At the end of the year, business owners are busy taking an end of the year ________________. First, it means taking a look at the inventory count. Next, an _________________ is made of any inventory discrepancies. Then, a _____________ is made to see if the discrepancy is in the spreadsheets or software being used, or whether there are really things missing—the dreaded audit. Then the stock records and spreadsheets are _____________ to match the physical inventory of goods on hand. And last, the information is used to make _________________ for the coming year, project what items are needed to begin the new year, and place orders to obtain what’s needed. It’s not a fun process, but it’s absolutely ______________ to determine whether a business has made a ___________ or not during the previous year.
The Bible encourages us again and again to mind the __________ of our business. Proverbs 27:23 says Know well the condition of your flocks, And pay attention to your herds; So, if God is concerned with diligence in the conduct of our business affairs, how much more-so the ___________ of our hearts.
Count your Spiritual Inventory
First and foremost, are you in the faith?
In 2nd Corinthians, Paul spends a couple of chapters addressing a specific issue that’s relevant to conducting a ___________ spiritual inventory. Paul says that they should be able to see with their spiritual eyes that he is speaking the Word of God in ________ to them. Paul points to his continual urging of them to ________ in the truth. It is not ___________ signs and miracles, but the inward condition of Paul’s heart as evidenced by the way that he lives his life that is the true evidence of salvation. Paul wants Jesus to be _______________, not himself. He’s saying, don’t spend your time ____________ everything and everyone around you. Instead, make sure you yourself are in the faith. So, our first step in taking a spiritual inventory is to focus not outward on other people’s walk, but to look at our ________. It’s not the easiest thing to do. We need help—we are hopelessly biased toward seeing _________________ with rose-colored glasses.
Make sure that you are in the Faith
After Paul encouraged the Corinthians to turn their gaze inward instead of outward, Paul’s first priority is to tell them in 2 Cor 13:5 to 5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?
So, the first priority is to make sure that you are in the __________—that you are saved, redeemed by God through Jesus’ sacrifice to pay for your sins which allows you to stand justified before God. We need to put our ___________ in Him—our very Existence, everything that we are. And that means that we are living for Him. And if we’re living for Him, there will be __________________in our life! James 2:18-20: 18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
Overcoming the World—true faith means understanding that God is God, and therefore it means obedience. In 1 John 5:2-3 we read 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; So, we see that the evidence of the faith is _______________ to God!
If we are saved, we have the ___________ of God within us, and we should believe Him and put our trust in Him. 1 John 5:10-12 10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; …12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. We can know, and God wants us to know that we are His God has given us the Holy Spirit so that we can know for sure that we are saved. Paul says in Ephesians 1:13-14 13 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of the promise, 14 who is a first installment of our inheritance, in regard to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. We have a pledge concerning our salvation! We walk out this faith in our lives of _______________, not through obligation to the Law as in the Old Testament, but in __________________ of the Law by obedience to God out of love for Him. As Romans 8:4 tells us: 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. And we have the Witness of God as Romans 8:16 tells us: 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, Do you see that the refusal to be a slave to sin, how our ______________ the sinful world around us is ______________ on the Holy Spirit, and how our overcoming provides ongoing ______________ to us of the work that the Holy Spirit is doing in our hearts?
1 Corinthians 12:3: “No one can say, Jesus is Lord! except in the Holy Spirit.” And our ability to say that Jesus is our Lord is evidence to us, not in our questioning mind or our changeable emotions, but in our spirit. But we’re only going to be successful in continually doing this if Jesus really is the Lord of our Lives. Jesus Himself said In luke 6:46-7 46 “Now why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, is the one who truly builds His life on a solid foundation that cannot be overcome. Obedience is God’s ________ Language!
Let the Lord search
David the Psalmist, so many times cries out for God to examine him, knowing that he needed help from the Lord to truly see himself accurately Psalm 26:6 2 Examine me, Lord, and put me to the test; Refine my mind and my heart. And of course in Psalm 139:23-24 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; Put me to the test and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there is any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. So let’s take some time to take an honest look at our lives spiritually over the last year. It will help our spiritual ___________, our relationship with God, our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, and with our friends and family.