We all can remember our school days when we were faced with exams. We spent all day in school—and still we panicked when it came to test time. Of course, we know that these exams and tests were for our benefit. They measured our growth, highlighted our strengths and weaknesses, and guided us toward the future. We face tests and exams on a spiritual level, too—but these tests are indicators of our eternal future.
We must examine ourselves with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and always be ready to be tested. Throughout 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul wrote what God taught him that gave him power to live positively in Christ in the midst of fear, trepidation, imprisonment, and flogging. In his conclusion to this letter he says, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves" (2 Corinthians 13:5).
We must examine ourselves with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and always be ready to be tested.
The Corinthians of old fell into the trap that some of our modern educators have fallen into today. If students are not keeping up and succeeding in school, some believe that the standards must be too high—so they lower the standards.
Worse than the education system is evidence that this is happening in the churches of Jesus Christ, too. People don't want to believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven and eternal life. Some churches are saying, Let's water down the Truth and not talk about the crucifixion or the resurrection. We don't want to offend people—they are the most important part of the church. Instead, we'll talk about relationships and good communication.
The apostle Paul would tell us that this type of compromise leads only to frustration and disappointment. He is telling us that to have the peace and assurance of our salvation, we must believe the Word of God.
Prayer: God, help me to see where I have lowered standards in my own life. Forgive me for compromising and grant me steadfast faith for Your glory and my good. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon The Secrets of Positive Living, Part 15: LISTEN NOW