Monday, September 10

Let us examine our ways

Scripture: Lamentations 3-5, Revelation 15

Lamentations 3:40-41 Let us examine and probe our ways, and turn back to the Lord.  41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven: “We have sinned and rebelled; you have not forgiven.”

Observation:

Lamentations is Jeremiah’s lament (a passionate expression of grief or sorrow) over the sin of Israel and her punishment.  In the midst of the lament are moments of hope (3:22-27), and this call to examine our ways and turn back to God.  Jeremiah calls us to honest reflection and self-examination before God, followed by confession and repentance (turn back to the Lord).  

Application:

Someone described the Christian life as one of continual conversion or repentance.  It’s constant change.  We must make time to reflect upon our daily lives, the ways we live.  We examine and probe, we search and test our ways.  When we recognize something is wrong, we own it and confess it (“We have sinned and rebelled”) and then repent: we turn back to the Lord.

Failure to regularly examine our ways leads to more sin and distance from God.  

Just recently a friend sent me a heartfelt note challenging me in several areas.  It got my attention.  It made me “turn to the Lord” and examine my ways afresh.  And it reminded me that regular examination, confession and repentance keeps me clean and close to the Lord.  And that’s what I want.  His ways are better than my ways.

Psalm 139:23–24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Prayer: This psalm is my prayer today.  Search me, test me, lead me in Your way.  Show me where my ways are off—where they are not Your ways—and lead me in Your way.