IT'S THE TEST OF A LIFETIME!
- Key Verse
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you -- unless indeed you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5)
- READ THE CHAPTER
We are promised that our faith will be tested, but we are also commanded to test our faith.
I love tests! I know I'm nerdy, but when I was in college, I loved studying for an exam and then feeling so accomplished after taking it. When I taught physics, I loved making challenging tests and then preparing my students to do excellently on them. Tests allow us to see what we really know. In this final part of Paul's letter to the Corinthian church, Paul is challenging the church to take the only test that really matters. Except this isn't a test about what we know, it's about who we know. In Matthew 16:15, Jesus asks his disciples, "But who do you say that I am?" That is the most important question we will ever have to answer. So, do you know the answer? Would you pass this test?
For 16 years, I sat in church and never really thought about who Jesus is. Then at Young Life camp, I was finally asked the question, and the answer changed my life. Jesus Christ is everything: He is the mightiest warrior who has ever existed and the most selfless lover we'll ever know. He is the King of the universe, and yet He wants to be our very best friend. In Romans 10:9 we are promised, "[I]f you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Is Jesus your Savior? Have you given your whole life to Him?
Perhaps you pass that test easily! You've accepted Christ as your Savior and your eternity is secure. Awesome! However, your relationship with Christ should not stop there. Test yourself. Are you living out your faith in Jesus? Does your life reflect who He is and the glorious things He has done in you? Paul emphatically declares through his letters to the people of the Corinthian church: LIVE OUT YOUR FAITH! Don't just say you know who Jesus is; even the demons know that. Let the whole world know that Jesus changed your life! As it was once said, "Christ died for you; the least you can do is live for Him."
Discussion Questions1. Have you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior? If so, when? Try to remember the details of the day you were made new in Christ. If you haven't made that decision, make today the day that Jesus changes your life.
2. Does your life reflect the fact that you love Jesus?
3. Find a fellow believer (preferably someone who knows you well) and ask that person if he or she sees any area of your life that does not pass the "test." What did the person say and what can be done to change it?
4. Think of someone you know who doesn't yet know Jesus. Have you shared the claims of Christ with him or her? If not, what is holding you back?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
2 Corinthians 11 - Galatians 2 (July 23-27)
Read 2 Corinthians 11:16-33.
• Make a list of all the things that happened to Paul. Discuss which one you think would be the hardest.
• What does Paul say in verse 30?
• What do you think it means to boast in your weaknesses?
• Have each person make a list of your weaknesses and hardships that you have been through.
Now read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 and Romans 5:3-5.
• What are the blessings of hardships and weaknesses?
• What does it mean to trust the Lord in the hard times?
• What does it mean to trust Him in your weaknesses?
Activity: Go back over your lists. What is the weakness or hardship that you are struggling with most? Put everyone's name on a piece of paper and have each family member draw a name. This week, do different things to encourage that person in his or her toughest struggle right now. Find verses to encourage them and pray for them.