Thank you for your prayers as I participate in the Annual Gathering of the Baptist World Alliance this week in Izmir, Turkey. Izmir is the ancient city known in the New Testament as Smyrna, one of the seven churches receiving letters from Jesus in John’s Revelation. “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life,” are the words of Christ to His congregation (2:10b).
“Be faithful.” Seems simple, doesn't it? This Sunday marks the beginning of the second half of 2014. Chuck Lawless has posted this “Six Month Spiritual Check Up” in the form of ten questions. Ready to check your spiritual vital signs to this point in the year?
1. Are you reading the Bible daily?
2. Are you praying daily?
3. How often have you shared the Gospel this year?
4. Are you faithfully fighting sin in your life?
5. What Scriptures have you memorized this year?
6. Are you serving faithfully in your church?
7. Are you exhibiting the work of the flesh or the fruit of the Spirit?
8. Who is walking more closely with God because of your influence this year?
9. What steps have you taken to spread the Gospel to the nations this year?
10. How would your family assess you as a family member and as a believer this year?
Chances are good that you know your BMI or your cholesterol numbers by heart (pun intended). What about your spiritual fitness? What will you do to change those results in the 25 weeks remaining in 2014?
The best news is that the Spirit of God who indwells every believer is able to do in us everything God requires—to the degree that we let Him! Paul says it this way in 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24:
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.”