Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 2 Corinthians 13:5, R.S.V.
Nothing is more treacherous than the deceitfulness of sin. It is the God of this world that deludes, and blinds, and leads to destruction. Satan does not enter with his array of temptations at once. He disguises these temptations with a semblance of good…. Beguiled souls take one step, then are prepared for the next…. Oh, how Satan watches to see his bait taken so readily, and to see souls walking in the very path he has prepared! …
There is a necessity for close self-examination, and to closely investigate in the light of God’s word, Am I sound, or am I rotten, at heart? Am I renewed in Christ, or am I still carnal at heart, with an outside, new dress put on? Rein yourself up to the tribunal of God, and see as in the light of God if there is any secret sin, any iniquity, any idol you have not sacrificed. Pray … as you have never prayed before, that you may not be deluded by Satan’s devices; that you may not be given up to a heedless, careless, and vain spirit….
One of the sins that constitute one of the signs of the last days, is that professed Christians are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Deal truly with your own souls. Search carefully. How few, after a faithful examination, can look up to Heaven and say, “… I am not a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God.” How few can say, “I am dead to the world, … and when He who is my life shall appear, then shall I also appear with Him in glory.”
The love and grace of God! Oh precious grace! more valuable than fine gold. It elevates and ennobles the spirit beyond all other principles. It sets the heart and affections upon Heaven. While those around us may be engaged in worldly vanity, pleasure-seeking, and folly, the conversation is in heaven, whence we look for the Saviour; the soul is reaching out after God for pardon and peace, for righteousness and true holiness. Converse with God and contemplation of things above transform the soul into the likeness of Christ.
From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White