KEY SCRIPTURE 2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
To re-evaluate is to evaluate (examine) again or differently.
Life holds so many events, incidents, twists and turns we could call it one long road of reassessment. Most people don't reassess their lives until they're about forty. By then, much water has flowed under the bridge shaping us.
Christmas is the perfect time to reassess our relationship with our Lord and Saviour and how well we either follow scripture or take it for granted. Are there some things we can do better? By following scripture, we straighten our course with Christ as we hand over all of our lives to the Holy Spirit letting more cleansing occur.
Let's look at a couple of people who encountered unexpected events and had to re-evaluate their obedience and future around God's instructions.
Mary, the Mother of Christ
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
DO YOU THINK MARY HAD TO REASSESS HER LIFE AND FAITH?
Instead of getting married, building and enjoying a house and garden, as we would all like, Mary found herself on the back of a donkey, getting carted around Israel and Egypt, living a temporary life in rental properties. How would you have reacted to immediate change?
NOW, LET'S READ Matthew 1:19-21
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
DO YOU THINK JOSEPH HAD TO REASSESS HIS LIFE?
He spent his early life building a reputation and saving for the future but found his spouse pregnant and his family, friends and clients talking about him. After Christ's birth, God's angel told Joseph not to return home but go directly from Bethlehem to Egypt. Do not go home!
Would you have ignored the angel? What happened to his business? What did he use for money? How did he go setting up work in Egypt? Joseph and Mary would have constantly been re-evaluating their goals concerning God's guidance.
This Christmas, we could reassess our lives regarding how we follow God's commands and promises. To begin with, we could assess our fears, anxieties, unfaithfulness, covetousness, failings, pride and jealousy, and our wrong thoughts and imaginations.
These topics all have moving goalposts. If we're not awake, our attitude to them changes on a whim, yet they are so fundamental to walking honestly with our Saviour. We could re-evaluate how well we obey God's Word in these things.
By the power of God coupled with obedience, Joseph and Mary overcame isolation, discrimination, a sense of not knowing, the fear of loss and many other issues we go through ourselves.
This season is a perfect time to take one or two points that need addressing and analyse ourselves with a desire to improve. Don't take on too much, or it won't happen. But imagine refining some of these over the next year—what a marvellous gift to God.
PRAYER Dear Lord, the Christmas season is an excellent opportunity to look into myself and shore up some failings. Please guide me as I go through the list to decide what to focus on. Then help me address them. Thank you.
Photo by Marcus Winkler