When we go to church on Sunday morning and sit before our Pastor as he presents his sermon, what do we do with that information after we leave? What are we supposed to do with that information? Think of this, if you felt you had something to say, what would you have your hearers do with the information you present them?
I feel very strongly, even though I do not do it as consistently as I should, that we are to reflect and evaluate our lives in light of the Scripture our Pastors' present to us, or anyone presents to us. We are constantly receiving input (whether requested or not) throughout the day. How many of us post a blog, post a 'saying' or Scripture on our Facebook page? How many of us have a bad day and ten people feel the 'need' to provide us with their wisdom? How many of us read our Bible...
Hmmmm, read our Bible, now that's a concept! That is our ONLY source of wisdom that is 100% fool proof. But again there is that question, what am I to do with what I read? Take for example Matthew chapters 5 thru 7. The Sermon on the Mount. What would it look like if we reflected and evaluated our lives based on these 2 chapters? I think we would have to ask some questions like these:
Reflection and Evaluation of Matthew 5-7
1. Am I poor (or humble) in spirit or am I haughty (or prideful) in spirit?
2. Do I mourn at appropriate times or do I harden my heart?
3. Am I gentle or brash?
4. Do I hunger and thirst for righteousness or do I even feel the desire for God’s Word?
5. Am I merciful or am quick to drop the hammer on someone who crosses me?
6. Am I pure in heart or is my heart full of selfish desires?
7. Am I a peacemaker or do I stir up conflict and spread gossip?
8. Do I allow myself to be persecuted for righteousness or do I compromise when the time comes to stand, even if I am alone?
9. Do my actions serve as salt and light, drawing others and giving them a desire to know what sets me apart or do I blend in with the crowd?
10. Do I think evil of others when I feel hurt or threatened by them, ultimately committing murder within my heart?
11. Do I look anyone, other than my spouse, with lustful thoughts; committing adultery within my heart?
12. Have I gotten a divorce for any reason other than unrepentant sexual immorality, or have I married someone divorced for any reason other than unrepentant sexual immorality?
13. Do I go the extra mile when someone needs something from me or do I grudgingly only do what is needed or expected and nothing more?
14. Do I love my enemies or hate them?
15. Do I brag on myself when I give something: tithe or offering, time, talents?
16. Do I pray with earnestness and sincerity or do I pray for others to hear me?
17. Do I regularly fast to connect in a deeper way with God, and not broadcast that I am doing it?
18. Do I collect treasures here on earth (material things) or do I store up treasures in heaven (things and actions with eternal value)?
19. Do I worry about things, or turn them over to Christ and leave them there?
20. Do I judge others by their actions before judging myself and repenting of my own sins?
21. Do I persevere in seeking, asking and knocking or do I ask once then give up?
22. Do I live my life according to the narrow road or the wide road?
23. Can people recognize I am a Christ follower by the fruit I bear?
24. Do I have fruit? If so, what is it?
25. Is the foundation of my life on Christ the Rock and what His Word says or is it on f sinking sand, always crumbling beneath my feet?
26. Do I look to the Word of God in good times as well as times of trouble or do I turn to other means to attempt to find comfort or strength?
These are not questions to stiffle our growth, but to spur it onward! Realize those areas we need forgiveness for, realize those areas we need to grow in, and realize those areas where we have already grown! It can be a very humbling and encouraging reflection, I promise, it was for me!
I pray you take these questions and truly evaluate your life in light of what Christ taught in this sermon, but don't stop there, make this reflection and evaluation a continual part of your daily life as He presents something new to you.
Have a blessed day!