TODAYS BIBLE READING:
2 Corinthians 11:1-13:13; Acts 20:7-12
Reading Time: 15-20 Minutes
BREAD CRUMBS COMMENTARY FOR TODAYS READING
with Pastor Sylvia Laughlin (9 minutes)
DEC 1, 2023
DAY 335 IN THE APP
THIS WEEKS MEMORY VERSE
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation." Psalm 100:4-5
A FEW THOUGHTS...
From when we are young, we all know how to answer the questions which define us: what is your age? your gender? your race? your religion? your marital status? Many believe the only describers which change over time are age and marital status. Most believe that describers such as religion are fixed at birth. The question depends on a choice that we all make. Unless we make a decision to repent of our sins, and make a decision for Jesus Christ to be our Savior, accepting His perfect payment for our sins, and make Him the Lord of our lives, and only when we make this decision are we Christians. When Nicodemus approached Jesus, Jesus clarified this decision for him, as we read in John 3:5-7, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again'." Most self-describers come from when we were born in the flesh, but this one, Christian, comes from a decision.
Paul makes a very important statement along with a question in 2 Corinthians 13:5, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves, Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless indeed you are disqualified." Our answer to this test determines much. If we examine ourselves and deem that we are good enough in our own strength to be qualified as Christians, then we are not. Jesus gave the answer as to how we can be born in the Spirit in John 3:16-17, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." Notice the first choice belonged to Jesus. He made the choice to die for the sins of all mankind, making the payment that none of us are capable of making based on our goodness. His payment is perfect. The reason why our salvation is perfect and secure is because it does not rely on us, but on the perfect work which He already accomplished. So the first examination, requires us to ask of we have made a choice to truly be a Christian. This is the most important choice of our lives. After we have made this decision, we still need to examine ourselves to live that Christ-centered life that we so desire, as we read in Psalm 139:23-24, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting."
The question begs to be answered, "Have you examined yourself?" Are you a Christian? This can not be a reflexive or knee-jerk response. Your eternity depends on the truth of your answer. God knows whether or not we have made that decision for Him or not. We can look great on the outside. In fact, non-Christians might appear kinder, more benevolent, etc. than Christians, though this should not be the case. But God sees what the rest of the world is unable to see. He knows the person who has made the choice to belong to Him, and He knows the person who goes though the motions and simply says the right things. Please, examine yourself today. Jesus said in Matthew 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Have you emptied yourself of the pride which prevents you from making a decision for Jesus? If you struggle in your own goodness, remember Paul's words in Romans 3:12, "...There is none who does good, no, not one." If you feel that your goodness outweighs your badness, and this difference earns you eternity in heaven, we read in Romans 3:23, "for all have sinned and and fall short of the glory of God,". Examine yourselves! An honest reflection will make us realize how inept we all are in ourselves. Come to Jesus. His arms are always open wide. He lifts your burdens and offers you freedom from the bondage of your sins and offers you eternal life with Him in heaven.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
The wise Christian will not let his assurance depend upon his powers of imagination.
— A. W. Tozer