Thank you for joining me through this Holy Week journey. I’m “unplugged” for the week but have printed out these Scriptures, thoughts, and prayers to use during my own preparation for our Good Friday service and celebration on Resurrection Sunday.
Today we begin “Preparing Your Heart” by considering our need for examination.
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. ~ Lamentations 3:40
This sort of examination is difficult … for we are forced to evaluate our motives, our thoughts, and those hidden parts of our hearts that we often prefer to leave untouched by the Lord. In my life, I use Scripture to guide me through this process.
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what doe the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. ~ Micah 6:8 NIV
- Is my life marked by acting justly? Does my character reflect the power of the Lord in my life?
- Is my life marked by loving mercy? Do I seek to humble myself and put the interests of others ahead of my own? Am I more concerned with being right or with being righteous?
- Is my life marked by a humble walk with God? Does the way I spend my time and money reflect what I say about God’s priority in my life? Am I consistently willing to be obedient even when it costs me something? Am I willing to sacrifice good things in order to have God’s best for my life?
Another passage I often use for times of examination is Psalm 139:23 – 24.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (NIV)
First we ask God to search us … we give Him the freedom to penetrate the walls of our sinful heart and reveal the truth to us.
Second we ask the Lord to do the following:
- Test us … This is an investigation to determine our essential character, our integrity.
- Know our anxious thoughts … We seek to know those areas that we have not fully trusted to the Lord’s able care.
- See any offensive way … Recognizing that we don’t always see those parts of our lives that are sinful, we ask the Lord to reveal our offensive ways so that we might confess.
- Lead me … We affirm the Lord’s authority in our lives and lay down our own agenda and desires in order to follow Him.