Monday, July 2, 2012

Preparing for the Big Test

     Years ago, our middle son expressed a deep desire to spend two weeks getting ready for his driving test after his sixteenth birthday.  He felt ready to get his license, but wisely wanted plenty of practice.
     His father had taken him out a number of times to practice his driving skills during the time that he held a restricted license, but the big test was ahead.  So, being the dutiful mother, I spent two weeks going over all the basics, safety tips and sitting as a passenger while he drove.  We practiced three point turns in the road over and over again.  We practiced panic stops, and we practiced how to correctly make a turn at a stop sign.
     After all the practicing was over, we made an appointment with the person in charge of the driving test.  Our son took his test and passed with flying colors.  What a joy it was for him to have his driver's license!  I know it was a big moment in his life.  Because he had prepared well of the test, he passed.
     As Christians, the Lord asks us to take an examination of our own lives before we partake of communion.  However, do we really take this seriously enough?  I Corinthians 11:28 says:  "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup" (NKJV).
     In considering this preparation for communion, we need to look at any sin or deficiency of love in our relationships.  Do we have a root of bitterness towards someone that has not been confessed?  Are we conducting ourselves as ambassadors of Christ in both home and business?  These and other questions are areas that we need to pray about and seek the insight of the Holy Spirit on.  If He reveals or convicts us of sin, we need to confess and deal with this before we take communion.  Why is this important?  Because we have accountability to God for our lives and actions if we are His children.
     Two scriptures which can help us to examine our lives are found in the book of Matthew.  Chapter 6:33 reads:  "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (NKJV).  This verse pertains to our relationship to God and putting Him first and foremost in our lives.
     Matthew 22:37-40 pertains to our relationship to our fellow man:  "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  If we are not right in either of these two areas of relationship, then, we are not ready to partake of the Lord's supper.
     Look at verses 29-32 of I Corinthians 11:  "For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.  For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.  For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.  But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world" (NKJV).
     Just as it is important to know how to handle a large responsibility like driving a vehicle safely, so it is also paramount that we take time to examine ourselves before we participate in communion.  If we judge ourselves rightly, then, we will be ready to sit at the feet of Jesus and renew through communion our covenant with Him as we partake of the bread and the cup.  Selah!

How do you prepare your heart as you come to the communion table?  I welcome your thoughts and insights.

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