What happened in 2019?
The most substantial news story of the year is the impeachment of President Trump. Depending on who you talk to, it was either justice served or a kangaroo court.
A teenager is teaching the world about climate change.
“Was there a mass shooting this week?” seemed to be a question asked far too often.
Norte Dame burned.
California has burned all year long.
The American military eliminated the founder of ISIS.
The economy is booming.
The Washington Nationals won the World Series.
Okay, enough of yesterday’s headlines. A year from now, someone will write a new list of what happened in 2020.
The list above is all things on a large scale, items that made the national or world news outlets. The news in your life was much more personal. Maybe the death of a loved one, a marriage, a birth, or a change of workplace. Possibly a significant difference in health, such as good or bad news from the doctor or a gain or loss of an immense amount of weight.
How has your spiritual life changed in the last year?
With the change of the calendar, it is an excellent time to go to the examining room. Get alone with the Scriptures and do some honest self-evaluation with you and God.
The Bible describes itself as if we are looking into a mirror. Either disregarding what we see in the mirror or fixing what the mirror shows us to be wrong (James 1:22-25). Those that continue looking in the mirror fixing problems as they arise will be blessed. Lamentations 3:40, “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.”
I find it interesting that there is no “if” in Lamentations 3:40. For example, the verse does not say, “Let us search and try our ways, if all is well, go your way rejoicing, if there is evil, turn again to the Lord.” The Bible takes it for granted that if we honestly examine ourselves, we will find something wrong; in other words – there is always room for improvement.
How is your prayer life? Do you pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)? Do you pray at all? Or do you treat God like a genie, rub the lamp of prayer and make your wish?
How often do you study the Bible? Did you know the Bible never tells us to read it; it tells us to study it (2 Timothy 2:15)!
Prayer is our talking to God, and time in the Bible is when God speaks to us. It takes the Bible to have faith. Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Since it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6), then it would be impossible to please Him without being in the Word. Is the Bible something you regularly read, or does it gather dust on a shelf someplace?
How about church attendance?
Another point I usually hear, “I can worship God just as good at home as I can at church!”
Yes, this is true, but if you are saying that just so you can stay home from church, then you are not worshipping God. Part of worship is obedience. Can you honestly say you worship someone, then disregard what they tell you? God made it clear to Jeremiah and all Israel that part of their worship included repentance, and therefore obedience (Jeremiah 26:1-6).
The New Testament tells us not to forsake the house of God. Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Moving on to another examining point is the love of God in your heart? The best way to see what is in your heart is to hear what comes out of your mouth. Luke 6:45, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
A deceptive heart speaks lies; a cruel heart will downgrade and insult people; a selfish heart will only talk about themselves; you get the picture.
A heart bursting with salvation will tell the salvation story. How is your heart?