Prayer, Plain and Simple

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)

I, Jill, was always good at showing up for tests in school (though not necessarily skilled at learning the materials and integrating it into my memory for future reference). But for years I didn’t even think I needed to show up for the most important test – the test of whether or not I was a true follower of Jesus. After all, I had been at church three times a week since I was conceived. After all, I was a Pastor’s wife. Doesn’t that count for something? I had loads of the Bible committed to memory. I could say it, sing it, and spill it on anyone and everyone. Isn’t that impressive enough to render me exempt from any exams?


Here’s a little test that Jesus gave His followers. Feel free to take it. Or fake it. It’s up to you.


1.  I genuinely love people. (See John 13:35) This means I freely forgive, I refuse to be offended, I love people that don’t love me back, and I strive to only speak words that are loving. I believe the best in others, ignoring gossip and even evidence of others’ sins. With God’s help I have forgiven what some people would consider unforgivable and certainly would have been without the grace of God in my life. (TRUE/FALSE)

2.  I live a productive life. (See John 15:8) I am so connected to Jesus that his life-giving blessings flow to me so that like a branch on a fruit tree, I continually bear fruit for others to enjoy. This makes me an upbeat person to be around and one that people can count on for encouragement. (TRUE/FALSE)

3.  I take responsibility for my own journey. (Luke 14:27) I do difficult things without complaining, even the things that I shouldn’t have to do. This way, I live an unselfish life as Jesus did, following Him all the way to the ultimate sacrifice. (TRUE/FALSE)

4.  I do not live my life to please people. I please Jesus first and don’t care too much for accolades. (Luke 14:26). (TRUE/FALSE)

5.  I do not live my life for stuff. Material gain isn’t the motivating factor of my life. (Luke 14:33) (TRUE/FALSE)

6.  I remain faithful to the teachings of Jesus and won’t listen to anyone who deviates from His words. (John 8:31) (TRUE/FALSE)

So, student of Jesus, how did you do? This is a Pass/Fail deal. It’s all or nothing. 

Father, please make me a True Follower of Your Son, Jesus. Renew my mind so that I can grow to be the person You have designed me to be, one that pleases you and gives you glory. Amen. 

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Psalm 139:23,24

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