How do you examine or test whether you are in faith? When a person has received the forgiveness of Christ, they too have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. The Spirit is our helper- guiding us, directing us, convicting us. That would be a good first test. Do you have the Holy Spirit? Some people may confuse their conscious with the Holy Spirit. A way to tell the difference would be that the Holy Spirit prunes you to be more like Jesus. The Holy Spirit not only burdens you in a way you can sense with your heart, but also will teach you through other people and through reading God's Word. Often times I notice that the Holy Spirit shows me not only once, but often twice, or three times. Your conscious may show you things contrary to Scripture and may often be for your selfish benefit.
When we live to honor Jesus, our lives should reflect Him and His glory. Does your life show evidence of Him? Are you living in sin? Are you constantly learning more about Jesus and realizing your sinful nature? Would others look at you and know you walk with God, or would they doubt? If they would doubt, what are you doing that does not abide in Jesus? Does your life look like different than the world's or does your life fit in well with the world? We are called to be like Jesus. And Jesus was different. He didn't follow the ways of man. He didn't do things to fit in with unbelievers. He didn't seek approval from people, but from God alone. He is our example. Lets follow that example.
~A sermon series is WEIRD: Because Normal Isn't Working by Craig Groeschel http://www.lifechurch.tv/watch/weird/1
There are a few exhortations here. The first, is to rejoice. What can you rejoice over today? Second, aim for restoration. Do you have a broken relationship that needs restoring? Third, comfort one another. Do you comfort those in need of it? Who do you know that needs comfort? Fourth, agree with one another. Yes, this means your spouse too! Do you always seem to disagree with everyone? Do you have a compromising spirit or are you stubborn and unteachable? Fifth, live in peace. Are you the type of person that like to get a rise out of people? Do you like disagreeance so you can argue your point?
If you are guilty of any of theses offenses, there is a way out. I was there. I used to always like to argue my way through conversation and would love talking about sensitive issues or even offensive issues, just so I could be strongly opinionated and stand firm in my opinion. I know that I can still work on comforting others. Naturally, I am not a empathizer or sympathizer. If you need to work on any of these, please pray with me.
Lord Jesus, You are the best example we have to live by. Holy Spirit, come change us to be more like Jesus. If we struggle with rejoicing, restoration, comforting one another, agreeing with people or living in peace, I ask that you teach us to perfect them. Give us opportunities to practice them. Let us be not of this world, but different. Let our lives show that we love Jesus and follow Him. Amen.
Finally brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of peace will be with you.