Bible Society of South Africa
Carina Francke

Praise him – Day 18

Examine your heart at the Lord’s Supper

Bible text(s)

28So then, you should all examine yourselves first, and then eat the bread and drink from the cup.

1 Corinthians 11:28GNBOpen in Bible reader

The heart of a person is the essence of his being – what he is, how he thinks, what he says, all originates from his heart. No wonder that the book of Proverbs states: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23).

Thus when Paul has a serious conversation with the Corinthians on the taking of communion, it is not surprising that his first point of reference is to the condition of their hearts. He knows that the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure (Jeremiah 17:9) and that “From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits” (Psalm 73:7).

To prevent them from eating the bread or drinking from the cup of the Lord unworthily, Paul asks his readers to thoroughly examine their own hearts, less they sin against the body and blood of the Lord.

What must we look out for when we put our own hearts under a searchlight? Firstly, be certain that you have thought about and clearly understand what the bread and wine actually means. The bread is a reminder of Christ’s bodily sacrifice and the wine of his blood that was shed on the cross, so that our relationship with God could be restored. The question you must ask of yourself is: Have I accepted the gift of a restored relationship and a brand new life?

Secondly, does my lifestyle testify to this restored relationship and a life with God? Before you answer “yes”, read this first: Do you love God with every fibre of your being – with all your heart, soul, strength and mind – and your neighbour as yourself? That is the commandment which covers all the others!

It is at the last part of the commandment that we usually hesitate – we do not love people as much as we love ourselves. We struggle to forgive people, to put their interests before our own, to bury the hatchet and resolve differences selflessly. If we are not willing to examine ourselves and allow the Word and the Holy Spirit to bring to light those things which should not be part of our lives, we run the risk of unworthily partaking in communion – with heart-breaking consequences. The solution? Search your heart and get rid of the undesirable elements!

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