Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out.
2 Corinthians 13:5 The Message
With four daughters . . . and now with a growing number of grandkids, I’ve done a lot of shopping in my life. On one of our shopping excursions, I came across little gift card that caught my attention. It was a transparent envelope with a bottle shaped card that read, “Look Inside”. I thought it was a clever idea.
At different times in our lives, we may experience comfort and ease or chaos and economic struggle. In each of these times and at every turn, we need to look inside to see what God is doing and how He is working in our hearts.
Paul reminds us that we are to examine ourselves . . . or look inside . . . on a regular basis. “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others.” (Gal 6:4 MSG)
As we look inside, we are reminded that just as God has touched us, we can touch others. As we look in, we need to begin living out. Here are some thoughts on looking inside and living outside . . .
We Bless Others Because We Have Been Blessed. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul reminds us that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:3). When we look inside at all the ways God has blessed us, we need to be about the work of being a blessing to others.
We Love Others Because We Have Been Loved. Jesus is not only the source of love . . . He is love. We are told that we love, only because we have been first loved by God. (I John 4:19) As we walk in this life, we are to be aware of the opportunities that come before us each and every day to show love and to represent the love of God.
We Give Because We Have Been Given. John reminds us (I John 3:18) that since we do have this worlds goods, that we ought to concerned on how to share those goods with others . . . with those who are in need. We give . . . following the example of God. John writes, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” (John 3:16 MSG) He loved . . . He gave!
We Serve Because We Have Been Served. The heart of a believer, of a Christ-follower is seen in one who serves. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 NLT). He did not come to be served . . . but to serve . . . and He has given us that example to follow.
Take a look on the inside . . . Blessings . . . Loving . . . Giving . . . Serving. Let these realities and responses be our defining moments.