Our Checklist

When I get a lot of things to do—like packing for a trip or tasks at work starting to pile up—one of the best ways for me to deal with such situations is to create a list of the things that I can check off and stop worrying about as I accomplish them. It is quite helpful to see the things that need doing and be able to prioritize and make plans for what needs to be done.

Our Christian lives can in a way also be viewed as lives with checklists. We can line up our spiritual priorities and start to execute them. But the one thing about Christianity is that it is not “a one time and done” occurrence. We have to constantly be re-evaluating and re-looking at our lives and everything that we do, all the while keeping hold of the things we know and holding on to them tightly.

Paul says that we are to be consistently looking at all areas of our lives with a spiritual checklist in mind to see how we are doing. Notice 2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.”

Nothing stays the same! As children, we continue to grow and to learn more and more. As we get older, our bodies start to change. As adults, life never is the same— it is always changing. There are always new challenges. Recently, it has seemed that the challenges are coming with faster speed—and more of them at the same time! There is no sign of them slowing down either!

What we may have had to check off as a younger Christian may not be the same as what we have to concentrate on now!  But that is a good thing. We are to be maturing and growing in the use of God’s Spirit in our lives. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 says: “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”

So what does our checklist look like now? What is on there that we are working towards?

Thankfully, God the Father and Jesus Christ do not change. So, the checklist, from their standpoint, doesn’t change, either.

Numbers 23:19 tells us: “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” When we have the understanding that He is the same “yesterday, today and forever,” then there is a good baseline that we can grow from.

I have always found this truth extremely helpful: God doesn’t change. What He has said applies to everyone—for all times. Yes, the world is different now from thousands of years ago. But none of that really matters. The same principles and laws still govern all of us.

This truth allows all of us to be unique and have differences, and yet, all are still on the same playing field. Just because someone is ordained doesn’t mean that someone who is not is not as important to God. There is no favoritism with God. It is all based upon how well we are following our checklists and remaining close to God and allowing Him to lead us through this life.

Our Christian lives can be varied from individual to individual. Not everyone is doing the same job or has the same gifts. But how important all those jobs are! God is looking at how well we are each growing in our individual ways. Remember the widow with the two mites, the smallest amount of money, yet she gave it and Christ said she was more blessed because she gave all she had. Maybe it can feel at times that we aren’t doing enough, or that there is something more which we must do. This may be so, but the reality is that we should go back to our spiritual checklists and make sure that we are hitting all of our boxes and then, if we are, see about adding some new ones to help us to continue to grow in the “grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

There are many Scriptures that can give us a good checklist of areas to be looking at. It would be a good idea to search the Bible and come up with a list to look at. The Ten Commandments is a great starting place. It really regulates the fundamental basics for us. Another great place is Romans 12. There are so many additional places to look at. But if we are not looking and studying and making sure that we are checking off those important and essential requirements which are listed in those and other Scriptures, then we will just drift through life, without having a concrete baseline. If we are not attentive, then, as it says in Matthew 24:12, our love could grow cold. We need to make sure that we are hitting all of the marks.

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