Summary: Examine how we have gone in the year just past with regards our relationship with God in the areas of Programs (service), People and our Primary Relationship.
Your Christian Life Review - Part 1
Many organisations hold regular work performance reviews for their employees that look back of the past 6 or 12 months and see how you have gone in the tasks set before you. The purpose is usually to give some feedback and allow some planning for the coming year - what training you might need, what skill areas you need to develop, how you might be better utilised in the workplace and how your relationship with your boss is going.
It is almost like a report card at the end of the year - does that conjure up pleasant memories?
This is the last week of the year and is probably a good time to do a CLR - A Christian Life Review. Now I know that you are going to be tempted to think of the acne cream every time I mention CLR - but resist the temptation - CLR = Christian Life Review - come on repeat with me - CLR = Christian Life Review.
As we carry out our CLR - Christian Life Review - I want each of us to consider how we have stacked up before God this year. The person holding the magnifying glass is yourself this morning - it is not me and not Pastor Roger or the board.
I know that that as Christians, we have been saved by Christ’s death for us and therefore don’t need to worry about earning our salvation, but Christ also spoke about us being judged for how we live our life and our actions - so it is appropriate to carry out a CLR every so often.
This morning and next Sunday we are going to examine 3 primary areas of our Christian Life Experience. I’ve called them the three P’s - Programming, People & Primary Relationship
1) Programming - How have we been serving God this year? Have we been effective in the areas of service for God in the church and in non-denominational organisations? Have we been tithing our resources, time and money?
2) People - How were our relationships with other people this year? Did we influence anyone for God? Did we share our faith? Did others know that we were a Christian by how we behaved?
3) Primary Relationship - How was our relationship with God this year? Did we put him in a display case like a good crystal bowl - on show, but never to be touched? Was he included in every detail of our lives? Did we spend time in personal study of his word and in prayer?
We probably will only get through the first of these this morning and we’ll pick up the last 2 next week.
Okay before we start, there are 2 ground rules here this morning.
1) I don’t want you to carry out a CLR on the person sitting next to you. You see these things are typically confidential between the boss and the employee - that is between God and that individual. You have no right to expect to be involved in another person’s CLR.
There was a story told of two taxidermists who stopped before a window and immediately began to criticize the way an owl had been mounted. Its eyes were not natural; its wings were not in proportion to its head; its feathers were not neatly arranged; and its feet could certainly be improved. Towards the end of their critique, the old owl turned his head ... and winked at them! Sometimes what we criticise in others is not half as bad as what is wrong with the way we do things ourselves - so keep focussed this morning on your own Christian life. Use the time to review your life with your creator not that of the person beside you.
2) I also am not preaching this as one who has got everything together. I’m not perfect and probably neither are you which is possibly a shock!!! But I’ve got good news. Being imperfect does have its good points - it usually brings alot of joy to others. Have you noticed that?
So it may seem like the pot calling the kettle black - but that is alright because I need to hear this as much as you do.
I want to apologise up front because some of the things I say might hurt some people today. I am not going to pull any punches this morning so you have the chance to get up and leave now. All I want to say is - if the cap fits, wear it and do something about it.
Let’s pray before we begin - Lord, thank you that we have seen another year out. Through it you have been with us and we thank you for the mercies and blessings you have showered down upon up through it. Lord, help us to be honest as we come before you now. Help us to examine our lives and attitudes and show us where we need to become more like you. For your glory we ask this, Amen.