In the opening portion of verse 28, God’s Word declares, “But let a man examine himself.” As we come to the end of one year and the beginning of the next, it is appropriate that we should examine ourselves. It is appropriate that we should examine our lives over the past year, whether we have grown in spiritual character and conduct before our Lord, or whether we have gone away backward into sinful iniquity against our Lord. It is appropriate that we should examine ourselves, and that we get right with our Lord in any area wherein we have sinned against Him. It is appropriate that we should heed the exhortation of Lamentations 3:40 – “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.” Yea, it is appropriate that we should ask our Lord to examine us and try our hearts. It is appropriate that we should join in the prayer of David from Psalm 139:23-24 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Even so, let us examine ourselves through the following questions.
1. Have we been faithful in our private walk with our Lord?
John 15:4 – “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
Colossians 2:6-7 – “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”
Philippians 3:8, 10 – “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ . . . that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”
2. Have we been delighting in the wisdom of God’s Word?
1 Peter 2:2 – “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”
Joshua 1:8 – “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest OBserve to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Psalm 119:97 – “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.”
3. Have we been constant in watching unto prayer with thanksgiving?
Colossians 4:2 – “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”
Ephesians 6:18 – “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
Philippians 4:6 – “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
4. Have we been OBedient in our daily ways for God’s glory?
James 1:22 – “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
John 14:15 – “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 – “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
5. Have we been edifying in the words of our communication?
Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Colossians 4:6 – “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
Proverbs 15:1-4 – “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”
6. Have we been loving in our affectionate warmth toward one another?
John 13:34-35 – “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Romans 12:10 – “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.”
Galatians 5:13-14 – “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
7. Have we been zealous in our gospel witness to the lost world?
Mark 16:15 – “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Matthew 28:19-20 – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to OBserve all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
1 Peter 3:15 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”
8. Have we been abounding in the ministry work of the Lord?
1 Corinthians 15:58 – “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Ephesians 4:15-16 – “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
9. Have we been willing to withdraw ourselves from wrong influences?
Psalm 1:1 – “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”
Ephesians 5:11 – “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
1 Corinthians 15:33 – “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”
10. Have we become weary in well-doing through discouragement?
Galatians 6:9 – “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
2 Thessalonians 3:13 – “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.”
Hebrews 12:2-3 – “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”
11. Have we been consumed with worry over life’s difficulties?
Matthew 6:31-33 – “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
1 Peter 5:7 – “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
12. Have we become filled with wrath and bitterness at others?
James 1:19-20 – “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”
Hebrews 12:15 – “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”
Ephesians 4:31-32 – “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
13. Have we been infected with worldliness in our affections?
Colossians 3:2 – “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
1 John 2:15-17 – “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
James 4:4 – “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
14. Have we been overcome with the wickedness of covetousness?
1 Timothy 6:9-10 – “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
Luke 12:15 – “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”
Hebrews 13:5 – “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”