a puritan's blog

O God, stamp eternity on my eyeballs…

Return to (true) Worship

My wife found this in the book by Ron Owens, Return to Worship, A God Centered Approach.
This Self-inventory was written in the mid-1800’s by a Baptist Minister and was inserted in the Georgia Baptist Christian Index sent out to many churches in the area for appropriate preparation to take the Lord’s Supper. What a devastating word to my own carelessness for that blessed act of Worship. Would that every believer took this and sought to live his/her own life as earnestly as this purports. Would not our observance of the Lord’s body and blood be accompanied with weeping, reverence and fear. Can we, without judgment or bias, look at these 24 questions honestly and see if we are truly in the faith?

On Preparation for the LORD’s Supper
(Or for Preparation for Christian Ministry)
From a mid-1800’s article in the Georgia Baptist Christian Index

Twenty-Four Questions to Ask Yourself:
1. In the interval since last partaking of the Lord’s Supper, what progress have you been making in your Christian life in proportion to the blessings of God you enjoy? Are you really gaining ground?

2. Is your soul actually strengthened and refreshed?

3. Are your corruptions growing weaker and your graces growing stronger?

4. Are you able more successfully to strive against your besetting sin?

5. Is your love for the Savior deepening in your heart and more influential in your life?

6. Is your conformity to His image more distinctly visible to the eye, both of GOD and man?

7. Are you advancing in love and charity to all men?

8. Do you find that since your last commemoration of this feast of love, you have become so much more full of the Holy Spirit, that you cannot only freely forgive from your heart the most unprovoked and aggravated injuries and insults, but you delight in pouring out fervent prayer on behalf of your bitterest enemy and are ready to minister to his temporal and eternal welfare?

9. Have you felt a warmer interest in the welfare of all who come under your influence?

10. Are you treading more closely in the steps of Him who went about doing good to the bodies and souls of men?

11. Have you expended more time and money in acts of practical benevolence to alleviate the wretchedness, and contribute to the enjoyments, both temporal and spiritual, of those whom it is in your power to help?

12. Are you more gentle and affectionate in your manners at home?

13. Are you more consistent in your endeavor to lead to CHRIST those you know who have not yet met Him and to lead those who do know Him into a closer walk with Him?

14. Do you have a growing interest in ministries that labor to promote the glory of GOD?

15. Can you testify that you are denying yourself the excesses of luxury, whether in dress or any other department, in order to support the LORD’s work and thus become a benefactor, in the highest sense of the word, to your family, church, friends, country and all mankind?

Ask yourself also such questions as the following, in your self-examination.
16. Am I advancing in the joys and comforts of the Holy Spirit?

17. Since I last partook of the LORD’s supper, have I more faithfully followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit; have I listened more teachably to the slightest whisperings of His voice; have I cherished more carefully His sanctifying influences; have I guarded more jealously against the indulgence of any thought or desire that would grieve Him, or cause Him to withdraw, even for a season, the manifestations of His love and the communications of His grace?

18. Have I a sweeter sense of my Redeemer’s Love?

19. Do I find communion with Him a foretaste of Heaven?

20. Do I look forward with increasing desire for the day when I shall sit down with Him at the marriage supper of the Lamb?

21. Do I find increasing happiness in meditating on His love when I am alone; in talking about Him when I am with other Christians, and pleading His cause with those who don’t know the preciousness of His name?

22. Since I last commemorated His dying love, do I have a larger measure of gratitude towards Him, that caused the pardoned penitent of old to bathe His feet with her tears, to wipe them with the hairs of her head, and pour upon them the most precious ointment she could afford to purchase, as a token of the gratitude with which her heart overflowed?

23. Do I increasingly feel it to be my highest privilege and happiness to lavish on Him every manifestation of my love; to consecrate to Him whatever I posses most precious; every gift He has bestowed, every talent He has entrusted to me; and to esteem myself honored, with the highest honor that any created being can enjoy, in being permitted to be an instrument in advancing His cause and promoting His glory?

24. Am I continually realizing so much more of the blessed mind of Christ, that I am able to fully enter into the spirit of that sweet hymn which breathed such love to Jesus, while contemplating Calvary’s cross, the kind of love that ought to be perpetually burning on the altar of every believer’s heart and that brings down the very essence of heaven’s joy into the believer’s soul?

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