Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday's Resolution {Nightly Self-Examination}

We are picking apart Jonathan Edward's 70 Resolutions, one week and one resolution at a time. Don't forget to start where he did- "Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake."

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37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent,-what sin I have committed,- and wherein I have denied myself;- also, at the end of every week, month, and year. 

Life is so easy to live, unintentionally and unobserved. If we aren't careful, days, weeks, even years, of our life can be spent- busy, tired, frazzled, and distracted- without a thought towards the kind of person we are becoming or the direction we are going.  

Spiritually we can be so thoughtless. Too often I fail to take an honest look at my heart. I ignore besetting sins that are weighing me down, and neglect to ardently pursue godliness and deeper intimacy with my God. 

One way to avoid such hap hazardous living? Frequent self-examination. Jonathan Edwards resolved to nightly think over his life- duties he had neglected, sins he had committed, and areas of progression in self-denial. He also meant to examine longer periods of time as they passed- the weeks, months, and years. He didn't want to waste his life in unintentional, sin-beset living. He wanted to redeem each day for the glory of God!

If I were to adopt this Resolution faithfully, what a marked difference I might observe in my life! To close each night with prayers of acknowledgement and repentance of my sins, to know the Lord's forgiveness and peace as I lay my head on the pillow. If I honestly embraced my failures, while also embracing His perfect righteousness attributed to me, and purposed by His grace to keep fighting the good fight of faith the next day and the next. 

In Christ we are free to take an honest look at our sins and failures. Guilt and self-condemnation no longer have a binding hold on us- we are free to confess, forsake, and experience true forgiveness. We are free to receive His perfection in place of our grievous imperfections. Self-examination is no longer something to fear or shy away from. 

Will you resolve along with me to close our evenings in this way? I look forward to enjoying such nightly communion with the Lord, and to seeing the results of His grace at work in my heart! 

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