A Key To Moving Forward
By: Joel Uto
We thank God for the year 2020, He made us to witness. I hope we shall continually appreciate Him.
A man once said I don’t like people telling me that my mouth is smelling; so I keep to washing my mouth to avoid the embarrassment of “your mouth is smelling.” This little remark points to where the sermon bothers. I do hope that nobody here will appreciate such embarrassment either. The way out is Self Assessment or Self Evaluation of One’s Mouth.
Similarly, we need Self Evaluation or Self Assessment of our Spiritual Race and Physical Living in order to move forward. Earlier on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, the Holy Spirit set the Theme for the church this year as Moving Forward from the mouth of one of the deacons – yes, to God be the glory.
The year 2019 has gone forever with its bad and good. Here comes 2020 for us to make amends of our shortcomings in the Lord and in our endeavours. Assessment or evaluation is needful in our physical and spiritual lives as we move along. Well many make resolutions (the things to do and not to do) while most times, are not followed or realised beyond the first month of the New Year except few determined persons.
However, I will show you that the best resolution is “I Will Improve.” This is because everyone was at a point before the New Year. So you might improve positively or negatively. Excelling whether spiritually or physically require self assessment – 2 Timothy 2:5 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.
Paul said…But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified – 1 Corinthians 9:27. This is also called Self Appraisal – the test of truth to oneself.
Self Evaluation helps to determine your weaknesses and strengths to move on and go further by way of improvement. A hymn says count your blessings – name them one by one. We need to improve all-round in our spiritual feats and records before God. We cannot be the same old self in the spirit and in the physical. The church cannot be the old self of doing things neither the individual – old things are passed away.
Few questions you need to ask yourself and probable sincere answers as you prepare to move forward this year.
- What was my commitment to God and with God, to self and others in 2019?
- Attendance to core spirituality – how serious was I? …rise of Bin all of the time.
- What were my roles to improving the church and others?
- What might God rate me: 0- 50 or 51 – 100? The table just tell us that wherever you are means there is always need or room for improvement. For instance, elders are not approbated and appointed on 100% score of the qualities. However they must keep improving themselves daily on the position – so it is for all Christians.
- What are your shortcomings? Rise above them! This is a conscious and deliberate effort by the church and individual to move on.
- Look unto Christ for all things – Hebrews 12:22 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
- Always trust in God and develop confidence from trust in God – Psalm 119:2 2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!
- God will always give you answer in all circumstances. His response is either yes or no. At NO answer, examine yourself. You sometimes regret your actions and man will fail you but not God.
- Place yourself with others. Selfishness is opposed to real Christianity. God is love. He sacrificed Christ for us to live, He demands of us to love one another, be more concerned with others than self – 1 Corinthians 6:7 7Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? Philippians 2:1-4 1Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Fellowship is evidence of love which should be shown beyond Sunday worship. Many die in pain and silence of challenges without seeking advice for appropriate quarters. Identify your spiritual and physical challenges. God for solution, seek solutions in the Word.
- Possess a discerning Spirit of the Word – John 6:63 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
We should possess our souls. Read and study the word, meditate upon the word daily, it will guide and lead you all the ways. God’s word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path – Psalm 119:105. Be sanctified of the word. For instance, fasting and prayers is both proactive and reactionary to spiritual life – therefore develop yourself in it. No one is better than the other. God answers to either of the methods for you at His will.
- Get promoted from the old way. We should not live the foolhardy spiritual life of 2019 in this 2020. No complacency in Christ. Take all sides of virtuous life. Give yourself a rise to the glory of God –Matthew 5:16 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Hebrews 10:32 32 But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings.
- Promote yourself from the level of the following:
- Contentions of the word to agreement of the word. We mind little things that take us back to much.
- Bitterness against one another but to love another.
- Gossip one another but to speaking the truth in love for one another
- Hypocrisy but to sincerity or truth of self to God and man.
- Perpetual absenteeism but to continual presence in Him.
- Worldly pleasures but to spiritual pleasure 5:10, Phil. 4:8
You can make a positive difference in your spirit and in your physical endeavours in 2020. It greatly depends on you. Set both goals, be focused, and create a balance between time and the things of God and man.
Finally, let God be first in your plans and execution, and all other things will take shape.