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Summary: Normally at the end of the year we have year-end appraisals at our work places - where our performance will be reviewed. Let us take a similar approach as we come to the end of another year - as a church & individually - to examine where we stand...

Year End Review 2017

Normally at the end of the year we have year-end appraisals at our work places - where our performance will be reviewed for the whole year. Our contribution, productivity, performance, involvement etc… will be reviewed – like wise specific smart objectives will be given for the coming year which we will have to accomplish. We will have to mention all that we have accomplished/contributed – like special tasks, meeting targets etc. This review will determine how much increment/promotion we will get – or whether we will continue in the office or will be fired.

Let us take a similar approach as we come to the end of another year - as a church & individually.

CHURCH: As the Body of Christ is present here let me ask you directly – how did the Church perform this year?

(wait for responses……)

OK – so in order to properly evaluate let us first have a benchmark so that we can properly assign the rating….

For that let us turn to the Book of Revelation – where we will find the seven churches – which at some point or the other can be compared to our present condition.

1) Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) - the church that had forsaken its first love (2:4).

2) Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11) - the church that would suffer persecution (2:10).

3) Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17) - the church that needed to repent (2:16).

4) Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) - the church that had a false prophetess (2:20).

5) Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6) - the church that had fallen asleep (3:2).

6) Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) - the church that kept commandments & endured patiently (3:10).

7) Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) - the church with the lukewarm faith (3:16).

So let me ask you once again – reviewing NLC’s performance for the year 2017 – what rating or rather which church it can be best compared to. And let us be frank…

Most likely in 1, 5 and 7? Or somewhere between 3, 4? Or is it 2 – really?

And I really hope your answer would be 6!!!

INDIVIDUALLY: So how did you perform as an individual in 2017?

Another year has almost gone and we are on the brink of another! What kind of a year has 2017 been for you? Where would you place it on a scale of 1 – 10?

Maybe you would give 2017 8 or 9 out of 10 – in other words, it was a really good year.

It was a good year because you had success in your business, a good year at work or at school, good family relationships, and new friendships?

2017 was a year that included a lot of exciting things, new challenges, tasks completed, a great holiday.

Or maybe you rate this past year 8 out of ten compared to the previous year which was a horrible year

Or maybe you would give 2017 a 5. It was just another year, pretty much the same as any other year? Nothing very exciting happened, in fact, it was kind of dull and dreary. Just getting up, going to work, coming home, going to bed and then doing the same thing the next day and the next and the next.

Maybe 2017 deserves only 2 out of 10. That’s because it was a really dreadful year. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The year included tragedy, sickness, loss of friends, marriage problems, the kids were just impossible, even a death in your family. How would you rate this year?

Think back and check what kind of a person you were during 2017. Are there some regrets? If you were able to have some part of the year over again, how would you have behaved differently? Would you have shown more understanding, cared more, been more patient, less critical, been more supportive and helpful? As I reflect on the year that has past there are certainly things that I wish I would have done differently.

How about your relationship with God? Did that flourish and grow during 2017 or did it just hover in much the same place as it did the previous year or perhaps even went backwards. Maybe God didn’t have a big part to play in your life during this past year; somehow he just slipped into the background.

You could well ask the question: how much did my life reflect the fact that I am God's child. As an individual what was your contribution, productivity, performance, involvement etc…

As we stand on the threshold of another year, Jesus tells us a parable. It’s brief but the point is clear. (Luke 13:6-9)

God wants some fruit from you! (the owner is coming year after year – reviewing the performance…)

The owner expected some fruit to be on the tree– it was a REASONABLE REQUEST. However every time the Owner came to the tree with a REASONABLE REQUEST, the owner kept receiving a REDUNDANT REPORT - This tree had no fruit.

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