Welcome to the daily devotional we have. This is a learning process for me as I go along and I hope you can join me. I will pick a devotional on www.bible.com (feel free to go there and pick the same reading plan) and be posting the verse(s), devotional, and my own personal commentary. Feel free to leave your own commentary in the comments as I would love to read your guys thoughts. Also, I will have a video that relates to the devotional.
This devotional is titled “Authentic”. It is 7 days long. I use the ESV bible but feel free to use the version of your choosing. Cody Hahn will be assisting as well with guest commentary.
2 Corinthians 13:5
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”
What Is Real?
The Christian life that is real will display several “essential features” giving evidence of a changed person. These features are very clear in I John, where we see several “tests” that compare our lives to that of Jesus Christ… the “original”.
So what does it mean to live the authentic Christian life? Many try to make it a very complicated issue, but God’s Word makes it very clear. It does this by giving us a model for our lives. Jesus Christ was clearly an original.
Think about the immense influence He had during the short time He walked on this earth. He is the model for all believers to follow. We can know who Christians are by how closely they resemble the “original”. John had a deeper understanding of the original because he had seen, heard, and touched Christ. Through this life-changing encounter, he was compelled to live in a way that reflected the mission of Jesus!
Today’s Challenge: Think about just one feature of Christ you wish you had (His patience, His joy, etc.). Hone in on that one attribute over the next few days. Pray that God will reveal to you specific adjustments that can help you display more of this characteristic.
Doing this successfully will ultimately display more of who Christ is. You will impact and inspire more people than you could ever imagine. The kicker is people will sense the difference without you saying or telling them since it is becoming a natural part of your life.
Leadership Thought: “People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
What shift will you make this week to help others see Christ in your life?
My study Bible says that “The test to see if Christ is in the Corinthians will be their response to Paul and his call to repent, since God’s message and the messenger are one.”
I think the devotional makes a solid point here. How closely do our lives reflect Christ? He set the example for all Christians with His time on Earth. We can all use improvement as by no means do we want to taint the image of us as being a “Christian Atheist”.
This scripture reminds me of one of my favorite verses, the psalmist’s words asking:
Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life. (Psalm 139:23-24 MSG)
What’s really cool about these last two versus in chapter 139 is the context of the chapter as a whole. The psalmist starts this chapter by already declaring that God knows him:
GOD, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.(Psalm 139:1 MSG)
So then why would he ask God to investigate his life again? Because while God knows every intimate detail of our lives (our very thoughts and feelings) actively asking Him to reveal to us areas we need to work on and focusing on those areas makes us more like Him. Like the devotional says “Doing this successfully will ultimately display more of who Christ is“. When we actively focus on sowing the characteristics of Christ in our lives we are being authentic Christians. We reach for the level of perfection Christ showed, knowing that while we’ll never obtain perfection in this life the fruits of our efforts will be others seeing Christ’s authenticity in us. Paul summed it up perfectly in Philippians 3:
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:12-14 NLT)
To me being an authentic Christian means striving towards Christ’s perfection. Doing so will bless others around me, because I’ll be more full of His unfailing and unconditional love. It will bless me because I’ll be walking in line with His will for my life. It will bless God because when we live our lives fully for Him, all the glory and honor goes to Him.