Every year many of us conduct periodic ‘check-ups’ to evaluate how we are doing in the various parts of our lives (such as health exams, financial reviews, or employee evaluations). But how often do we take the time to assess (honestly) our spirit lives and our relationship with God and with other Christ followers?
2 Peter 3:8 instructs us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior.” We say that Christians are on a journey towards Christlikeness which inherently suggests that there should be marked progression and growth along the way. All too often though, we find that the busyness of our lives gets in the way, and other priorities press in on us and keep us from following the two highest priorities that Jesus gave us: love God and love others.
I would like to urge and challenge you this week to examine your spiritual life and prayerfully seek God’s guidance and direction as you progress and grow in your walk of faith.
Monday :: Loving God :: Read Matthew 22:34-40
- How is my relationship with God? (Think scale of 1 to 10)
- Do I have a growing desire to spend more time with God?
- How much time do I spend in prayer?
- How much time do you spend reading the Bible?
- Are there areas of my life that I am holding back from God? Which ones? Why?
- Am I aware of sin in my life? Do I repent of sin and ask God’s forgiveness and cleansing? Am I holding back in this area?
- Is there evidence of grace growing in my life?
- Am I attending my church’s worship services regularly? How often do I go?
Tuesday :: Serving Others :: Read 1 Peter 4:10 & Ephesians 4:1-13
- Do I see other people with the eyes and mind of Christ?
- Am I actively engaged in serving God?
- Am I volunteering in a ministry at church? Could I do more?
- Am I volunteering at a place in the community that meets acute needs of people?
Wednesday :: Loving Others :: Read John 13:34 & 1 John 4:16-21
- Am I loving others as Christ would love them? (Friends, Co-Workers, Spouse, Children, Extended Family, Strangers)
- Am I forgiving of others?
- Do I make a regular practice of praying for others?
Thursday :: Fellowship/Small Groups :: Read Acts 2:36-47
- Am I growing in fellowship with other believers?
- Have I committed to a Core Group and participated regularly?
- Why am I hesitant to join a Core Group? Why do I struggle with being open and accountable to other believers?
Friday :: Sharing/Giving :: Read Acts 20:35 & 1 Timothy 6:17-19
- Am I growing in my desire to give sacrificially to God’s work?
- Do I set aside part of my income to give to my local church as a tithe to God? Am I holding too tightly to what God has blessed me with? Why?
- Do I give financial resources to local and global missions?
- Do I give an appropriate amount of time and talent to God’s work?
- Are there peripheral things in my life that I could reduce or eliminate altogether to give more to God? What are they? How will I go about rearranging my priorities? Who will keep me accountable for these decisions?
Saturday :: Sharing/Evangelism :: Read Matthew 5:13-16 & 28:19-20
- Do I share my faith with others around me? Have I personally witnessed to someone within the last six months?
- Am I prepared to share with others what God has done in my life, and what God IS doing in my life right now?
- Am I praying for the opportunity to share the saving grace of Jesus with three to five specific people?
- Am I inviting people into the fellowship of my church?
- Does my relationship with Christ spill over into all parts of my life? Am I the same person at work and at church? Is my behavior consistent with what I profess with my mouth?
Some of these are difficult questions to answer. If you answer these questions with a scale of 1 to 10 in mind; ask yourself how you could move from say a ‘6’ to a ‘7’. If there are areas in your life where you feel challenged to do better in the coming days and months and years, commit them to God. Don’t let Satan whisper in your ear that you are a failure; don’t be discouraged and defeated. Rather, allow God to speak into your life – He will encourage you, He will strengthen you, and He has given you the Holy Spirit to be your guide and helper along the way. You can do it… but only with God’s help, and the support of a loving group of Christ-followers.