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November 18, 2016

Text: “These are the nations: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath. They were for the testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the Lord, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.” Judges 3:3-4

Testing is a part of life. Starting with the first grade, all the way through graduation 12 years later you will take testing very frequently. Then, if you have passed the tests, you will be given a diploma that certifies that you deserve graduation. If you wanted to be a  CPA, you would have to pass  tests through high school and college and then, after further study for the state CPA exam; if you passed that test, then you could be certified and work in your home state as a CPA. Our heavenly Father is interested in our progress in life. He allows us to be tested, measuring our progress in his kingdom. Our advancement in righteousness and virtue are necessary. Tests come in many ways: loss of family, friends, possessions; financial reverses; illness; family break-ups; legal processes; anger; feuds; etc. God allows these unpleasant trials to come upon us, but God the Lord  does not wish this scrutiny to overcome us; no, he wishes us to overcome the audit!  “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? “Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered, For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” Romans 8:35-36 

 Life is itself a test, but the answers are definitely applicable and needful throughout your life. In school you sometimes merely memorized the answers; then you forgot them. You must have confidence in reliable answers  that determine the destiny of your eternal life. You want to have a good grasp of the rules that guide you to your eternal home. You need to test the reliability of the laws of godly living.  “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”  I John  4:1    So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”  I John 4:17  

Testing is a practical way of learning how to deal with more difficult tests ahead.  No matter where you find yourself in life you will surely meet new trials up ahead.  They may be recurrent trials or they can be more difficult. Sure enough, there will be something you expect or don’t expect. His friends were trying to cheer him up and told him, “Cheer up! Things could be worse.” Later he was telling someone else: “So, I cheered up… and sure enough, things got worse!” (Old! But funny!) First, face these new difficulties with heaven  ahead of you, and Jesus within you. “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” Hebrews 12:2-3  

Be aware that God wants to know what you are made of.  Are you still the weak spiritually effete bag of bones you were when you first became a Christian? Has your faith grown stronger?  Have you advanced in kindness, goodness, and self-control? Or have we become unhealthy due to our own negligence? God is training and testing you to be faithful, bold, and morally obedient. That is going to take conditioning. Applying yourself to be of use to Christ’s kingdom. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”   II Corinthians  6:12b-14

Be sure to consider this as you work for growth in the Lord.  My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.    For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,  and chastises every son whom he receives.”  Hebrews 12:5b-6




  1. Larry permalink

    Should not your II Corinthians quote be Hebrews?–LS

  2. Suzanne Burch permalink

    Good observation – TESTING throughout life.

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