Here are the notes and audio to a sermon I preached on the first Sunday of the New Year. It teaches from the Bible the benefit of self examination, looking at the past year, and applying those lessons to the upcoming New year.
New Years – Self Examination
An unexamined life is not worth living. Plato
- A life just lived reacting to whatever circumstances come upon, shooting from the hip, responding by impulse
- A life that is not lived with eternal destination and reward in mind
What does the Bible say about self-examination?
- Validating our Salvation 2 Corinthians 13:5
Honoring the Lord’s Sacrifice 1 Corinthians 11:27–32
Redirecting and Adjusting the Course of our Life Ps 119:59
Strengthening our Fellowship with God 1 John 3:20–21
Avoiding Self Deception While Rejoicing in Real Accomplishment Galatians 6:3–4
Self-Examination: Be intentional. Be specific. Be a believer.
General Life Questions
- What trials has God brought me through this year that He may want to use to comfort and encourage someone else who will go through similar circumstances?
- What learning or training experiences did God bring into my life that could be His preparation for future ministry?
- What new people have crossed my path that God may want me to develop a relationship with (discipleship, mentoring, encouraging, serving)?
- What major life change or event occurred that God may want to use as a crossroads for a new direction?
- What has God taught me about Himself this year – Who He is and how He works – that needs to impact my relationship with Him and others?
Spiritual Questions Based on the 10 Commandments
God: You shall have no other gods before me. (Exo 20:3)
- Is God the most important thing in your life?
- Does your calendar, checkbook and communications validate that?
- What honestly takes more of your time, emotion, energy, thoughts, pleasure and life than loving and pursuing God?
- If you know you are falling short in your walk, what in your life is taking precedent over God
Worship: You shall not make an idol. (Exo 20:4)
- In what ways would you want God to be different from who He is?
- What parts of God do you ignore because its too hard or too uncomfortable?
Revering God: (Exodus 20:7)
- Are you caught in the casual attitude people have towards God’s holiness & His holy name? (“OMG”, “J— C—“)
- Can you watch movies or listen to conversations that constantly misuse God/Jesus name without being bothered, or without reacting to it?
Balance: Rest/Leisure/Work Balance (Exo 20:8-9)
- Is work or pleasure or “time wasting” consuming your life to the detriment of your spiritual life?
- You have to ask God to reveal to you if something in your life if out of balance (ie. something about your life is causing you to neglect your time with God and your spiritual growth)
Respect, Gratitude & Submission: (Exodus 20:12)
- Do you respect those who have been placed by God as an authority in your life?
- Are you grateful for their input, influence and effect on your life?
- Are you willing to submit to their wisdom and guidance even when its hard or you perhaps disagree?
Hate: You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13)
- Hate defined: burning disdain for someone; wishing they were dead; not caring about their eternal destination (even wishing for them to go to Hell)
- Do you truly hate anyone, no matter who or for what reason?
- Is there someone with whom you are looking to get even?
- Are you harboring continuous bitterness or resentment in your heart?
Purity: You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)
- In what ways have you given expression to lust?
- In what areas are you casual or desensitized to immorality? (language, relationships, entertainment, etc)
- Feed the monster and it grows and devours
- Starve it, and it loses power and influence
Honesty, Work, Responsibility & Giving: (Exodus 20:15)
- Do you consider your income/time as belonging to God?
- Do you value time and use it in a way worthy of its value?
- Are you a generous and cheerful giver?
- Do you take responsibility for your life and obligations?
- Do you steal? Directly (taking something that is not yours) or indirectly (such as being lazy at work while taking your employers money)?
Integrity & Truth: You shall not lie. (Exodus 20:16)
- In your communications, obligations and thoughts, are you committed to being truthful, even when it hurts or is to your disadvantage?
- Does all the lying today bother you? Has the casual acceptance of lies (“everybody lies”) caused you to be desensitized to it, or participate in it?
- Is God’s Truth important to you? Is that importance reflected in how you live, and by telling it to others?
Contentment & Gratitude: (Exodus 20:17)
- Are you content with the blessings God has given you, or is it never enough?
- Are you content with having the necessities of life provided by God?
- Are you content with your spiritual gifts or covet those you don’t have?
- Are you content with God’s purpose for your life or wish you could replace them with your own version?
Other Self Evaluation Questions:
- Where are you right now in your relationship with God?
- What have you read in the Bible in the last week?
- What has God been saying to you in this?
- Where do you find yourself resisting God these days?
- What specific things do you find yourself praying for regarding others?
- What specific things do you find yourself praying for yourself?
- What specific tasks are facing you that you consider incomplete? Do you start things and not finish them?
- What habits are intimidating you at present?
- Do you spend more time ingesting secular media and entertainment than God’s Word?
- How are you doing with your spouse/kids?
- If I were to ask your spouse about your state of mind, spirit, etc., what would he/she say?
- Are you sensing any spiritual attacks from the enemy this week? Today?
- If Satan were to try to invalidate you as a servant of God, where or how would he attack you?
- What is the state of your moral life (temptation, fantasy, etc)?
- Where are you at financially (Do you have control, debts, etc)?
- Are there any unresolved conflicts (ailing relatives, stress, disputes) in your circle of relationships right now (family, friends those among whom we’re supposed to feel safe)?
- When was the last time you invested time in someone else other than spouse or your own family?
- What kind of time have you spent with a non-Christian this past week?
- What challenges do you expect to face in the coming month?
- What are your fears at the present time?
- Are you sleeping well? Is worry, stress or anxiety keep you up?
- What three things are you most thankful for?
- What are you greatest confusions about your relationship with God?
- Am I praying with faith?
- Am I serving with zeal?
- Am I believing with confidence?
- Am I confessing with humility?
- Am I worshipping with joy?
- Am I giving with gladness?
- Am I reaching out with love?
- Are you responsible to God first and foremost?
- Do you demonstrate a disciplined lifestyle under the Lordship of Jesus?
- Are your family commitments in proper priorityLord?
- Do you demonstrate personal piety and vigor in your relationship with God?
- Do you demonstrate faithfulness to the Bible and sound doctrine?
- Do you acknowledge your limitations and needs out of confidence in Christ’s gracious power?
- Do you demonstrate a flexible spirit out of confidence in God’s control over all things, God’s authority over you, and God’s presence with you?