At the end of the year or at the beginning of the New Year, many businesses are known to take inventory. There may be several reasons this is done, but one of them is to determine how well they have done in the year just ended. Have they made a profit or loss? Has the business made progress or has it regressed? This is obviously a good practice. It allows the business to determine what steps need to be taken to keep the business where it should be; do corrections need to be made? Does more emphasis need to be placed on certain aspects that may be lagging behind?
If this is true in the business world, can we not make an application in the spiritual side of our lives? As we near the end of another year, we often urge all of us, as Christians, to stop and take inventory. We need to examine our lives and see if we are making progress as a Christian or have we slipped backward in our journey toward heaven? Paul urged the church at Corinth, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (II Cor. 13:5). And even though this is a great time for us to do this, this is something we should do often, and not just at the end of the year or the beginning of a new year.
What about you? How have you done in 2019? Have you grown as a Christian? Can you see growth in your life? Can others observe growth in your life? Are you a faithful student of the Bible? Do you “study to show thyself approved unto God”? (II Tim. 2:15). Do you “desire the sincere milk of the word that you might grow thereby”? (I Pet. 1:2). Have you “grown in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” this year? (II Pet. 3:18). How have you done in building the Christian life in 2019? Read and study often how this is to be done in II Peter 1:5-10. The Christian life is always a work in progress. We are to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14). Are you doing that?
Have you put God and His righteousness first in your life during the year soon ending? Have you attended all the services of the church, unless hindered, or have you forsaken some of them? (Heb. 10:25). Have you “remembered” the death of Christ “till He comes” each first day of the week this year? Can you improve on this? Do you attend Wednesday night Bible Study in order that your knowledge can increase?
Have you tried to win someone else to Christ this year? Have you made it your aim to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven?” (Matt. 5:16).
Let all of us look at ourselves, and see where we can improve in the New Year.
-Paul Wilmoth