Wednesday, April 15, 2020

What Tests Reveal - Martin Wiles

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. 2 Corinthians 13:5 NLT

Tests don’t measure everything, but they are a good measure of what we know about a given subject.

As a Language Arts teacher, I design my tests to determine what students know in the areas of spelling, grammar, literature, and writing. I’m not big on multiple-choice or true false, so I limit most of my tests to short answer, matching, and discussion questions.

Matching questions weed out students who have studied the material only enough to recognize the answer. Short answer tells whether or not the student has spent an adequate amount of time in study to produce the answers from memory. And discussion takes it to a further level by requiring students to reason out and apply some of the text. Regardless of where the student falls on the testing level, their scores reveal something.

According to Paul, our life is a test … and beyond that our faith. He challenges us to test ourselves to see if our faith is genuine. Beyond that, he tells us to take an exam. In the academic world, that would be a big test on all the students have learned over an entire semester—or year.

Evidently, the possibility exists that we might not pass the faith test. A terrible thing when we think about it. To think all my life that I belonged to God’s family, only to hear Him say when I stood before Him at the final judgment, “I never knew you.” And Jesus says this will happen (Matthews 7:23).

Deception is possible. Thinking I’m on good terms with God because my family was. Or because I attended church, gave a little to charitable organizations, said a few prayers along the way, did good works, or overall was a good person. None of which carry any saving power in and of themselves.

The exam … the test … involves whether or not I believe Jesus is God’s Son who paid for the sins of humanity on Calvary’s cross, whether I’ve asked Him to forgive my sins, and whether I’ve committed my life to obey and follow Him. If so, I’ve passed the exam, and my eternity is secure. And yours is too.

Examine yourself to see if your faith is real. Don’t risk an unfavorable eternity because you don’t like to take tests.

Prayer: Father, thank You for letting us know whether or not we belong to You.

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