Make A List & Check It Twice

Do you have a list for today? What purpose does it serve? Is it a reminder of what is important to you or to someone else? If it is important, it is worth writing down. It is not to be considered a trivial matter, because every so often we forget what is important. If we continually forget to put items on our grocery list or hardware list, is it not possible we will also forget to put items like mercy, virtue, honesty, love, and patience on our character list?

The Bible is filled with lists which every Christian would do well to remember. The works of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:19-21) is a contrasting list showing those things God accepts and condemns. Matthew 5:1-12 is a list of beatitudes for those interested in being a part of the kingdom of God. 1 Timothy 2:1-3 is a list of the type of petitions a Christian can offer to God and the things which his prayers can include. 2 Peter 5:1-7 lists character traits, which, if applied, will be fruitful and rewarding (vv. 8-11). Romans 12:4-8 gives a list of “gifts” found among Christians which are needful for the growth of the body. The lists could go on and on (Romans 12:9-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9,10; Matthew 15:18,19), but you can understand the need for each one as a means of being acceptable to God.

Making a list is the surest and most effective way of identifying our weaknesses and strengths and prioritizing our needs and desires. God had Moses make a list of commandments Israel was to keep. There was no question what God wanted Israel to do. To make sure these ordinances were kept, Moses told all Israel to “teach them diligently unto thy children” and “write them upon the doorposts of the house, and upon thy gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). God wanted them to see the list every day. Today, we use the refrigerator, the mirror, the computer, or any other place we pass often.

Making a list would be a good way to increase your spirituality and growth as a Christian. List the things you would like to improve upon and avoid by the power of God. Let your list contain the importance of values based upon Biblical principles. Determine when, where, why, what, and how you plan to make this list become a reality. Make your list specific. Do not list only a general thought like “study more.” Be direct with a passage, topic, or book of the Bible with a time of the day you want to begin that study. Include this regularly in your prayers. When you hear the words, “Count your blessings,” take it literally. Make a list of them.

The joyful part of this process is checking your list. See your progress. Rejoice in attaining your goals. Give diligence to move forward. Do not use your list as a “checkoff,” but as a trying of your faith. Prove yourself, if indeed Christ is in you (2 Corinthians 13:5).