son. There is no fellowship of the Spirit. There is little difference between that person and the world.
This is a man who has fooled himself, and is probably plagued with doubts. I do not want to be this man.
Every one therefore that heareth these words of mine,
and doeth them,
shall be likened unto a wise man,
And every one that heareth these words of mine,
and doeth them not,
shall be likened unto a foolish man,
who built his house upon the sand:
(Matthew 7:24-27 ASV)
The way out of self-deception and into real, tangible, spiritual union with Jesus is to act on what He says. I can be both a doctrinal genious and a fool at the same time if I don’t obey my Lord.
The examination continues, but the time for action is now. Let us examine ourselves closely, grit our teeth, and through the power of the Holy Spirit painfully pull out all of the thorns in our lives, living only for the Lord Jesus Christ.
If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.
– John 13:7 ASV
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And light unto my path.
– Psalm 119:105 ASV
Examine me, O Jehovah, and prove me; Try my heart and my mind.
– Psalm 26:2 ASV
Note: This series is now available in an all-in-one page at http://dtjsoft.com/examination-scriptures-one/.