Definition: di·ag·nose transitive verb : to recognize (something, such as a disease) by signs and symptoms intransitive verb : to identify a disease from its signs and symptoms : to make a diagnosis
1. How Well Do You Hear?
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.Romans 10:17
Just as we may have periodic checkups to gauge our physical well-being So we should frequently examine our spiritual wellness in regards to serving God Our spiritual checkup begins with checking our hearing.
We often find Jesus saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”…
- During His earthly ministry – Mt 11:15; 13:9,43
- In His letters to the churches of Asia – Re 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22
What is the point of these sayings…?
• What is being said is important, so you had better pay attention! – cf. Mk 4:23-25
- When it comes to hearing God, very important! – Isa 55:2-3
- It is essential for the good of our soul!
Is there ever a time when God does not hear…?
Yes, when our sins are between us and God – cf. Isa 59:1-2
But we can take care of that problem by receiving God’s Mercy – cf. Isa 55:6-7
Today, that mercy is offered through Jesus Christ, God’s Son. And as God said:
“This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Lk 9:35)
Have you heeded Him by obeying His word? Or does the following cry of Jesus apply to you…?
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which say?” (Lk 6:46)
One of the first performances of faith is hearing. We hear the voice of God, not with the outward ear alone, but with the inward ear; we hear it as God’s Word, and we believe it to be so; that is the “hearing” of faith.Charles Spurgeon
2. How Well Do You Read?
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.Psalm 119:105
On several occasions we find Jesus saying, “Have you not read…?”
In defense of His disciples – Mt 12:3,5
Answering questions regarding divorce – Mt 19:4
Defending children who praised Him in the temple – Mt 21:16
Regarding the prophecy of His becoming the chief cornerstone – Mt 21:42
Responding to the Sadducees about the resurrection of the dead – Mt 22:31-32
The question “Have you not read?” suggests a major failing.
That plagued the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees
That likely affects people today, including Christians
The problem: many do not read the Word of God as they should, and that affects our “Spiritual Health”.
The Word of God and the words of Jesus are indeed precious gifts…
A lamp to our feet and a light to our path – Ps 119:105
The words of eternal life – Jn 6:68
Yet might Jesus one day say to us, “Have you never read…?”
About the gospel plan of salvation? – Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:15-16
About the need to remain faithful? – Re 2:10
May we take the charge given to Joshua and diligently apply it ourselves to all of the Word of God…
“This Book…shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” – Jos 1:8
The primary purpose of reading the Bible is not to know the Bible but toJames Merritt
3. How Well Do You Pray?
What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.1 Corinthians 14:15
Jesus told a parable about a persistent widow… – Lk 18:1-8
His purpose: “that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” – Lk 18:1
His concern: “when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” – Lk 18:8
Our prayer life is an important indicator of spiritual wellness…
It is an expression of our faith in God
It reveals if we have lost heart in our service to God
A wonderful privilege, a powerful privilege
A needed privilege, an often neglected privilege
Prayer ought to be practiced…
“always with all prayer and supplication…” – Ep 6:18
“earnestly..being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” – Col 4:2
Indeed, we should “pray without ceasing” (1Th 5:17).
Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God.Oswald Chambers
4. How Well Do You Sing?
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.Colossians 3:16
Singing spiritual songs was something that Jesus did..
As foretold in the book of Psalms – Ps 22:22; cf. He 2:11-12
As seen following the Last Supper – Mt 26:30
Our singing can be an important indicator of spiritual well-being…
As an expression of our faith and joy in God
As a means to encourage one another in our service to God
David, “a man after God’s own heart”, loved to sing…
“I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.” – Ps 13:6
” will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations.” – Ps 57:9
“I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; will sing praise to my God while have my being.” – Ps 104:33
He called upon others to sing praises both in public and in private…
“Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise in the assembly of saints.” – Ps 149:1
“Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds.” – Ps 149:5
Dare we, as followers of the “Son of David” (Jesus), love to sing praises to God and spiritual songs to one another any less?
How well we sing (not musically per se, but spiritually speaking) can be a powerful indicator of our spiritual well-being.
The words we sing should include thoughts that stir us to action and challenge us with the call of Christ in our lives.Keith Getty
5 How Well Do You Talk?
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.Ephesians 4:29
Jesus said we should take our speech seriously..
We shall give an account for every idle word in the day of judgment – Mt 12:36
We will be justified or condemned by our very words – Mt 12:37
Sobering thoughts, yes? For this reason…
We ought to give careful thought concerning the words we use
It is imperative that our speech be in keeping with God’s standards
We should never forget the power of speech…
To hurt others, to hurt ourselves
To bless others, to bring glory to God
As we examine our spiritual well-being…
Let us not only give attention to how well we hear, read, pray, and sing
But let us also give prayerful attention to how well we talk
May the prayer of David be our own…
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. “ Psalms 19:14
A Mature Christian is the one who knows when to talk and how to talk, anything other than this is hypocrisy.Douglas Yaw Mensah
6. How Well Do You Give?
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.Hebrews 13:16
Jesus often taught on the subject of giving…
In the course of a sermon • e.g., Lk 6:38
When the occasion called for it – e.g., Lk 21:1-4
He spoke of the blessedness of giving (Ac 20:35). That we might experience such blessedness.
Giving can be an expression of true spirituality…
As seen in the case of the Macedonians – 2 Co 8:1
As seen in the example of Jesus Himself – 2 Co 8:9
As we give of our money, our time, our talents…
Let us be careful that we be gracious givers
Motivated by the grace of God in our lives
So that however we give, we might be able to say as did the apostle Paul:
…by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 1 Co 15:10
The Lord … instead of the law enjoining the giving of tithes, [told us] to share all our possessions with the poor. (Against Heresies IV:13:3)Irenaeus, c. A.D. 185
7 How Well Do You Love?
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Jesus spoke of love in mentioning the two greatest commandments of the Law…
The love of God – Mt 22:34-38
The love of neighbor – Mt 22:39-40
Who can deny the importance of love to our spiritual well-being…?
It is evidence of spiritual regeneration
It is necessary to spiritual happiness
Let us therefore make sure that our love…
Is not carnal, self-centered
But is spiritual, God-centered and other-centered
The best way we can ensure this iS true in our lives, is to love as Christ loved us:
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” – Ep 5:1-2
Love is not only something you feel, it is something you do.David Wilkerson
8 How Well Do You Hope?
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.Hebrews 10:23
Our spiritual health is reflected by the quality of our hope…
Do we possess a favorable and confident expectation of things to come?
Does our hope for the future look beyond the difficulties and end of this life?
God and Jesus has given us every reason to have a vibrant hope, but that is affected by…
How well we hear
How well we read
How well we pray
How well we sing
How well we talk
How well we give
How well we love
How well we hope
As we conclude, I do so with these two prayers of the apostle Paul that certainly relate to spiritual wellness…
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Ro 15:13
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Th 5:23
Without Christ there is no hope.Charles Spurgeon