• Jenna

Examine Yourselves

Updated: Mar 29

Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:22-23


Dear Lord Jesus,


We thank You for Your Word. Your Word is the truth. We know there is nothing more loving than the truth, even when the truth offends. Lord, I pray that You soften hearts and open eyes so that people are able to truly see the magnificence of the gospel in its entirety. Please, help us unfix our eyes from the temporary things of this world and the ugly news that spews forth deception and half-truths, entrapping us in its empty satisfaction, searing our consciences, and hardening our hearts over time. For all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, comes not from the Father but is from the world, and the world and its desires are passing away; but whoever does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:16-17). Lord Jesus, help us fix our eyes on You so that we may find true knowledge and wisdom, fulfilment, and joy in You alone.



Satan’s Deception and the Christian's Self-Deception


Now is the time to seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is still near (Isaiah 55:6). This world is our one and only chance to get it right. We don’t want to miss the boat. Satan has layers upon layers of deception out there, including false teachers, worldly-minded preachers, and watered-down, lukewarm, comfortable, counterfeit Christianity everywhere you look, masquerading as the truth. Satan is extremely crafty and slick on so many levels; especially towards those whose guards are down, are unsuspecting, and have a false sense of hope and assurance of their salvation.


If Christians think they can’t be deceived, it’s likely the deception has already begun. Satan has those people exactly where he wants them – his goal is to make people think they’re safe and secure in their salvation when they’re not. He wants them feeling comfortable exactly where they’re at; unaware of and even unbothered by their sins, as if their sins don’t offend our Holy God. And Satan wants to keep people following their own hearts instead of following the Word of God. Furthermore, Satan wants us to believe the lie that God’s grace stretches so big that we can just keep on sinning casually with half-hearted repentance and think it’ll still be okay for us in the end. He wants us to downplay our sins, keep us prideful, and lack knowledge and understanding of God’s Word and what the holiness of God truly means. And he also wants us to think we’re not as sinful as we really are, comparing ourselves to others and blinding us in our own self-righteousness. Satan doesn't want us to have a proper understanding of who God is, nor a right view of our own ourselves and who we are in comparison to Him. The human dilemma is this: God is holy, and we are not. God is righteous, and we are not. - RC Sproul


Don’t Trust in Your Feelings - Trust in the Word of God


Satan is called the Father of Lies for a reason, and he has had centuries of experience in deceiving people. He knows exactly what he’s doing. We must be alert and have a sober, discerning mind as we navigate through this world - and cling to Christ the entire way. Lord please, I pray that You open the eyes of those who are deceived or self-deceived with a false sense of assurance, based on emotion and mere feelings of what they understand faith to mean to them personally in their hearts, over how faith is truly defined in the Word of God - by You Yourself, Lord. I pray that You keep us from trusting in our own feelings and in our own hearts, since the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)


Come to the Full Knowledge of God


Lord, I also pray that we don’t find wisdom in our own eyes and in our own pride, but in Your Word alone. Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered (Proverbs 16:2). Please, let us grow in faith through the divine wisdom and knowledge You graciously make available to us in Scripture. My people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge. Because you rejected knowledge, I also will reject you (Hosea 4:6). But if they do not listen, they perish by the sword and die without knowledge (Job 26:12). Lord, I pray that people are really listening. Help bring us all to the full knowledge of You, and guide us to learn by the Holy Spirit so that our eyes may be enlightened to the whole truth of You, Lord; not just parts of the truth we are interested in or comfortable with on our own personal level. Lord, I ask that You may place a real hunger and desire for knowledge and wisdom in us all. An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge (Proverbs 18:15). But whoever lacks knowledge, let him ask of God who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it’ll be given to him (James 1:5).


Examine Yourselves!


Examining to see if we’re truly in the faith is one of the most responsible things we could ever do in this life as Christians. This life is short and eternity is long, so it’s only reasonable that we live this short life in the light of eternity. Let’s not be foolish, let’s not lean on our own understanding, and let’s not ignore the reality of eternity that’s quickly approaching us all, not to mention the frailty of all of our lives at any second. The "Grim-Reaper" stands inches away at all times from all the unconverted souls in the world. Lord, I pray that Christians do not get swept away in this life in all its worldliness, pride, lustful desires, fleshly comforts, alluring distractions, and empty entertainment that are all part of Satan’s goal to deceive us and keep us from ultimately surrendering to Christ – our only hope and true source of security. Without clinging to Christ, we are all sitting ducks for Satan’s schemes of deception. Brothers and sisters, I ask that you set your mind on things above because this world is passing away quickly. Be responsible, be wise with your eternal souls, and examine yourselves to see if you’re truly in the faith, resting safely in Christ’s arms.


*To examine your faith biblically, read 1st John and fellowship with other Christians to discuss it together. Be honest with yourselves and each other, and pray for one another. And Lord, I pray for us all to set aside our pride because only a humbled heart can be open to fully surrendering to Christ.


Confess Your Sins, Repent, and Serve Christ


Lord, I pray that we all are able to acknowledge our own depravity, be truly humbled by it, confess our sins to You every single day, truly repent with a contrite heart, turn away from our own self-sufficiency and idols, and follow whole-heartedly after You, Christ. And please Lord, kill our pride, for pride is the root of all sin. It’s often pride that keeps us away from the true knowledge and full understanding of You, Lord. Brothers and sisters, if you’re finding this difficult to deny yourself, pray to the Lord, cry out to Him, and ask Him to give you a new heart; a heart that desires to obey Christ, love righteousness, and hate sin; a heart that truly loves Jesus. Ask that He may give You the grace to truly turn away from your sins and run to Him in all His beauty, glory, and love. Remember, His yoke is easy, and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30).


Lord, only by Your grace did I have the courage and the love to speak the truth boldly as I ought to speak. Prayer is part of Your sovereign plan, and sharing the gospel is Your command to Your children. Lord, I planted the seed as I was called to do, and now I know the rest is up to You. I trust in You. All glory belongs to You. I love you, Lord.


Thank You for blessing me through my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me to help others come to the full knowledge of You - in all Your truth, beauty, and saving grace.


The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14


Love,

Jenna

 

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 Cor 13:5


Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26


Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14


Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:22-23


See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8


There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12


No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:1


Now we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18


For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21


And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says, “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 1 John 2:3-4