Volume. XXXVI, No. 26
Sunday, 26 December 2021

Evaluating Your Spiritual Stocks

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Christmas celebrations are over, and the end of another eventful year is fast approaching. From time to time, it's helpful to reflect, evaluate and test ourselves on all the major aspects of our life, particularly our spiritual lives. Another year will soon pass by, and it's also high time for stocktaking. Yes, it's good to look at our financial bank balance, stocks, and assets, but those are temporal. Spiritual stocktaking is much more essential and needful.  Have you taken your spiritual stocks for the year 2021?


How was your Christian walk with the Lord this year? Have you grown and matured in faith and become more Christ-like than before? Will Christ be pleased with your spiritual state and growth? 


Jesus took the spiritual stocktake of the Ephesus Church. The church at Ephesus (Revelation 2:1–7) started well, but then lost focus along the way. Jesus highlights a few commendable things and also corrects one area. Area of loving God with first love? "Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love." Why and how did they lose their first love? We don't know, though we can guess some of the reasons. Because of pressure, overconfidence, negligence, or other vices, they lost the vision and passion for the Lord. Their labour gradually came to be merely mechanical, the thing they were responsible for doing.  They have put service for the Lord ahead of love, devotion, and fellowship with Him. They moved away from their original devotion and zeal for the Saviour by a gradual departure of faith.


Jesus in Revelation 2:1-7 gives them a 3-step process and solution for spiritual stocktaking and renewal of first love. The first step is to Remember (vs 5). This is a call to reflect, to go back and recall the past and truly recognize one's true condition. The psalmist in Psalm 139:23-24 asked for God’s help to assess his behaviour and heart. "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." The psalmist recognized that he needed God's help in pointing out flaws in his lifestyle and shortcomings in his heart. Only God and His love can cause us to change, nothing else. Can you remember and recall your fall?


The second step is to Repent (vs 5). The Greek word for repent is metanoew which means saying sorry or feeling bad about your mistakes. It means a change in mind or purpose, to change one's decision. It means recognising one's previous decision or condition as wrong and accepting and moving toward a new and right path in its place. Repentance includes confession of sin to stop the bad behaviour, which can be replaced with what was right. There is no better time to repent than now. Make the New Year 2026 to be a new beginning with the Lord Jesus Christ.


The third step is to Renew (vs 5). "Do the first works”. This is not just a call to more Christian service or renewed Christian activity.  To renew means to restore your love for the Lord Jesus Christ. To renew means to get refocused and live for Jesus and to be occupied with Christ. This is a call to true fellowship with God to experience His joy, peace and love in your lives. The joy and blessing of living renewed and Christ-filled lives are many. Taste and see that the Lord is good.


Jonathan Edwards was a pastor, theologian and missionary in the 18th Century to the Native Americans.  He just at the age of 19, wrote 70 resolutions over the course of a year.  These he resolved to read over each week and to keep by God's grace. The firm determination to keep God's glory as the priority in his life led him to make these resolutions. Let me quote a few of his resolutions (a full list of 70 resolutions can be easily downloaded from the internet).


The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards (1722-1723): Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ's sake. I will remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember when I come to myself again.

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time, but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom and of hell.

14. Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.

16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonour, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.

28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion and to a higher exercise of grace than I was the week before.

42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January 1722-23.

46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eve: and to be especially careful of it, with respect to any of our family.

48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723.

69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. Aug. 11, 1723.

70. Let there be something of benevolence in all that I speak. Aug. 17, 1723


Dear brethren, What are your godly desires and resolutions for 2022? Meditate on the popular Hymn "Be Thou my Vision" and make resolutions for the coming year. May the Lord help you to grow in His grace and knowledge in the coming year.

"Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;

Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;

Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,

Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;

I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;

Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;

Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.


Rev Mathews Abraham

More Lively Hope



  • Due to the current COVID-19 situation, there will be no fellowship lunch or tea/coffee gathering post worship service for the time being.
  • Flower Roster 2022 is ready for volunteers. Roster is available in the Sanctuary Foyer. 
  • Elder Michael D Lee will be preaching at Providence B-P Church today at 3pm.
  • Please observe physical distancing & mask/ hygiene rules, especially whilst indoors.
  • Tithes & offerings - please see the Lively Hope for bank details.


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • God’s daily guidance, providence & protection.
  • Current COVID-19 situation in South Australia.



  • God’s guidance & protection with borders open.
  • Those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Journey mercies for all those travelling.
  • Healing: Rev Pong Sen Yiew & all others who are unwell.



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041