It’s hard to believe that half of the year is now gone. Rather than worry about
days past, let’s focus on preparing for the rest of the year. Use this list as a spiritual checkup to evaluate your walk, and then invite others to pray for you:
Am I reading the Bible and praying daily?
If you adopted an annual reading plan at the beginning of the year, is your reading up to date? If you don’t have a plan, how are you doing in your Bible intake? Are you praying regularly without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)? Are you praying for lost people (Romans 10:1), for believers to share the gospel boldly (Ephesians 6:18-20), for government and church leaders (1 Timothy 2:2), for your enemies (Matthew 5:44)? If either discipline has been a struggle, you can renew your commitment today.
How often have I shared the gospel this year?
Is the gospel so striking to you that you cannot keep it to yourself? Have you reached beyond the church world to develop gospel-centered relationships with unbelievers? For what non-believers are you praying as Paul did (Romans 10:1)? Ask God to increase your burden for lost people throughout the remainder of this year (Romans 9:1-3). Start praying for a few non-believers by name today and ask other believers to pray you will boldly and clearly share the gospel with them.
Am I faithfully fighting sin in my life?
Be honest—have you experienced victory over sin this year? Is there a hidden sin that continually haunts you even though you’ve sought to overcome it? If so, what steps do you still need to take this year? The good news is that God is a God of new beginnings. Turn from that sin, confess it, and seek accountability. Start afresh. God really is “faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Who is walking more with God because of my influence this year?
That is, are you making disciples? Have you purposefully walked with others as they follow Christ? It’s one thing to simply live a good life in front of others; it’s another matter to intentionally invest in somebody else’s life. I would even say that if you can’t name someone in response to this question, you may need to refocus your discipling for the rest of the year. At a minimum, schedule a monthly lunch with someone you might encourage.
How would my family assess me as a family member and a believer this year?
Those who live with us are most equipped to evaluate our spiritual walk. If I were to ask your family about your walk with God, what would they say? Would they say your life models Christ? Or, might they recognize that who you are on Sunday is not who you are the rest of the week? Again, you have the opportunity beginning today to make adjustments for the rest of the year. That’s good news!
Chuck Lawless is dean of doctoral studies and vice president of spiritual formation and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. For more from Lawless, visit chucklawless.com.