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When I was a senior in high school I owned a 1969 Volkswagen Beetle. I loved that car. It was metallic gray with red, orange and yellow pin stripes down the side. I went everywhere in that car. I even used it to carry a carload of kids to school every day, despite its size. There was only one problem, the engine was just about shot. No matter how far on the gas pedal I would push, it would never go over 55 mph (at least I never had to worry about breaking the speed limit). I spent a lot of money trying to get the engine fixed, but I finally came to the heartbreaking conclusion that it was time to get a different vehicle.

My mother and I rode to Cecil Clark Chevrolet in Leesburg to see what was on the used car lot. I saw it as soon as we turned the corner, a white 1979 Chevrolet Camaro. Suddenly, parting with my beloved Bug didn’t seem like such a big deal. The salesman approached us and, of course, I immediately asked to look at the Camaro. I’m not the most mechanically minded person, but I gave what I thought was a careful assessment of the car. I looked at the tires, the seats, and the paint job. Even though I didn’t know what I was looking at, I popped the hood and looked at the engine. The point being made is that I EXAMINED the car. But just examining it wasn’t enough. I asked for the keys so that I could give it a test drive. I got in and started it up (what a difference between a Chevrolet engine and a Volkswagen engine). I stomped on the gas to see how much power it had. I fell in love with the power steering immediately. I tried out the brakes to see how well they were reacting. I went around sharp curves to see how well it handled. You see, it wasn’t enough to just examine the car, I had to PROVE it by using it for the purpose it was built: driving.

That is exactly what God is saying to us here about our Christian walk. Examination is good, we need to do that, but that ís not enough. We need to take our Christianity out for a test drive. Is our engine revved up and full of power? How does the steering wheel react when the rubber meets the road? Are the brakes working properly? Does the car stay on the highway during the sharp curves? We need to take the time to prove our Christianity and see if we are being used for the purpose we were built: spreading the gospel.

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