Greetings in the name of The Lord,
I trust and pray that everyone had a great Christmas and is preparing their heart and home for the coming year.
As this year ends, and another is about to begin, we may find ourselves reflecting on our lives, especially considering the accomplishments and failures of the past year. This verse of Scripture out of Romans is one that should serve as a general guiding principle in the life of every believer— every single day. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 Because we live in a fallen and broken world we must be getting our instruction from a place that is ‘other worldly’ while we wait for the great and glorious day of His second coming into this world. It is because of this broken world (and all that it offers in its enticements) that leads us to make resolutions for the coming year which, (if we are honest with ourselves) are often forgotten and broken by mid-January….or even sooner!
But, even if we are prone to failure, such self-examination is still necessary for the Christian…. not only at the beginning of a new year, but every day. The Christian must take stock of him/herself in relation to their service and accomplishments for the Lord and the growth and maturity in their character. The Christian must ask, “Am I doing all I can to insure my growth, stabilization and maturation as a child of God? Am I studying God’s Word to show myself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth? 2 Timothy 2:15 Am I lending my abilities to the congregation to help it grow and prosper both physically and spiritually?” Am I exercising the spiritual gifts God has lent to me and am I doing so in humble gratitude for all He has done for me? Am I giving of my time, money and other material resources?
If the professing Christian finds themselves lacking in these things, he/she needs to resolve to do better and to do more for the Lord in the future. And such a resolution must not be abandoned but must be persistently and devotedly retained in one’s heart. Why? Because your Pastor says so? No…but because the apostle Paul possessed this attitude. It is what allowed him to be successful as a disciple of the Lord. He said, “…but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” Philippians 3:13-14.
As Christians, we must be looking forward. We should not dwell upon or worry about past failures. Neither should we sit back and rest upon or gloat over past accomplishments. The child of God never reaches a point where he does not need to continue to grow. He never reaches a point in his service to Christ where he has done enough. Diligence in these areas must always be given to make “our calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10-11).
The following are some questions that all of us need to ask ourselves to see if we are what we should be in the sight of God or if we need to change some of our attitudes.
- Do I study the Bible diligently? Bible classes and sermons do not supply all the needs of the Christian do grow as he/she should. Personal, diligent study on his part is essential if he is to gain the knowledge of God’s word necessary to function and mature as he should.
- Am I present at every service that I can attend? Attendance is usually a barometer of faithfulness and obedience. Again…not because your Pastor says so, but because God’s word reminds us of it… Each of us must ask, “Are worship assemblies important to me or do I let just anything, or anyone keep me from them?” The assembling of ourselves is important enough for Christ to be there (Matthew 18:20), what could be more important to you? And Scripture commands us to: “not be forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25)
- Can I be counted on to support the efforts of this church? Am I concerned about my brethren and my relationship with them? Each of us ought to be actively involved in the work of the church in any way we can. No one is to be passive and depend upon others to do the work. If one possesses a proper love for the Lord and his brethren, he will want to be working and doing his/her part. He will also seek to be aware of his brethren who need his help materially, emotionally and spiritually and do what he can to meet those needs.
- Am I really concerned about saving the lost? God’s desire is that all should be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). His desire is so strong that He sent His Son to earth to save all who believe and obey Him (Hebrews 5:8-9; John 3:16). The Christian is to have that same desire. If he does, he will do what he can personally to take the gospel to the lost. Sometimes the lost are right next to you….and maybe even in Church!!!
Do you see some things in which you may be lacking? Join the crowd! But do NOT let the fact that we ALL struggle with our Christian walk be an excuse for apathy or laziness. If so, resolve to change and set things in order, then, “press on.” If you struggle, Call Me!!! (724-601-3111) I wrestle with issues too! But let’s fight to win…. Fighting the good fight of the faith—taking hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12
Resolve this year to come and pray with me at the church occasionally….or just to chat. I am FOR YOU! You can even come and complain (constructively of course 😊) and we can reason through God’s Word with one another for mutual encouragement. Together we can discover how the Book of Proverbs inspires us to maturity when it instructs us…As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
With much love,