Category Archives: Doing Good

How Well Do We Know Ourselves?

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalms 139:23-24)

Because of our sin nature, every one of us has a skewed view of our selves.  Sin is what is familiar to us, which blurs what’s important.  Because of our sin nature, we excuse the wrong we do and lessen our guilt for doing it.  This is what is normal to us.  The result of this is that we see ourselves very differently than others do, and even how God does.  There could be, in each one of us, an evil habit, or a strong pull to do what is wrong in God’s eyes, which, if not dealt with, can overpower and destroy us.  Not only that, there could also be something in our hearts or lives, that causes us to think less of ourselves, nullifying our ability to be an influence for good.  Here’s the thing, we may not even be aware of all this.  Look at what God tells us about ourselves, through the Prophet Jeremiah:

“The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9).”

The very next verse (verse 10) aught to cause us to tremble, and to be grateful at the same time:

“I, Yahweh, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve Jeremiah 17:10).”

  1. “Tremble” because He is going to judge us and punish us according to whether we live our lives according to His will, or our will.
  2. “Grateful” because He loves us enough to warn us and give us the opportunity to drop our own way of living and live according to His ways.

The reality is that we do not know ourselves as well as we portray ourselves to.  Therefore, the wise thing to do on our part, is to ask our Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent God to do for us what King David begged Him to do for him in today’s passage of Scripture.  King David asks God to do four very important things for Him:

  1. “Search me, God, and know my heart;” – He asks God to search the very depths of his heart – that God would search every part of his being, leaving nothing about him unstarched.
  2. “test me and know my concerns.” – He asks God to test and see that he is not representing himself as a God loving, God fearing man, when he is not.
  3. “See if there is any offensive way in me;” – He asks God to make sure there is nothing in himself that is offensive to God.  He does not want to offend God in any way.
  4. “lead me in the everlasting way.” –  King David asks God to put him on the path to, and lead him on the way to eternal life. In others words, He wants to live according to God’s will, which will lead him to an eternal life in heaven with God.

King David was afraid of breaking God’s heart again, and becoming useless to Him. How well do you know yourself?  Is there anything hidden in your life that is hindering you from being an instrument of God for good?

Will we all have the courage to ask God for what King David asked Him?

In Christ’s love,

Phil Covone

Christ’s Law

“Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 HCSB)

In today’s verse of scripture, we find one of the ways in which God expects, us, as Christians, to live our lives.  Notice that this is command, not a suggestion.  So, as Christians, we are to obey what He commands us to do.  This shouldn’t be hard to do. Jesus is our example.  He lived His life this way and we are to imitate Him.

Lets break the verse down and see what it truly says so that we can obey it correctly:

  1. “Carry…” – this is a command to go, get underneath the burden, and carry it.  There is no, “if you feel like it, go.”
  2. “one another’s…” – this involves all Christians, with no exceptions.  All Christians are to be involved in ministering to one another.  Jesus did this for us, even when we didn’t even deserve it.  We must do the same.
  3. “burdens;” – this means weight.  There are many Christinas who are weighted down with so many problems that they’re about to collapse.  We are not to let that happen.  If we know that they’re suffering, we don’t ask them if they need our help, because their pride will convince them to say, “no.” We just go and do what we can do to help.
  4. “in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – when we carry each other’s burdens, we fulfill Christ’s moral law.  In another passage of Scripture, God, through the Apostle Paul tells us;

“Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even the Messiah did not please Himself. On the contrary, as it is written, The insults of those who insult You have fallen on Me (Romans 15:1-3 HCSB).”

As Christians, we are to live for the benefit of others, at the cost of our own benefit.  Jesus is our example, and this is the way that Jesus lived His life everyday.  God, through the Apostle Paul, teaches us that as God’s children, we are to be imitators of God:

“Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God (Ephesians 5:1-2 HCSB).”

If we are Christians, Christ lives in us, and if Christ lives in us, His love and compassion for others lives in us as well.  Then, His Spirit of love and compassion compels us to love and have compassion for others.  If we are not filled with love and compassion for others, there’s a problem with our relationship with God that needs to be addressed immediately.

Are you carrying a heavy load?  Only when we carry someone else’s load can ours be lifted.

So then,

  • how will we obey today’s Scriptures?
  • With whom will we share today’s lesson?
  • With whom will we share the story of our salvation and the story of wehat Jesus did for us?

In Christ’s love,

Phil