“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.  12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God’s people here send their greetings.  14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2Corinthians 13:11—14)


         Paul was writing his brothers and sisters, who seemed to have forgotten the sincerity and simplicity of their devotion to Christ.  They have allowed so many teachings to pollute their minds.  At one point, he warns them of messengers of Satan who masquerade themselves as angels of light.  Paul challenged them to EXAMINE AND TEST themselves to see if they were still in the faith.  Paul also didn’t want his brothers and sisters to think he was abusing his spiritual authority.  He shared the issues with them and pointed out things to them so he could build them up with the authority given to him by Jesus. 

         Paul’s right attitude toward using authority wisely; he encouraged the believers to REJOICE!  Strive for a complete restoration, encouraging one another to be of one mind and live in peace.  There was a division between those who followed Paul and those who quickly followed after flashy and flamboyant leaders who disrupted the sincerity and the simplicity of believers’ devotion to Jesus. 

         Paul appeal to everyone to strive for complete restoration and end the division.  They ought to unite to encourage one another, be of one mind, and live in peace.  They should see that the God of love and peace will be with them.  I love the last part of Paul’s encouragement to the believers saying.

         “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”  Every restoration in relationships, every encouragement, every moment of being in one mind and being at peace with one another is a powerful manifestation of the grace, love, and fellowship with the Trinity.  The presence of Jesus by his grace, the presence of the Father by his love, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit bring proper restoration and healing in any divided relationship. 

         I must know this is the greatest truth: the Godhead is fully involved in any place where Satan tries to destroy believers through divisions.  Examining one’s faith is welcoming advice.  We can never take our faith for granted.  We often drift.  I do a monthly examination of my health because illnesses and sickness continue to work against me.  Likewise, examining our faith and testing if we are still in the faith is something we must all do.


         I am reminded to examine my faith and test it to see if I am still in it.  I take this advice from Paul seriously.  My faith does not happen automatically and is put on a cruise button.  I must examine it and avoid the pitfalls of Satan.  I will do this daily as I listen and read the word of Jesus. 


         Jesus, I am grateful for the reminder today to examine my faith daily.  I know that I only sometimes do that.  Teach me to test and examine my walk with you and give it my attention daily.  Teach me how to avoid the works of the devil.  Help me know that your presence is with me daily by your grace, the love of the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.  Thank you for never leaving me alone.  Amen!