5 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Isaiah 12:1–14:32
2 Corinthians 13:1-14
Psalm 57:1-11
Proverbs 23:9-11

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

2 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT): “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.”

Reflections from Scripture:

Second Corinthians 13:5 is a significant verse. It’s also interesting where it appears in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Essentially, he has been defending his apostleship in the previous three chapters. Now, he turns the tables on those who are in the Corinthian church. He could justify his apostleship … but, could they justify their genuine faith?

After all, the books of First and Second Corinthians are filled with serious concerns. The Corinthian church tolerated sin in their midst, held to unbiblical beliefs, and behaved in some ways that were unbecoming to a Christian.

So, Paul wanted them to make sure that they were truly born again. After all, true saving faith shows up in changed behaviors (James 2:14-26). While Jesus-followers will never attain spiritual perfection in this life, we should be becoming more like Jesus as the months and years pass.

Paul’s challenge to them is a fundamental challenge to us. Are we saved? Is there evidence in our actions, our beliefs, our attitudes, and our motives? The price of messing it up is huge! An eternity in Hell is to be experienced by those who are not saved. So, we must examine ourselves to make sure that we are saved.

Remember that we are saved by grace through faith without works (Ephesians 2:8-9). But, the genuineness of that faith is illustrated by the good works that flow from a life saved by grace (Ephesians 2:10).

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, I realize that there must be a time in my life when I trust in You in order to be forgiven and saved. Yet, whether or not I am truly saved will be evidenced by changing attitudes, behaviors, speech, and other such things. Essentially a true believer will be about the business of obeying Your Word and becoming more like You. Help me to continue to grow in my walk with You. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.