We are nearing the end of another year. It has gotten here faster than the year before it. The past 11 months, for some, have been filled with many ups and downs. Some of us may have had our faith challenged in ways like never before. There are those in the body of Christ who have suffered illnesses and health setbacks. That is really tough to deal with. While others are still waiting for the Lord to answer much needed prayer requests.
In having my own faith struggles I've had to be honest with myself and the Lord about how I handled each situation He sent my way. And so, I must take an assessment of my actions, behaviors, speech and thoughts.
How did you do this year, so far? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. Did I sit in God's presence more this year than last year?
2. Have I prayed more often over the past months?
3. Am I praying for those who caused me harm by way of offences, evil acts, or ill treatment?
4. Have I been handling challenges and trials by casting them on the Lord or am I still trying to deal with them on my own?
5. Did I look for opportunities to share the Lord with others by way of personal testimony, witnessing, or speaking of the ways He's worked in my life?
6. Did I find myself reading and meditating on His Word a little more this year?
7. Who have I mentored spiritually in the past 12 months?
8. How many times this year have I used my spiritual gift?
9. God's been trying to correct certain things in my life; how well did I do with controlling my tongue, negative behavior, gossiping, or simply doing what is right?
10. Have I judged my own actions and behavior more than judging others the past year?
The tomb is where dead bodies lay. It's a place where decay takes place. There is no life, no awareness or activity there.
When we come to Christ, via salvation, it's expected that change has taken place in our hearts which should lead to a change also in our lives. There's a difference that should be seen and those who knew us before conversion now see that we have changed.
Have we really left the tomb? Have we exchanged our grave clothes for righteousness? Are people seeing a radical change in our lives? Are we being rejected, scorned and disowned by some?
Leaving the tomb means that we will encounter all sorts of rejection, suffering, mocking and the like. Leaving the tomb causes us to lose friends and be disliked. It's not easy to endure such treatment, but we should be encouraged and rejoice if we're suffering for Christ.
Leaving the tomb also means that we no longer engage in the same sinful behaviors as in the past. We have chosen to live in ways that please God. We exchange lying lips for what is truth. Our mouth speaks words of encouragement, words to lift the fallen and words that bring healing. Since we have left the tomb, we no longer participate in what is evil for we now value what God values. We show love in exchange.
Have you left the tomb? It's a question to ask yourself. Evaluate your actions and behavior and really take an honest assessment of where you're at as a Christian. Don't justify or give excuses for your behavior, simply address what needs addressing and make the necessary changes.
"Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." According to 2 Corinthians 5:17, you are a new person and a different person.