So how many people sat down and and made New Year’s resolutions?  There is something about the new year that we use as a benchmark.  But that might not be a good thing.  To resolve to change for change sake is never a good reason.  And usually without having a driving reason for change, our resolutions typically go unfulfilled.

The harsh reality of a New Year’s resolution is that if we see a goal that we need to obtain, it was probably something that needed to be done on December 1, or November 1, or October 1, etc…  So instead of discussing New Year’s resolutions, we are going to evaluate how we are moving to goals, no matter the day of the year.

When we look at goals, we need a standard to evaluate the progress against.  If progress is lacking, we need improvement.  Many times, we see Christians today evaluating our progress against God standard.  But when things don’t match, we often say that God’s standard needs to change to fit our place.  But we must realize that God’s standard is perfect, and it is us that needs to change.

“Examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith;”

In the day of Paul, he rejected the celebrity lifestyle that other speakers used when visiting cities like Corinth.  But the people would question Paul and compare him to the other speakers.  Paul responds that instead of testing him on some standard they have created, they need to begin to compare their standard to God’s standard.

The picture of the word “examine” is that of a line that is determined by being in the faith.  And those things that fall short of that line, need to be brought up to reach that line.  The next phase “test yourselves” is a call to put your faith to a test.  Just as hot fire removes impurities from precious metals, our faith must go through trials to discover the purity of faith.

In testing our faith in Jesus Christ, we pray to do the right thing!  For we cannot do anything against God’s truth, but do things for the truth.  And it is not enough that we appear to do what is right, but we are to do what is right even when the world will tell us we are wrong.

Paul says that the authority is in God alone.  And the leadership he has been given is given by the Lord.  And he was given not to tear people down, but to build them up.  That what is built on the foundation of God authority will withstand the tests of faith.

If we are not in the right place, we will always struggle with the authority system on where to get answers.  There might be lots of authorities without foundation that will look good at the time, but they will fall when put to the test.

I want to look at some of the key passages in the Bible that speaks about growth, maturity, and being built up.  As we look at growth, it is something that we are always suppose to be doing.  An intentional action and not something

Its hard to look at the “in every way” that we are to grow.

2 Peter

Peter is speaking of us being careful of the forces that look to draw us away from our foundation.  But instead of worrying about the various ways that things might come at me and trip me up, we are to just focus ton the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Then it does not matter what comes at us, we will stay firm.

5 Areas of Evaluation

  1. Relationships – How is my relationship with my Father and my God?  Our vertical relationship can be reflective of our horizontal relationships with other people.
  2. Direction – How am I moving?  Am I intentional?  We cannot sit back and let things slide backwards (i.e. wrong direction.)  We need to move in a growing, right direction.
  3. Priorities – When the world gets tough, what gets our attention?  Priorities show whats most important to us.
  4. Choices – Related to priorities, how to we decide the order of priorities?  Every choice that you make now, will effect things later.  Choices are important.  As we weigh our choices, we need to make those based on our identity and foundation in Jesus.
  5. Changes – What changes do I need to make?  As you have gone through the first 4 areas, you will come to figure out what changes are needed.  Write them down and decide how to make them happen.

What do you think God would want you to do now that you are His?  What choices or changes need priority?  The Bible will never say that we will arrive to perfection in God’s standard, but that we are always in progress.

Move, grow, be His.



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! (ESV)

I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. 10 For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down. (ESV)

15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (ESV)