Meanderings of a Minister

Looking Back to See Forward
December 29, 2011, 7:35 pm
Filed under: Articles

Christmas is over.  I hope that you gave everything you wanted to give.  I hope that you took the time to worship the Savior.  I hope that you remembered the reason for the season.

As we think about the last year, we need to ask ourselves some questions to help us understand where we are with God and how we are doing with becoming more like Him and knowing Him deeper and more intimately.  The following list is adapted from Don Whitney’s book, Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health:

  1. Do you thirst more for God?  (Psalm 42:1)
  2. Are you governed increasingly by God’s      Word?  (Proverbs 9:10)
  3. Are you more loving?  (John 13:35, 1 John 4)
  4. Are you more sensitive to God’s Presence?  (Genesis 25)
  5. Do you have a growing concern for the spiritual      and temporal needs of others?  (John      3:18)
  6. Do you delight more in the bride of      Christ?  (Philippians 1:3)
  7. Are the Spiritual Disciplines increasingly      important?
    • Bible intake
    • Prayer
    • Worship (Psalm 73)
    • Evangelism (Philemon 6)
    • Serving (Philippians 2)
    • Stewardship
    • Fasting
    • Silence and Solitude
    • Journaling
    • Learning
  8. Do you grieve over sin?  (Psalm 51)
  9. Are you a quicker forgiver?  (Matthew 6:14-15)
  10. Do you yearn for Heaven and to be with      Jesus?  (Philippians 1:23)

Having looked backward, the question now lingers…what will I do with the next year while I am waiting for Christ’s return?  (That’s right!  This could be the year that He returns.)

Here are some suggestions:

  • Pick a book of the Bible that you have not read in a while and read it in its entirety.  (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • Make a list of the blessings God has given you this year and spend a day thanking Him for all of them (Ezekiel 34:26)
  • Ask God to lay someone on your heart that needs to hear about Jesus and take a day and go tell them (Philemon 6)
  • Spend a day contemplating the awesomeness of God (Ephesians 3:18)
  • Spend a day praying for your church and Christian friends (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)
  • Take a day and set some spiritual goals for the coming year (Luke 14:28)
  • Take a day and write down the spiritual markers in your life.  This are times when you knew God was speaking to you.  (Joshua 4:1-9)

Perhaps this could be a pattern for the coming year.  As you complete each item, go back and do the list again.  Who knows, you might be found doing God’s work when He returns!

 It is always amazing to me that we set goals and plan for so many things, but yet, think that our spiritual lives will grow with no thought or planning.  If we will take some time to plan or to set goals for our spiritual lives, who knows…we just might grow in the coming year!


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