Self-Examination – How Long Has It Been?

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ray-gano-medBy Ray Gano

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

With all the hustle and bustle that has taken place, the elections, the perverse laws being enacted, loss of jobs, loss of our nation. It is so easy to have all this consume our every moment and after a while we wake up and realize, where did it all go?

How many can think back over these past few months and name really profound things that we have done for God?

Sure we have done our daily duty and such, but is it me or does it seem like life has turned into one big blur?

But here is the sad thing, how much of that blur of life has affected our Christian walk?

Have we gotten so wrapped up in life that we have gone into “auto-pilot” mode?

If you would give a percentage, how much of your life is truly dedicated to God and then how much is it dedicated to all the other things you got going on in life?

If I were to ask you “ How do you know that you are a Christian?”

Most of the time the response would be “Because I believe.”

I don’t mean to sound sarcastic, but how deep is that statement theologically?

If you would stop what you were doing right now and go ask 20 people if they were a Christian and then ask “how they know?” Odds are they would say, “Because we believe.”

I hear this a lot, I have even said it myself.

I am reminded of the following scripture…

James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

So how can we be sure that we believe when thousands of people say they believe, but in reality they don’t?

How can you know that you are a true believer?

We all ask this at one time or another. If we are wise we would ask ourselves this quiet often, but sadly we don’t.

As I said, we get wrapped up in the world, all the comings and goings that take place and we seem to forget about our own salvation and assurance.

This is what “auto-pilot” mode does, causes us to blank out, forget, take our eyes off the prize.

So how do we know?

Some folks says “Well I just know that I know.”

Proverbs-14-12Scripture says…

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

“Hey Ray… that ain’t fair.”

You might hear other people say “ Well I know In my heart of hearts that I am saved.” \

Scripture says…

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

“HEY RAY… so what are you saying? I am not a Christian?”

No, not at all. What I am pointing out is what scripture says.

God’s Word is pure and true.

I have to ask, do you want to trust a mind that is faulty or a heart that is wicked?

What about this one…” I know that I am saved because my pastor said so.”

Wow, that is scary. What you are saying is that you are putting your trust of eternal life in a mere man who is just as faulty as you and I?

So what is the answer?

How do I know that I am saved?

repentGuilt.

Those of us who are Christians are continually convicted of our daily sins.

Because of this conviction we feel great guilt because of our sins.

See, this is the danger that “auto-pilot” mode creates. Our life turns into a blur and because it is a blur, we often forget or don’t feel the guilt of our sins.

Does this mean that we are no longer Christians? No, that is not what I a saying. I am one who stands on the doctrine of security and the doctrine of assurance. Both go hand in hand.

What I am saying is that there are times in our life that we just gloss everything over and we seem to no longer have time for God.

What happens is that in the hustle and bustle of day to day life somewhere along the way we have “quenched the Holy Spirit.”

This is why it is critically important that we stop for a moment and really do a self-examination. I call it … “Doing a check-up from the neck up.”

See, there are two options as to why you may not feel the convicting guilt.

1 – Quenched the Holy Spirit

2 – You are not saved in the first place.

One sure way to find out if you are truly saved is to see how you react to sin.

If you shrug it off and say “ HEY… Everyone sins, I have my fire insurance.” Then I would have to say that you are really treading on thin ice and go so far to say that there is a chance you are not saved.

But… if you sin and you hate the sin in your life AND feel the guilt because of it, I would say that you are saved.

Daily we should be reconfirming our assurance in our Lord. But often times we forget. This is when sin starts creeping in and starts to steal the joy in our lives.

We need to constantly be conducting check-ups from the neck up, self-examinations to see that we are walking a righteous path and not living life as a blur.

One of the greatest ways to ensure that we remain on the straight and narrow is to be in God’s Word daily.

The great thing about living in the digital age is that we are just a click, swipe, or tap away from reading God’s Word.

I have my Thompson Chain Reference sitting on my desk, I have a KJV in my cell phone as well as on my Kindle.

I always have God’s Word with me just about everywhere I go.

Creating The Habit of Reading God’s Word

Thing is that even though we have God’s Word all over and it is available to us in so many ways, we seem to still not make the time or take the time to just read and let His Word minister to us.

Folks, I will let you know that there are time that this even happens to me. I get all wrapped up in what is going on around me and as soon as my feet hit the floor, it’s like I don’t stop till the end of the day.

What you need to do is get in a habit.

Do you know it take about 60 – 90 days to form a good habit?

Good habits are not part of your DNA, it is something that you have to strive for. It is hard to reinforce a good habit within you.

The key, doing it consistently and over the long haul.

How can you get in God’s Word daily and make it a habit?

I have found that reading Proverbs daily is a great way to create this habit and reinforce it as well.

king-james-bible-kjv-bibleProverbs is a wonderful book and you know the great thing about it? Proverbs has 31 chapters in the entire book.

That means that you can read a chapter each day of the month.

So for example, today is June 6th. That means that I am to read Proverbs 6.

If the day was November 12th, then you go read Chapter 12. The 20th, go read chapter 20.

Get what I am saying?

“But Ray, what happens when I finish reading the entire book?”

Simple, you start over again with the new month and go back to chapter 1.

What is amazing about Proverbs is that there is so much knowledge and wisdom in that book that it would take a life time to really contemplate all that it contains.

I am still in awe a times when I read a verse in Proverbs and it seems to jump off the page at me in 3-D Technicolor. What the amazing thing is that I know that I have read that very same verse multiple times in my life.

So why didn’t it jump off the page then?

Who knows, but it is still amazing that this happens.

Reading Proverbs daily is a great way to reinforce your security and assurance is our Lord and allow Him to minister to you.

Here is another great secret, by being in God’s Word daily, life just seems to go a little easier. It seems that it is easier to flee from sin and not partake in it.

By being in God’s Word it helps create what I call an “invisible force field” that helps the fiery darts of the enemy from gaining access to us and allowing that temptation in.

Conclusion

It does not matter what we “think” or what we “feel” in regards to our salvation. What matters is that we are saved and not only do we believe, but we know and can point to how we know we are saved.

salvatione know that we are saved because we have the Holy Spirit living within us, convicting us daily of the sins we have committed.

But the great thing is that Christ promise to us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We may need to do this minute by minute, but at least we should be asking God to reveal our sins seen and un seen to us so that we can seek forgiveness. After a while it is the Holy Spirit that is molding us and shaping us to be more like the Father. The wonderful thing is that after a while, we truly do not want the ways of the world, we want to please our Heavenly Father and our relationship grows closer and closer to Him.

So do you feel guilty about the sins you commit? If so, odds are you are a saved.

But if you do not feel guilty and you just blow it off, well there is trouble there and it is a major red flag in your life. You may be claiming the title Christian, but in reality you are just a Christian In Name Only. C.I.N.O. and that is a very dangerous place to be.

You think you are saved, but in reality you are on the broad way destined to Hell.

Do a check-up from the neck up and really ask yourself if you are saved. Do you feel the heavy guilt when you sin and then when you ask for forgiveness do you feel that weight lifted of  and Christ cleansing you from all unrighteousness.

I hope that this article has helped answer some questions. But if you have questions and you may think that you are not saved, please contact me and lets talk.

Keep fighting the good fight. Keep pushing forward towards the prize. We are living in the last days of the last days. Don’t let sin steal your joy, this is the day that the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

 

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