Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.
— 2 Corinthians 13:5, NLT
Christian brethren, as Christ’s ambassador I entreat you to inquire into the character of your thoughts, tempers, purposes, words, and works during the past year. What has been the nature of your experience? Compare the records of your religious life with the Bible standard, and pass judgment upon yourselves.
This is a subject worthy of earnest, careful thought. Be thorough and impartial in your examination of the past year’s record.
How many have, in the past year, cherished heart-burnings and bitterness toward their brethren and sisters in the church? How many have thought and spoken unkindly of those who, like themselves, profess to be followers of Jesus? We may think we had an excuse for this... Said Jesus, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.”
We must earnestly seek his grace to kill every fiber of the root of bitterness, and must let the love of Jesus take possession of our souls and reveal itself in our words and works, or we are not of Christ.
Christ opened before us the bright path of peace, of joy, of Heaven; and what have we done for him on these occasions when every word and act should express our gratitude for his wondrous love?
If all realized as they should the shortness of time, the backslidings of our people, the perils which beset our pathway, the deceptions of Satan...there would be a great humbling of heart before God, and earnest prayer for pardoning and sanctifying grace.
Our souls are cold and dull because we do not dwell upon the matchless charms of our Redeemer. If we occupy our thoughts in contemplating his love and mercy, we shall reflect the same in our life and character; for by beholding, we become changed. Oh, the mysteries of redemption!
Let us begin the year with an entire renunciation of self; let us pray for clear discernment, that we may understand our Saviour’s claims upon us, and that we may always and everywhere be witnesses for Christ.
— Signs of the Times, January 4, 1883
Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them.
Earnestly seek His grace to kill every fiber of bitterness, let the love of Jesus take possession of your soul.
In every word and act express your gratitude for His wondrous love.
Humble the heart before God, earnestly pray for pardoning and sanctifying grace.