Sunday Devotional: Do not be a lip-service Christian

1 John 2:1-5A

My children, I am writing this to you
so that you may not commit sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins,
and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.
The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep
his commandments.
Those who say, “I know him,” but do not keep his commandments
are liars, and the truth is not in them.
But whoever keeps his word,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.

AN EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE

1. I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me.
Do I accord more importance to creation — to people and things? Do I idolize entertainers or politicians, idealizing and placing them on a pedestal? Am I my own god — grandiose, arrogant, and do as I will? Do I subscribe to a self-serving moral relativism– that what is right depends on the situation and on what benefits me? Do I practice humility by serving others? Do I ask for forgiveness when I have wronged another?

2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Have my words denied, devalued, or insulted God? Do I use His holy name as a profanity, or as an emotional outburst?

3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
Do I avoid, when possible, work that impedes worship to God, joy for the Lord’s Day, and proper relaxation of mind and body? Do I look for ways to spend time with family or in service on Sunday? Do I say “Thank You” for all that He’s given me — my body, mind, work, family, friends, and for life itself?

4. Honor your father and your mother.
Do I show my parents due respect? Do I seek to maintain good communication with my parents where possible? Do I criticize them for lacking skills I think they should have? Do I blame them for my own flaws and problems? Do I honor that to which they gave birth, by treating my body and mind with respect, and refraining from impairing and corrupting myself with drugs, sloth, gluttony, and pornography?

5. You shall not kill.
Have I killed the body, no matter how small, of another? Have I injured another’s body, spirit and emotions with my actions and words?

6. You shall not commit adultery.
Have I stayed true to my marital vows? If unmarried, have I honored another’s marital exclusivity? Have I respected the physical and sexual dignity of others and of myself, and of the institution of marriage?

7. You shall not steal.
Have I taken or wasted the possessions, resources or time that belong to another? Have I dis-respected God’s creation by being wasteful and profligate?

8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Have I told lies or embellished stories at the expense of another?

9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s spouse.
Have I honored my spouse with my full affection and exclusive love? Have I, instead, longed for or lusted after another, including fantasy figures like celluloid celebrities and in pornography?

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
Am I content with what I have, or do I compare myself to others, and feel envious, resentful, or entitled to what others have?

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!

~Éowyn

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