Introspection can become an unhealthy pastime, but true searching of the heart can bring great blessing.

The Psalmist says: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

We ought to ask for and welcome the searching light of the Holy Spirit, and let him show us the many things in our hearts that find expression in our daily lives, yet are displeasing to our Lord.

In the New Testament there are to be found four distinct groups of men to whom our Lord spoke clearly and forcefully and would speak today with equal concern.

We should search our own hearts looking for those things which destroy the joy of salvation or which stand between us and a clear witness to our faith. In this there is no thought of self-reformation. Rather it is a recognition of sin, regardless of the guise in which it may appear, and a submitting of oneself to the cleansing, forgiving, healing ministry of our risen Lord.

A Pagan? We like to think of America as a “Christian” nation and of paganism as something far removed from our shores. But the influences of paganism are all around us, and we are confronted every day with the temptation to capitulate to a way of life from which God is excluded and in which are found the pagan gods of lust, greed, and materialism.

Indifference to the claims of Christ is a form of paganism. The putting first of secular interests is idolatry. The exclusion of the sovereign God from his rightful place in this world and in our personal lives depicts an ignorance and perversity probably more displeasing to God than the overt acts of those who have never come under the influence of the Gospel.

It is not for us to point the ...

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