2001-08-28 - Taking Inventory
Titus 2:11,12 For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.
Today is the 240th day of the year 2001. There are only 125 days left in this year. This means that this year is almost 2/3 over. Summer is ending soon. Schools are starting again, or even have started already. I have several questions I would like you to think about. I'm not looking for anyone to write me back and answer these questions. I am not the captain of your soul, the Lord is, but what I suggest is that you take some time, and seriously consider these questions before the Lord. One of the advantages of these devotionals is that I can do this, hopefully without offending you, while someone else, who might be close to you, would probably have a difficult time asking soul searching questions.
So how has your year been? Are you growing in grace? Have you found that your communion with the Lord is growing closer or has it become lukewarm? What about sanctification? Have you found that you are having more victory over indwelling sin in your life this year, or have you been backsliding? What about your relationships? Are you an encouragement to others in their walk with the Lord, or are you a stumbling block to their progress in grace? Is the Lord using you to reach those outside of Christ? Do you model Christ more and more effectively to both Christians and non-Christians?
What about your use of time? Are you redeeming time? Are you using your time in the service of Christ or self? We can't re-capture time lost, but what will you do with your remaining 125 days this year? Will you use this time, or as much of it the Lord gives you, to the glory of God? How about your thought life. Are the thoughts that swirl around in your head things you would like to share with Christ? Do you find that throughout the day your thoughts turn to the things of God, or can you go entire days without ever thinking of the savior of your soul?
Have you been diligent in your pursuit of mastering God's Word this year? Do you read your Bible? Do you meditate on what you read, or do you pass over the words as if Bible study was mundane and boring? How many verses have you committed to memory this year? Do you even care about hiding God's Word in your heart? How is your prayer life? Have you had regular, intimate times of fellowship with the Lord through prayer this year? What do you pray about? Are your prayers grocery lists of wants and don't wants, or do you praise God in your prayers? Have you been confessing your sins to the Lord in your prayers this year? Do you give thanks to God for answered prayer, or do you take these answers for granted?
In the end, the only one who knows the answers to these questions, and questions like these, is you. Your pastor can't answer them. If you are married, not even your spouse can answer them. You alone know if your walk with the Lord this year has been one of growth, or stagnant, or going backwards. It is good to stop, examine, and ponder. I once heard a speaker say, "If you don't come apart, you'll come apart." In other words, if you don't step back from your daily grind and examine your life, at some point you will be forced to do so because of unpleasant circumstances.
These questions are not meant to be prying, condemning, or presumptuous. I have to ask myself these same questions and I find myself falling short in way to many areas. However, every morning is a new opportunity for me, and all of us, to begin fresh and to strive to grow in grace. In fact, we need not wait until morning. We can start right now to live for Christ afresh.
Soli Deo Gloria,