A Time To Reflect
A TIME TO REFLECT
By Rodney W. Francis
It is good that we Christians take time to reflect on what progress we are making in our walk with Jesus. The word “reflect” means “to think deeply or seriously about”. May this article help us all to take some time to reflect on how well we are progressing in our Christian walk. It is important to know how well we are doing in our walk and relationship with Jesus.
- What have we accomplished this year for God’s glory?
- Do we really know His will for our life personally?
- Are we fulfilling His will and calling in our life?
- We are saved for a purpose, and that is to be “workers together with Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 6:1).
- Are we fulfilling the purpose of God for which He has saved and called us?
- Are we satisfied with what we have experienced and done for Jesus this year?
- What could we have done better?
- How can we improve our walk and relationship with Jesus?
- What changes do we need to make to improve our walk and relationship with Jesus?
- Seriously, how willing are we to make those changes?
- Do we have a good daily devotional life?
- How well do we handle disappointments and discouragements when they come our way (and they do)?
- How well and quickly do we practice forgiving those who have hurt and criticized us? Remember what Jesus said: “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26). When we are living right with Jesus, others are going to talk negatively against us. We have to learn to live above those negative words that are spoken against us.
- Far too many Christians are carrying hurts from the past because they have not learned to practice forgiveness towards those who have abused, criticized, taken advantage of them, etc. “For if you forgive men their trespasses (“a falling aside from right truth or duty, lapse” – Bullinger’s), your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).
- Is there anyone that you have not forgiven for what they have said or done against you?
- The sooner we can give it all to Jesus and leave it there with Him, the sooner we will be released from the effects it has on our spirit, emotions and body.
- How easily does discouragement affect us? It is very important that we have good and faithful friends who can encourage us when we are discouraged. If we do not have such friends, then we have to learn to do what David of old did: “And David was greatly distressed (“to be in distress, anxiety; implying a sore trait from which there seems to be no way of escape” – Wilson’s); for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved (“to be bitter”), every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6, KJV). This is where the gift of speaking in other tongues is very effective: “He who speaks in a tongue edifies (“to build up, establish” – Bullinger’s) himself . . .” (1 Corinthians 14:4). We encourage and build ourself up by speaking in tongues; that is speaking to God spirit to Spirit. Hallelujah! We are living in a day when we all need to be more encouraged in our walk and relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Do we know how to encourage ourself in the Lord?
- Do we know how to rise above all those negative things that come against us?
- How well do we really know Jesus Christ?
- Do we know His voice, and how and when He speaks to us?
- Is Jesus the “Number One” priority in our life?
- If not, who is?
- Is church more important than Jesus?
- Is Jesus Christ the Lord of your life?
- It is so important that we have our priorities right. Jesus said: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:20-26).
- If Jesus Christ is not Lord of our life, then we will never experience the complete benefits of His salvation that He has provided for us.
HOW WELL DID YOU ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS?
These are but a few challenging questions and thoughts that we need to be reminding ourselves of continually. Life is too short to be putting off until tomorrow that which we should be doing today. So, how well did you answer those questions? Be serious about your answer. You will be the winner or loser according to how you have honestly answered the above questions.
- There is nothing more fulfilling, more satisfying than knowing Jesus personally, knowing His will for our life and we are doing it!
- When we are living that way, then we are fulfilling God’s purpose for us being here alive on earth right now. We are demonstrating by our life and actions the purpose and power of being a new creation in Jesus Christ.
- The way we truly fulfil the purpose and calling of God in our life is to hear and know the voice of God ~ how and when He is speaking to us ~ and then to obey what He says to us. What God says to us will always be confirmed by the principle of the Scriptures.
Jesus is the Word (or Scriptures) made flesh and dwells among us: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14; see also John Chapter 10). The Word is Jesus Christ, and this is what He has said to us: “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). We need to reflect on what is being said here. So many deny Jesus His rightful place or know Who He really is. He is “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). False teachings and religions do not believe that Jesus is God. Avoid them.
If we do not give Jesus His rightful place in our life then we can never fulfil His will and purpose for us in this life. Jesus prayed this prayer to His Father: ”And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). True Christianity is knowing Jesus Christ personally; not just knowing about Him. How well do we know Him? Only you can answer that question for you, and only I can answer it for me.
We are living in days where we do need to keep our relationship with Jesus alive and real. There are so many anti-Christ things being spread around the world that would cause us to deny Jesus, but that will be a disaster (for us) if we do that. We must keep close to Jesus, keep listening to His voice and obeying what He asks of us so we can be always in that place where we are living in victory above all the negative things that the devil is promoting in the world. Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly. Consider His words: “The thief (Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:10-11). The devil wants to rob us of all the good things Jesus has purchased for us through His death, burial and resurrection. Let us make sure that we live close to Jesus every day. Take time to reflect on these things and make whatever adjustments/changes we need to make to be in that right relationship with Jesus daily. God bless you ~ Rodney W. Francis.