Staying on Course – December 29, 2019

fun signWe (Scott & Kelly) have a weird driveway.  It’s one lane straight down to a three-lane, 120 degree left turn onto a parking pad.  It’s easy to drive down, going forward, but for some reason it’s very hard to go back up it.  It takes lots of microcorrections, as evidenced by how many first-time visitors to our house have taken out the mailbox and/or power box on either side of the driveway.  🙂   Life can be that way, too. Without course corrections we can find ourselves way off course without realizing it.  Or maybe a better analogy is that we can get all tangled up in weights that encumber us from running the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1-2, cf. 2 Timothy 2:4).

As we walk in fellowship with the Holy Spirit and each other, these course corrections should be made constantly and consistently, but life gets BUSY and it’s not a bad idea to STOP and take stock every once in a while.  The children of Israel cleaned out their whole houses before Passover. Here in the West we tend to get contemplative as we roll into the New Year.  This New Year’s, take time to pray through these eleven passages and ask God to search your heart (Psalm 139:23-24).

MATTHEW 6:12 –14:  YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS

Have you been holding a grudge against anyone? Have you been secretly unforgiving? Desiring revenge? Secretly jealous of someone? Harboring bitterness? Unwilling to forget a misunderstanding? Hateful? Do you avoid people you dislike but who need your love? Are you critical or judgmental of others? Do you justify your bad attitude by claiming it is their fault? Do you gossip to feel superior or better about yourself? Have you worn a self-protective mask and failed to let people get close to you?

MATTHEW 6:33:  YOUR PRIORITIES

In what areas of your life have you failed to put God first? Do any of the following interfere with doing God’s will … your personal ambitions and goals, your fun and hobbies, your job, your desire to get rich, your own plans, your habits, your friendships, your family? Do you find you don’t have time for God? For prayer? For Bible reading? For small group? Have other activities made you irregular at worship? Is there anything you would be unwilling to give up if God asked you?

EPHESIANS 4:31:  YOUR ATTITUDES

Do you complain and whine about your circumstances? Are you ungrateful? Irritable or cranky? Always speak negatively? Do you get angry easily and blow up or pout? Are you ever harsh or unkind? Are you unteachable? Sarcastic? Do you put down others instead of building them up? Do you worry about things God wants you to trust Him with? Are you fearful or anxious? Do you try to control people or circumstances? Impatient? Prideful or stubborn?

COLOSSIANS 3:9:  YOUR INTEGRITY

Are you honest in all your dealings? Do you find it easy to lie? Do you exaggerate to make yourself look better? Leave a better impression of yourself than is true? Have you cheated on taxes? Have you stolen things? Failed to return things? Do you do good things hoping to impress others? Do you pretend to live one way in front of your Christian friends and another way at home or at work? Do you keep your promises? Are you dependable?

ROMANS 12:1-2:  YOUR MIND

Have you failed to guard your mind from unhealthy, ungodly input? Have you filled your mind with sleazy or profane movies, television programs, magazines, or books? Do you participate in entertainment that causes you to have impure thoughts? Pornography? Do you spend more time with the TV or the internet than with God’s Word? Are you lazy in memorizing scripture verses?

ACTS 20:35:  YOUR MONEY AND POSSESSIONS

Have you failed to dedicate all of your possessions to the Lord? Have you acted like your possessions belong to you, not God? Have you robbed God by not giving him the 10% tithe that he commands? Do you find yourself resentful or defensive when asked to give to God’s work? Are you eager to get rich? Are you stingy with wealth? Have you failed to trust God with your finances? Do you need to be more generous with what God has given you?

1 CORINTHIANS 6:19-20:  YOUR BODY

Are you in any way careless with your body or health? Is there any activity or habit that is harmful to you? Are you lazy or undisciplined?

2 CORINTHIANS 5:7:  YOUR FAITH WALK

Do you tend to follow your moods or feelings rather than doing what you know is right? Do you allow your emotions to be inspired for the Lord at church but then do nothing about it? Do you focus more on your circumstances instead of the promises of God? Have you failed to trust God with the disappointments of your life?

HEBREWS 10:25:  YOUR CHURCH FAMILY AND MINISTRY

Are you accountable to any small group of believers for growth? Are you using your God-given shape in some ministry? Do you pray for your church and your pastors? Have you been critical instead of helpful? Have you expected to be “fed” without giving back?

JOSHUA 24:15:  YOUR FAMILY

Are you unkind to those you live with? Do you pray for them? Do you need to ask forgiveness from a family member? Have you been unfaithful to your spouse mentally, emotionally, or physically?

ACTS 20:24:  YOUR MISSION IN THE WORLD

Have you failed to share the Good News of Christ … with your relatives? With friends? With co-workers? With neighbors? Kept silent in fear?

ASK GOD TO REMIND YOU OF ANYTHING THAT HAS HINDERED HIS BLESSING ON YOUR LIFE.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins to God, He can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.”

I found this “unattributed” in my files.  Also online on a number of sites. ~ Pastor Scott

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. ~ 2 Timothy 2:3-4

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