When the Psalmist asked God to search him to see if there was any offensive way in him (Psalm 139:23-24), I’m reasonably sure it wasn’t a new year prayer – but it could have been. The new year seems to provide us with a unique opportunity to examine our lives and make some resolves to change for the better.
In the passage of scripture often read in our Communion Service it says, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” (I Corinthians 11:28) Verse 31 then adds, “If we judged ourselves, we would not be judged.” Or – if we would do more judging of ourselves now, God would not have to do it later! Personal inventory is good if it leads to some concrete action.
In Romans 12:9-21 I discovered 25 character traits of a child of God. I call them “The Believer’s Code of Ethics.” I could have just as easily called them “Rules for Christian Living,” or “God’s Prescription for a Healthy Church,” or “A Spiritual Reality Check.” I want to challenge you to join me in a little introspection to see how we measure up. Are you ready? Here they are – the character traits of a Jesus follower.
1. ( ) Sincere in your love for others.
2. ( ) Hate evil.
3. ( ) Hold to everything good.
4. ( ) Devoted to one another in brotherly love.
5. ( ) Honor others more than you do yourself.
6. ( ) Never give up.
7. ( ) Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit.
8. ( ) Serve the Lord.
9. ( ) Let hope make you glad.
10. ( ) Patient in trouble.
11. ( ) Never stop praying.
12. ( ) Take care of God’s needy people.
13. ( ) Practice hospitality.
14. ( ) Pray for your enemies.
15. ( ) Bless those who curse you.
16. ( ) Happy with those who are happy.
17. ( ) Sad with those who are sad.
18. ( ) Friendly to everyone.
19. ( ) Not proud.
20. ( ) Make friends with ordinary people.
21. ( ) Don’t make it your business to get even.
22. ( ) Try to earn the respect of others.
23. ( ) Try hard to live at peace with everyone.
24. ( ) Don’t let evil defeat you.
25. ( ) Defeat evil with good.
How did you do? The Bible states, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (II Cor. 5:17) “So we make it our goal to please him.” (II Corinthians 5:9)
Wishing you God’s best in the new year ahead.
Blessings my friend.
The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love
Jude 24,25; Philippians 2:13: Philippians 1:6; II Peter 3:18; Hebrews 12:1-3