Retailers often do not like this time of year. They must go through their entire inventory piece by piece and make sure that what their supposed to have is what they actually have. It’s painful, but it is a necessary and time consuming way of accountability, discipline, and living out what really is true. It often takes closing the doors so that accuracy and documentation can be best maintained.
To some degree, it is useful for a child of God to take similar inventory. We too should check our lives to see that what we say we have is indeed what we really have. Maybe we should actually get away, turn our technology off, and sit quietly so that accuracy and documentation can be best maintained. We have been given the magnificent, complete, whole, pure, undefiled, holy righteousness of Christ upon salvation! What a gift. What a joy.
Yet, is this righteous gift what marks your life right now? So many who name Christ and who have been given this righteousness seem to give so little evidence of it. So, it’s time to take inventory. Is what you say you have actually what you have?
Because of Christ we get to have in our inventory:
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
Did you find your life grew in these wonderful fruits of the Spirit this year? If not, why not? God’s grace comes to the humble–those who by faith and repentance seek God’s goodness and glory in all aspects of their life not simply because they “have to in order to be a good testimony,” but they get to in order to live in the righteousness of Christ. We spend way too much time trying to make sure people think well of us rather than letting Christ’s righteousness be what speaks for us. We are either humbly living out His righteousness or we’re striving to make sure ours is in tack. In order to keep up our image we then begin to hide, pretend, make excuses, or just pursue a life style that we think is hidden in our minds somewhere where no one can ever see it. All of a sudden, the inventory of our lives looks more like this:
sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these
And, lest we say something like, “I don’t do those things!” Read through the list very carefully. Talk to someone who will be honest with you and ask them if these things mark your life. Look under things, move things around a little, look in the upper shelves of your thinking or down underneath—they are there! As you find them, or, as God draws them to the surface of your life, with God’s grace, repent and place your faith in the finished work of Christ! He suffered great pain and rejection so that you might have the right inventory in your life!
Look back at 2012 and take inventory. Is your life marked by His glory and righteousness? Then, let’s humbly pursue Him this year. Let His righteousness live out by faith as you continue to turn from sin and by faith submit to His holy work.
Have a blessed New Year.