Let every man examine himself
Job once stated, “Man, who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and fades away; he flees like a shadow and does not continue.” Wow, that’s a rough, doesn’t seem like much hope there, but all scripture is written are for our good, yes? The J B Phillip translation of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the faith and correcting error, for re-setting the direction of a man’s life and training him in good living. The scriptures are the comprehensive equipment of the man of God, and fit him fully for all branches of the work."
That being said, what’s the usefulness of Job’s comment above? I would like to purpose it is to remind us that we are but a flash in the continuum of eternity and we should ask ourselves what will I leave behind as a legacy. What will my actions have broadcasted to the world. Most Christians will tell you that they want to hear the following about themselves in the service of Jesus: “Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:23).
Faithful, what’s the true meaning of that word? What definition would you give it? Reliable, dependable, loyal, true, devoted, constant, unswerving, dedicated, committed, trustworthy? All good words, but only words if we don’t follow the counsels of God’s word. “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).
I like the clarity of the New Living Translation, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise you are only fooling yourselves.” In the letters to the Corinthians Paul had to be painfully clear to the church--they were going sideways. 1 Corinthians 5 was perhaps the hardest rebuke Paul had to give to the ones he loved within the church, tolerating sin in the camp and not doing a thing about it was not God’s course of action. Our message to the world is victory in Christ, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Brothers and sisters I sadly tell you many among us have the same situation. We do not address certain actions clearly forbidden in God’s word among our chapters. I have had reports about inappropriate and lewd talk at our booths, open acceptance of unhealthy habits and blatant disregard for God’s commandments. I once read a billboard, “The ten commandments are not the ten suggestions," yet we often treat them as such. So as your Chaplain I ask each of you to consider the following, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith, prove your own selves” (2 Corinthians 13:5). If you struggle, there is no shame in that, God offers forgiveness through repentance, but do not think you can continue to do the things that God forbids. He is able to deliver us from the sins that so easily beset us. There is power in the blood of Jesus, step out in faith and see the marvelous workings of the Spirit in your lives over the bondage of sinful actions and habits. And the wonderful results of such is that you will have the testimony to share with those who are perishing within that very struggle that freedom is possible giving glory to our Lord and Savior.
With much love, Chaplain Jeff