Friends

I would like to ask you a question today. Do you feel strong in your relationship with Jesus Christ?  Do you ever sit down and review your walk with Him? With all our busy schedules, we often don’t even think about it.  So maybe today, after reading this thought, you might want to sit down for a few minutes and ask yourself; “How is my relationship with Jesus?”

Matthew 5:3 AMP says, “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].”

God wants a deep relationship with you.  He knows every problem you face. He wants you to be prepared to walk through the fire and come out on the other side without being hurt.  Maybe we need to do a spiritual self-evaluation.

Spiritual self-evaluation should be a positive experience.  We need to maintain a realistic view of where we are in our spiritual journey.  Knowing that we fall short of God’s standard is a good thing. When you read what Jesus is saying in Matthew, chapter 5, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Jesus is saying that those who understand their state of spiritual poverty and know that they must rely on God for deliverance are in a good spot. They receive the kingdom. Feeling bad after evaluation can produce good results when it drives us to Jesus for His grace and mercy.

I want to share with you 11 questions to ask yourself.  They are questions I have asked, as well as others that I gathered from other Christians who spend time evaluating their relationship with Jesus.  Answer the questions honestly.

 

  1. Do I need to forgive someone?  “Jesus is clear that if we don’t forgive others, the Father does not forgive us...” (Matt. 6:14-15 NIV).  So, while we may think our anger is justified, it only hurts us to stay bitter.  Un-forgiveness is serious, as it harms our relationship with God.  

  2. Does my daily talk reflect the character of Jesus?  It is hard to read Ephesians 5:4 NIV (“Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving”) without evaluating our daily conversations.  If other believers heard everything you said last week, would your witness be strengthened or harmed?

  3. Does my budget reflect a commitment to God’s work?  Malachi 3:10 NIV “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.  Test me in this.”  I know it sounds exhaustive, but what we give toward God’s work really does have eternal dividends.  Any sacrifice so others may know Jesus is no sacrifice at all. Would your checkbook show you prioritize God’s kingdom?

  4. Do you know your neighbors and co-workers?  It’s easy to be so “on the go” that we know our neighbors and co-workers on only a superficial basis, if we know them at all – which makes it difficult to share Christ with them.  God has placed you in their lives to lead them to Jesus.

  5. Do I pray regularly for leaders?  Regardless of our political positions, we are mandated to pray for those in authority (1 Timothy. 2:1-2 NIV).  Think about those for whom you might pray: school officials, bosses, mayors, governors, the president, and even your pastor.  Nothing is going to happen without praying.

  6. Do you read Facebook more than you read the Bible?  Obviously, I tread softly here, as I’m deeply grateful you read the church posts.  On the other hand, what Facebooker’s have to say is nothing compared to the Word of God.

  7. Do I pray only when I must?  Many of us pray more reactively than proactively.  Prayer is not in our DNA; it is only our response when we face something we can’t handle.  That kind of praying misses the point of being in a relationship with God.

  8. Are you hiding anything?  Hiddenness is usually a sign the enemy is winning in one’s life.  Psalm 90:8 GWT, “You have put our secret sins in the light of your presence.”   Then, the anguish of such sin is only deepened by the efforts we expend trying to keep it covered up.

  9. Do I really love my church?  Paul thanked God for the Corinthians at the beginning of his letter to them (1 Corinthians 1:4-9 NIV) and expressed his love for them in his closing (1 Corinthians 16:24 NIV).  Every church as problems, it is our responsibility to love and work through.

  10. re you ready to quit?  Maybe your church role has drained you to the point you wonder if it’s worth the effort.  If your faith is being stretched to its limit, I encourage you to gather prayer partners and talk with friends before giving up.  Remember Philippians 3:14 NIV” I press on toward the goal to win...”

  11. Where do you most need to strengthen your walk with God for the rest of this year?  Reading this thought will make no difference unless you make an intentional plan to change.  Share with a close friend or your Life Group what God has laid on your heart.

No Christ-follower is perfect.  We are all in the process of spiritual development.  We are all on the journey together.  The next time you hear that inner-voice saying, “I don’t measure up,” admit the truth of the matter.  The Apostle Paul (Romans 14:1-4) reminds us, “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on him…to his own master, he stands or falls.  And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” This is the key: God is able to make you stand.

Believe it!

Make Every Day Count!

Barry

Come Sunday and help others to be an Overcomer!