Self Examination when we think we are Doing Fine

                                            (Photo taken by B.Salzano in Bandon Oregon)
When the days come (and we all have them) when we feel satisfied with our spiritual growth.  We think we are doing just fine and have grown lax in our studies and prayer.  It is time then to re-read these simple sayings From Jesus Christ and see how we measure up:
Murder Begins in the Heart  ( all from matthew 5)
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,[a]and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause[b] shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

Adultery in the Heart
27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old,[c] ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[d] 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Marriage Is Sacred and Binding
31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality[e] causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

Jesus Forbids Oaths
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

Go the Second Mile
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’[f] 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

Love Your Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor[g] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,[h] 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren[i] only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors[j] do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Ahh, if like me, you find your self, less than perfect, we know that we cannot afford to let even a little time go by without staying in the word of God and Praying for protection of our minds.  Join me in this prayer:

Almighty God, Our father in Heaven.  I praise and worship Your with all my being, with all my heart and soul.  I am weak but you are strong.  Where I fail you will overcome.  You are my breath, my life, my Joy.

Forgive me of all my wrongs and renew me day by day.  Lift me up past my sins and set me firm on my feet in growth and diligence.  Show me your ways, your path and not my own.  Protect my minds and the minds of all your peoples from sin.  Do not let us be deceived but show us truth.  Let us not be mislead but keep the truth of God before us in every situation.  For the great deceiver is out and hungary like a lion, going here and there to deceive us and lead us astray.

We cannot trust ourselves to truth, we only can trust YOU.  Deliver us to your truth and your paths of what is right.

In the name and the power of our Lord Jesus Christ I pray, 
                                         All photos are my own.

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