Having been a teacher and professor, I had the privilege of challenging my students to think, even though some of them had little interest to do so. In my years as a pastor, the sermons I presented to our parishioners were intended to make them think. The Scriptures challenge us to use our minds, because faith rests on knowing and understanding what we believe.
In one of the greatest books in the Old Testament, Deuteronomy, the author challenges his readers to think in order to believe, a necessity for living out their faith in God. An example is in chapter 10, verses 12-13: And now, Israel, what does the Lord our God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good.
In the New Testament the Apostle Paul likewise challenged the Corinthians in his second letter to examine themselves to see whether they were in the faith: Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you fail to meet the test? (3:5).
We too need to test ourselves as these scriptures suggested centuries ago. Consider my questions:
- When did you make a personal decision about Jesus Christ?
- Do you have a rational and personal conviction about your commitment to Christ?
- Do you have faith in God, a certainty & confidence in all circumstances?
- What do you think your commitment to Christ means?
- What are your strongest spiritual desires?
- What is your participation in the body of Christ?
- What is your level of concern for others?
- What about the acid test – “Thy will be done”? W.B. Coker, Sr.