Summary: This sermon deals with the reality that our lives are a type of examination before God in which we should strive to be passing tests along the way.
Each year around this time, Christian parents can begin to rejoice that their children are now going to be more involved in prayer than they were the previous couple of months. Heaven is full of prayers, "Lord don’t let me get that teacher, Lord please let me get that teacher. Lord don’t let me get lost. Lord, don’t let there be a quiz today." There is nothing to get children to praying like going back to school and having to face the dreaded quizzes, tests, and examinations that are most certain to come. So much of what happens in school, focuses in on the examination that is to come. The grades that they will receive on those examinations will depend a lot on the preparations that they make during the coming few weeks and months.
Some students will start to apply themselves immediately to start learning the material. Some will wait until the progress reports come out, and after their parents have canceled their phone and tv privileges, they will start to prepare for the exam. Others will wait until the night before the exam to start to study, blame the teacher for giving so much to study for, and ask God for a miracle to somehow pass the exam.
We often times do not realize it, but the Christian lifestyle is a lot like going to school. You can’t be a disciple of Jesus Christ without being a student of the word of God. We are told in the Scriptures, 2 Tim 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. The Greek word that is translated do your best can also be translated by the word study. To study means you have to put some effort in it. You can usually look at a test score and know from the grade who studied and who didn’t. It’s not enough sometimes to study. You can study diligently, but if you study the wrong thing, it’s all in vain. Have you ever been prepared for a test by studying chapter five only to get the test and discover, you were supposed to have studied chapter 6.
Like school, Christianity has pop quizzes, mid-terms, and the final examination. Unlike school though, each exam is tailored fit for each individual. Therefore nobody can cheat off of someone else. Nobody can say this test was too hard or too easy. Nobody can say, well at least I didn’t do as bad as so and so did. As we walk this walk in life, we need to realize that God is keeping watch, and God is keeping score.
Most of us think of ourselves as pretty decent people. Even people that we think are absolutely horrible, think of themselves as pretty good people. You see they have a different measure of standard than you do. The Bible goes a step further in saying how we view ourselves. In our Old Testament reading , it said in Proverbs 16:2 All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. We ask the question, how in the world could you do something like that, when the other person sees it as no real big deal. Why? Because in his own eyes, he’s innocent. But how we see ourselves in our own eyes is not the end of the matter. God says, you see the action, but I’m weighing the motives. In our spiritual lives, we flunk a lot of pop quizzes that come our way, simply because we did things with the wrong motive.