Periodically it is important to evaluate your relationship with the Lord and take a look in the mirror to see how you are doing. We go to church, pray during the day and maybe even attend our weekly Bible study, but as we are handling our daily activities, do our actions say to the Lord "I Love You"? The pressures of living have a way of consuming our thoughts and actions, so we should from time to time take inventory on our actions, words and commitment to the Lord.
Some of these are very elementary, but are a part of our journey to maturing faith.
1. Committing your life to Christ is obviously the first step, but challenge your commitment. Did you say to the Lord you are going to follow Him in ALL that you do? Was it a full commitment, do you truly put Him first in everything you do?
2. Accept the love and forgiveness God promises to us, but also understand that along with these great benefits, He also gives us the power to overcome sin, giving us the ability to either give in to temptation or follow His commands.
Living in this world, there are constant influences on us that are contrary to the ways of our Lord. On our own, we do not have the ability to be the person God wants us to be, but through His grace we are not only forgiven, but our eyes are open to His superior ways and then we have the power to be Holy.
3. Stand firm and do not wavier. God will take away our sins, but being creatures of free will and surrounded by temptations, we must always be on guard, standing firm in our commitment to Him. We are given all the tools to live as Christ is telling us to, but we have to make the conscious effort on a daily basis to turn from sin. It does not happen automatically. Read your Bible and understand what God calls a sin, then challenge the choices you make on a daily basis to see how you are doing.
4. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, which Christ tells us is the greatest commandment. Based on everything He has done for us, this sounds easy but is another area where you need to look at your thoughts, words and actions. In Matthew, Christ tells us through service to the less fortunate people around us, we are actually doing it for Him. This is how we show love to the Lord.
5. Love for the Lord is following His commandments. In 1John 5:3 it clearly says, "This is love for God: to obey His commands." Just like turning from sin, we must read our Bibles and understand what He is asking us to do. However, in verses 4-5 immediately following the above verse, we are told His commands are not burdensome and that everyone who believes in the Lord has overcome the world. In other words, as Christians, we have the desire and power to overcome the temptations of this world and the ability to do as God is asking each of us.
All of the above sounds pretty basic, but now here is a test to see how you are doing. Take out a piece of paper and list the gifts God has given you. Then make a list of people around you or that you know who are hurting or have problems. Through prayer and with love look at these lists and ask yourself if you can proudly say, "Lord I am doing my best". Always be challenging yourself to see what you can do towards your personal journey of maturing faith, not just what you want the Lord to do for you.