Take the Assessment
How often do you take a self-examination? That’s a daunting question isn’t it? I’m not talking about a physical examination, but rather a spiritual one. And the truth is, the best lives are examined more than once. As we begin to consider what it means to evaluate our lives in the context of faith and family, I hope by now that you have at least considered the questions on the 120-Day Assessment brochure we received last weekend. If you haven’t, you’ll get another shot this weekend. We believe it’s that important.
Plato, the Greek philosopher, is credited for saying, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” We certainly live in a world that fills each of us with enough distractions to keep us from ever considering such an examination if we wish to neglect it. But a follower of Jesus does not wish it so. The great Puritan, John Owen, says to us about such examination: “Without absolutes revealed from without by God Himself, we are left rudderless in a sea of conflicting ideas about manners, justice, and right and wrong, issuing from a multitude of self-opinionated thinkers.” So our examination begins with a question for us to establish a needed context—“Who are we in light of who God has revealed Himself to be, and what are we to do about this but love and obey Him?” This, I firmly believe, takes place most authentically within our family structure at home. Who can most clearly know and love us like those with whom we share life at the most vulnerable level?
It was another Puritan, the great Jonathan Edwards who said, “In all your course, walk with God and follow Christ as a little, poor, helpless child, taking hold of his hand, keeping your eye on the mark of the wounds on his hands and side, whence came the blood that cleanses you from sin." Even our Heavenly Father speaks to us in metaphors that are most closely attached to the family setting—we are His children or He could not be our Father. This means so much when considering the purpose for our own families. We are meant to examine our lives in that context perhaps most deeply that we might receive the grace and mercy given most naturally by those with us at home.
As you contemplate these words of Edwards, make them your own. Such an examination is not only there to remind you of our last sermon—just how important it is to be intentional—but to also remind you of the daily grace of God. Do not fear the weaknesses you need to strengthen; fear not discovering them at all. May our repentance be more genuine than ever through such an examination of our lives, and may our affection for Jesus be raised until He is higher than all.