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Pointers along the way #45

Testing ourselves
- Jacob Ninan

"The Message" Bible says, "Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don't drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it" (2Co.13:5). It is possible that some of us may be assuming for ourselves that "Jesus Christ is in us," that we are Christians, while it may not be true. Do you think such a thing is not possible for you? Jesus said that on the judgment day He would have to tell some people who had even prophesied, cast out demons and done miracles in His name that He did not know them (Mt.7:22-23).

Some are afraid of taking such a test because they think they might fail! Some even think that it is the devil who brings such 'doubts' in their minds. But the intention is not to confuse or condemn anyone, but to help everyone to make sure that he or she is really 'in.' Isn't it better to take the test now when we can do something about the result, than wait for the judgment day when there will be no more opportunity to set things right?

Do we have a personal, living relationship with Jesus, or is it only an impersonal knowledge about Him? This danger is especially there for those who have grown up in a Christian background. The one who has recognised himself as a sinner, repented and gone to Jesus for forgiveness knows Him personally, while the one who knows about Him only through tradition, rituals and hearsay has not really met Him.

The test that Jesus gave Peter was, "Do you love Me more than these?" (Jn.21:15). We don't know exactly what He meant by 'these.' We can assume that He meant whether Peter loved Him more than he loved everyone and everything else, because that was what He had taught the disciples earlier (Lk.14:26,27,33). Those who really know Jesus cannot but love Him like this. Why don't we get to know Him like this?