12/7/09

2 Questions for Examining Our Spiritual Condition

Light Bulb of Thought 200x300 2 Questions for Examining Our Spiritual ConditionThis is Part Two in the series, “2 Questions for Examining…” Part One: 2 Questions for Examining Our Affection for Christ.

I can handle answers. It’s the good questions that I have a hard time recovering from. They hit harder.

The following are two quality questions. They are thought provoking. Give them both a serious answer.

1. Why do I read the Bible?

Why do you read the Bible? On his blog, Don Dudley writes,

“Our answer will tell us a lot about who we are. I think the reality is, many of us probably cannot answer the question because we do not know.

Most answers will either be based on the need for knowledge (I want to learn about God, history, doctrine, etc) and emotion (I want to be closer to God because he makes me warm and fuzzy).

What happens beneath the surface is we tend to embrace intellectualism or we embrace an emotional faith with no balance in between.”

2. Is there anything in my life that can be explained only because of God Himself?

In his book, How to Give Away Your Faith, Paul E. Little writes,

“The problem of mere ‘environmental faith’ is plaguing the church of Jesus Christ today. I use this term to describe spiritual life when it’s largely an outgrowth of our surroundings:

Sundays we always go to Bible classes and worship services where we hear the Bible expounded.
During the week we attend prayer meetings and say our little piece.
Much of our time is spent with Christian friends; we speak the same language.

But that’s about the extent of out Christian life. We don’t know what direct, personal, communication between ourselves and the living God is…Result? When the non-Christian looks at us he sees a reflection of our environment (which he does not share) but nothing more. And it doesn’t impress him. He’s not looking for an environment. He’s looking for living faith…

Suddenly we’re faced with the shallow superficiality of our Christian experience…[W]e frequently need to ask ourselves, ‘Is there anything in my life that can be explained only because of God Himself? Or is everything due to my background, surroundings, and present circumstances? What if, a week from now, my environment should be completely different?”

Here are 10 More Questions to Help You Diagnose Your Spiritual Health.



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10/26/09

2 Questions for Examining Our Affection for Christ

Light Bulb of Thought 200x300 2 Questions for Examining Our Affection for ChristThere is no better way to assure a quality answer than to ask a quality question.

Asking careful, introspective questions is a key for anyone does not want to squander life with aimless wandering.

We seldom choose to waste our life. We simply cease evaluating our thoughts, words, actions, deeds, motives, habits, desires, and goals.

As the saying goes, “Only one life, ‘twil soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

If living for Christ is the only way to avoid a wasted life, we need a couple questions to use as heart-checks.

Two Best Questions of the Month
The two best questions I heard this month both ring with affection for Chris and stir up  oft-neglected introspection.

1. What is it that I want most when I am not craving Christ?

Al Hartman rocked my comfortable boat when he shared that question with me over the phone.

The question is tinted by an awareness of failure, yet it also is asked in hope, knowing change is more than possible. Sanctification is, in fact, inevitable for the Christian.

Behind the question is also an all-out passion to treasure Christ. It’s the kind of driving force that moves like a surge of water released from a dam, rushing to demolish anything that stands in the way.

It’s a surge that is only released by the Holy Spirit into a heart transformed by truth.

2. What things affect my affection for Christ most?

This question is derived from a short interview of Matt Chandler. He humbly explained his struggle to find activities that set his passion for Christ on fire.  And to eliminate the activities that snuff it out or damped passion for Christ.

“I’m trying to always be aware of what’s going on in my mind and in my heart, and what really stirs up my mind and heart towards Him [Christ], and what doesn’t.”

Now Answer
Carefully answer the questions, and couple them with prayer.

Remember, there’s no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. But there is honest confession, gracious forgiveness, and powerful transformation.

What’s the best question that you’ve answered this month? What questions do you use to evaluate your heart before the throne of grace?



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