You only have one opportunity to make a first impression. Bad first impressions can be corrected, strengthened, or supplemented so that initial miscues aren’t lasting failures. As first impressions go, Job’s friends were masterful. When Job’s tragic circumstances became known, his friends came immediately to be with him (Job 2:11). No delay, no mental hesitation, […]Read More Counseling and first impressions
While we often wait for the beginning of a new year to think about it, setting goals, evaluating goals, and refining goals is a worthy task for most any day. Many decades ago, Albert Einstein is reputed to have said, “The perfection of means and the confusion of goals is the hallmark of our time.” […]Read More Setting Goals
Wednesdays with Watson is a weekly reading taken from my favorite Puritan writer, Thomas Watson. This week’s selection is from The Christian on the Mount. Grace is precious in itself; 2 Peter 1:1 speaks of precious faith. Grace is precious in its origin; it comes from above (James 3:17). Grace is precious in its nature; […]Read More Meditate upon Your Spiritual State
Anybody who lives beneath the Cross and who has discerned in the Cross of Jesus the utter wickedness of all men and of his own heart will find there is no sin that can ever be alien to him. Anybody who has once been horrified by the dreadfulness of his own sin that nailed Jesus […]Read More Have you seen your sin?
It has been said that the self-examined life is not worth living. I’ve repeated that slogan many times. But there is a tempering corollary that is not said often enough. The self-examined life is not worth living. And the over-examined life may be detrimental. The latter statement needs to be made because the over-examined life […]Read More Self-examination for weak consciences
You may not know the name Wilhelm Roentgen, but his discovery has undoubtedly impacted you. It was in November of 1895 while the German physicist was replicating a common electrical experiment that he noticed an oddity. A little curiosity combined with further testing, and Roentgen was able to conclude that not only are there light […]Read More Let us examine our ways
This Sunday morning we will practice the ordinance of communion. The apostle Paul exhorts the Corinthian believers to examine themselves prior to taking the elements of the Lord’s Supper so that they might not take them in an unworthy manner (1 Cor. 11:27-32). This is a principle that applies to every believer — thorough self-examination […]Read More Preparing for communion
John R. W. Stott recounts the letter written by Robert Murray M’Cheyne to the Rev. Dan Edwards on October 2, 1840 after Edwards’ ordination as a missionary: I trust you will have a pleasant and profitable time in Germany. I know you will apply hard to German; but do not forget the culture of the […]Read More How’s your heart?
This afternoon I’ve been thinking about tomorrow’s sermon on 1 John 1:9. This may be one of the most well-known verses in Scripture, behind perhaps John 3:16, Psalm 23, and Genesis 1:1. It’s easy to miss the importance of a passage because of our familiarity. How can we prepare to hear this familiar word in […]Read More Preparing for a sermon on 1 John 1:9
A few years ago Money magazine reported that, “When researchers at Duke, Harvard, and Northwestern asked investors how their mutual funds performed last year compared with Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, a third claimed their funds outperformed the market by at least 5 percent. One in six said their funds fared better by more than […]Read More Thinking with sound judgment
Tomorrow morning we will remember the death and resurrection of Christ through communion. To prepare our hearts for that ordinance, here are a few questions I’ve adapted from the Puritan, Thomas Watson: Am I diligent in my pursuit of God through prayer? Do I thirst for the living God? Do I desire holiness as much […]Read More Examination questions for communion
Construction worker Patrick Lawler thought he had a toothache. He tried painkillers and ice packs but received no relief. Finally he went to the dental office where his wife worked and the x-ray revealed the problem: he had a four-inch nail in his head. Apparently six days earlier Patrick’s nail gun misfired and one of […]Read More The danger of self-deception
Self-examination is always good in the life of the believer. In Psalm 26, David articulates a number of areas of his life that reflect his integrity before the Lord. These assertions are a good place for the believer to ask questions about his own life with God and Christ: Is the overall character of my […]Read More Self-examination questions
In the interest of “something is better than nothing,” here are a few blurbs and comments on some books I’ve recently completed reading: Title: Atheism Remix Author: R. Albert Mohler, Jr. Publisher: Crossway, 2008, 108 pp., $15.99 Recommendation (4-star scale): Summary: This book is based on a series of four messages that Mohler gave at […]Read More Book blurbs
It won’t substitute for a trip to the doctor’s office. And it usually isn’t adequate for an employee review. And a building inspector certainly won’t allow it. But for the believer, self-examination is not only allowed, but it is commanded. A believer is called to examine his salvation — is he genuinely saved (2 Cor. […]Read More Sunday Leftovers (9/4/11)