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Are You Better Off than You Were?

posted Jan 5, 2012, 2:22 PM by hbchurch org   [ updated Jan 16, 2012, 4:41 PM ]
Some opponents of the incumbents in Washington have suggested that we need to grade those inside the Beltway with this question, “Are we better off than we were four years ago.” If the answer is “no”, then the implication is supposedly clear — i.e. vote for the challenger, not the incumbant. They would say, “It is time to make some changes.”

I suppose that it would not be too unreasonable to say that there is and always will be a need for change in the world of politics. But the same thing can be said about our own lives, especially in the spiritual realm. Let’s rephrase the question slightly and do some serious reflective thinking. Are you better off now than you were this time last year– i.e. spiritually?

Did your “light shine” all year long in such a way that you glorified God through your good works among men (Mat. 5:16)? If we are honest with ourselves, most would admit that we could do better. Right? Then let’s resolve to change for the better in 2012.

Did you grow in your understanding of God’s word last year? Be careful here because just being exposed to the word does not necessarily mean that we have actually grown. If you are having a hard time putting your finger on a specific example of how you have grown, maybe you should set a goal for 2012. Pick a book or Bible subject and set aside a block of time each day to study, meditate, and pray about your pursuit. Nothing can take the place of old-fashioned, personal study. God knows this and must be why He commanded it (2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Pet. 3:18)

Are you closer to God now that you were a year ago? It’s easy to think that our relationship to God is fixed. Subconsciously, we may have the idea that when we obeyed the gospel we were as close to Him as we could get. But James urged Christians to “Draw near to God…” (Jas. 4:8). The verb here is 2nd person plural, aorist, active, imperative. That means this is a command given to every person. The force of the verb form is well definded by the following note in the Discovery Bible: “Com-mitment to a decisive and effective choice. A command to ‘do this’. Make this happen! (Don’t just try!) BEGIN to do this now!)”

Maybe we should put this definition on our refrigirator door as a reminder of the spiritual growth we are striving for in 2012?

by  Ken Dart