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Take A Look Back
Pastor Hayes
Richard Hayes - photo by Photo provided.

Phillipians 3:13-14

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

As this year has slowly come to the midway point, it seems to have been so traumatic and dramatic that people desire to just start over and regroup from the waves of emotional discord that have swept through the nation. Some have even declared it to be a New Year! But with such heartache and pain, let this next season in your life be a time of reflection to see exactly who you are in Christ. This is the perfect time to pause and reflect on the goodness of God and where we stand in Him. Has this time drawn you closer or pushed you further away?  

Saints of God we are encouraged to examine ourselves to make sure we’re lining up with God’s Word. Paul says in the book of Galatians 6:3-5, “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.  But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  For every man shall bear his own burden.” God holds us accountable for our actions, so we must examine ourselves to ensure we are doing the will of God. When God begins to bless some people, they forget to give thanks and honor the one who showed favor on their life. They think it was their education, networking, or financial status that put them in a position of prominence. The Bible simply declares that every good and perfect gift comes from above and in all things we should give thanks. So, we must test ourselves to ensure our thoughts line up with our actions and give thanks to God. 

2 Corinthians 13:5 reads, ”Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

One definition of reflection says that it is an effect produced by an influence. What effect has the past six months had on your life?  Are you a better Christian now, than you were prior to the past six months?  Can you see a change in your life?  Pandemics, erratic president, unjustified killings of blacks, educational interruption, every tear you’ve cried, every bad relationship, and every argument has had an influence on you. Every good memory, every joyous moment, and every great relationship has influenced you, also. I encourage you to take the time to look back over these past six months and see just how blessed you really are. 

“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” — Benjamin Franklin. Do a self-examination, so we can strive towards perfection in Christ. If you are alive to read this message, be encouraged because you still have the opportunity to get it right. Take a look back and examine who you are.

Richard D. Hayes is the Pastor of New Day Community Church and the President of the United Ministerial Alliance. 

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