Daily Devotional 3-18-19

An Invitation to Sober Reflection
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves… 2 Corinthians 13:5
One of my favorite movies is called, “Why Did I Get Married?”  I have watched it several times, and I do not think I will ever get tired of watching it. In this movie, four couples who were experiencing difficulties in their respective marriages decided to go on a retreat together at a beach resort in the Caribbean. Their purpose was to spark the fire and fervor of their relationships. The spouses loved each other, but the harsh winds of life have blown so strong against their relationships that their commitment and passion were tanking and begging for survival. The movie is a true reminder that the vicissitudes of life will test your relationships. In other words:
The elements of life will come against your relationships—including your relationship with God. 
The Corinthian culture was populated with speakers and philosophers. Public speaking was very common, and in many cases, speakers would engage their audience with different rhetorical skills to persuade and provoke a response. In addition, the audience evaluated a speaker. Apostle Paul, being aware of this cultural situation, turns the world of his audience upside down when he invited them to evaluate and test their own faith in God.
The essence of Christianity is relationship: firstly, with God and secondly, with others. Periodic evaluation, whether formal or informal, is crucial for continuous improvement and the general health of every relationship. This is also true for our spiritual relationship with God. It is in the context of spiritual growth that Jesus invites us to evaluate our relationship with him.  Are you living the life of faith? Are you bearing the fruits of the Holy Spirit? Are you still holding onto your convictions in Christ? How is your relationship with others? Is there any root of bitterness in your heart? How is your prayer life? Is there any sin you are entertaining in your life? What are you doing well that you need to continue? The list goes on. These questions are not meant to judge us into condemnation, but to draw us into a sober reflection, where we become true to God, and ourselves with the desire to repent and grow spiritually. This is the purpose and the spirit of Lent: to humble ourselves before him, and engage with ourselves in faithful introspection as we look forward to spiritual vitality.
Don’t give up on yourself; you are a working progress, and when the work of grace is done in you, Christ will present you spotless to God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, bring me to the place of self-awareness. Help me to face my worst fears that I may lay them at the feet of Jesus.