Balancing the checkbook

For many years I have used software called Quicken™ to manage my bank accounts. It makes a formerly dreaded task of month’s end – balancing the checkbook – a breeze. In the past, there was always at least one check or bank fee that I failed to enter or entered incorrectly, something that made the reconciliation process difficult. The only solution was to go back through my check register – line by line – comparing it to the bank statement to find my mistake. I learned that doing it every month was important because if I put it off the job would turn into a real bear!  Today, the process is a simple click of a couple of keys on my PC and I know exactly the balances in my accounts.

About 12 hours from this writing, we will be closing out 2020.  I believe we would do well to take some time to balance the books, so to speak.

Alone, with the Holy Spirit, there is benefit to some reflection.

What kind of questions form our reflection? Some suggestions –        

-Am I a debtor to someone needing to ask forgiveness, offer thanks, or seek reconciliation?

-To whom should I speak a word of thanks?

-Am I cultivating habits that make me healthy in body and spirit?

-Do I give priority to my relationship with God, with regular worship, prayer, and spiritual disciplines?

-Is the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ in evidence:  “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control?” (Galatians 5:22)

-How did I succeed? … or fail? … and by whose measure?

Christians are blessed with a gift of God to facilitate the process of keeping life in balance. God, the Holy Spirit, lives in us. Of Him, Jesus said that He would convict us when we err, steady us with assurance, and remind us of our hope in things eternal.  In your reflection, take time to become God-aware, inviting the Spirit to speak.  When you feel His gentle urging to change, to make something right, to recalibrate your course – respond quickly, readily saying, “Yes, Lord!”

Most of make some New Year’s resolutions, don’t we? We declare that this year we will …  and you can fill in that blank. But, 99% of them are notoriously forgotten by the 2nd week of January! Christian, that is why we need to regularly enter the Presence of God and prayerfully receive His guidance.

I love Paul’s inspired counsel. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25, NIV)  The most effective way to change  and to sustain that change is to involve others, to become accountable, to have support. That’s why AA is so helpful in the pursuit of sobriety, why Noom™ (an online plan for weight control) works so well. God has given us His Spirit and called us into His Church with the aim of making us into people who live for His glory even as we become ‘more than conquerors’ in this world.

As we leave this year behind, let’s raise our sights higher, pursuing God with passion and purpose.

Here’s a word from the Word for us on the last day of 2020. May the Lord give us insight and wisdom to embrace the calling that is urged on us in it.
“I count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish,

that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness,
which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ,
the righteousness which is from God by faith;…
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended;
but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind
and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:8-9, 13-14, NKJV)

Onward to “make a measurable difference for the kingdom of Christ.”

(Video of this blog at this link)
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Build My Life

Worthy of ev’ry song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You

Jesus the name above ev’ry other name
Jesus the only one who could ever save
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
We live for You

Holy there is no one like You
There is none beside You
Open up my eyes in wonder and show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me

I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken

Brett Younker | Karl Martin | Kirby Kaple | Matt Redman | Pat Barrett

© 2016 Kaple Music (Admin. by Bethel Music Publishing)

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Housefires Sounds (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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