In the thirteen years that I have been writing
these Robservations for the Gazette, this is the first
time that I am writing an “in your face” religious
column, if you will. Although I am sure my leanings come out many times
in my writings, this was never intended to be the purpose of my Robservations
column. I must admit that this Christmas Season has been a little challenging
for me. Not so much with issues in my own home but I see many things
that given the opportunity and if allowed, they can take my focus away from
what is important. Whether it be the contentious divorce of my best friend
who lives in another state, the economy, health of several fellow church
members, the absolute incompetent hash this administration continues to
make out of our southern border, Israel vs. Hamas or war in the Ukraine,
there are many things that can be used to take our attention off what God
intends for us.
This Robservation is not intended to preach to anybody. If you are
a non-believer reading this, okay. If you are a believer, okay as well. This
not intended to push any buttons or to point a self-righteous crooked finger
at anybody. This is simply a tool that I found many years ago that I try to
use as a personal gut check to see where I stand with God and my walk with
Him. Simple. Nothing nefarious here. Several years ago before COVID hit,
several guys from our church did a bi-weekly prison ministry and one night
I taught on this subject.
This “Inventory of the Heart” can be found online and the first place I
ever saw it over a decade ago was in Ronnie Floyd’s The Power of Prayer and
Fasting. Again, the purpose of this “inventory” is not to pit us against one another
but to take an personal and honest look at how we stack up against God’s
uncompromising standard. Although certainly not comprehensive, this inventory
is nevertheless a great place to start a private self-examination. Ephesians
4:1 tells us that we are to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which
you have been called.” The word worthy in Greek is axios which means
“appropriately, after a godly sort or worthily.” We are called to live a sanctified
life; a life in which we strive daily to become more Christlike. And no, it is
I always marvel at people who point accusatory fingers at Christians
and say stupid things like, “I saw you do this” or “I know you did that.” Yes.
Absolutely, every single Christian on planet Earth today will “miss it” at some
level at some time. And for many, this is an everyday occurrence. Uhhhhh,
we are human and matter whether we strive for perfection, none of us are. That
is what the blood is for. Mess up, fess up and get under the blood. At the same
time, that doesn’t give us the heretical antinomian doctrine that releases
Christians from observing moral law because of God’s grace. Although God’s
grace is unlimited, to argue that one can sin-repent-sin again and repeat misses
the entire point entirely. Although salvation is NOT dependent upon our earthly
works, as Christians our daily walk should show evidence of said salvation.
A holy and sanctified life should be our daily goal.
If you complete this “inventory” and take an honest look at yourself,
you may be surprised at what you find. I will take a leap and say most “will”
be surprised. When I taught this lesson, I did an honest assessment and reported
that I was at best a C student. Many of the 54 questions arranged in 13 areas,
are piercing. But remember, this is strictly between you and God and He already
knows the answers. He wants us to know the answers. Forgiveness,
worry, pride, gossip; the list goes on. Many of these questions for some will
seem like a no brainer. Others? Ouch. If 1,000 people take this assessment,
there will be 1,000 different results. Why? Because we are all different and
the enemy knows this. I have written an entire book on this concept. As we
start 2024, I encourage all believers out there to accomplish this inventory of
your heart. Today’s world is such that anytime a believer can be led astray or
spiritually injured, there are forces more than ready to take advantage of that.
Take the test, shore up your faith and begin living that sanctified life for Christ.
There is no day like today.
INVENTORY OF THE HEART
GOD IS CALLING US TO BE AUTHENTIC
1. In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:18
– Do we worry about anything?
– Have we forgotten to thank God for all things? The good and the bad?
– Do we neglect to give Him thanks for our breath, our health, for life itself?
2. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask
or think, according to the power that works within us.
– Do we shy away from attempting to do things in the name of our heavenly
Father because we fear we are not talented enough?
– Do feelings of inferiority keep us from our desired to serve God?
–When we do accomplish something of merit, do we choose to give ourselves
or God the glory?
3. You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you
shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to
the end of the earth.
- Have we been hesitant to thank God for miracles performed in our lives?
- Have we believed it is good enough to live our Christian lives in a casual
manner and that it is not important to share the good news of our deliverance
– Are we sharing the Gospel?
– Are we involved in advancing the Gospel across the world, at home, in
our city, etc.?
4. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think
more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have
sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
– Are we overly proud of our accomplishments, talents, families?
– Do we have a rebellious spirit at the thought that God may want to change
our stinking thinking?
– Do we brag to others what we have?
– Do we swell up with pride when receiving compliments?
5. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from
you, with all malice.
– Do we complain, find fault, argue?
– Do we nurse and delight in a critical spirit?
– Do we carry a grudge against believers of another group or denomination
because of different “truths”?
– Do we talk behind people’s back?
– Are we often angry with ourselves? With others? With God?
6. Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in
you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
1 Corinthians 6:19
– Are we careless with our bodies?
– Do we defile our bodies with unholy sexual acts?
– Do we overeat?
– Do we take care of our bodies?
– Do we desire to be physically fit?
7. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word
as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it
will give grace to those who hear.
– Do we use language that fails to edify others?
– Do we tell off-color jokes or stories that demean others’ race, habits or
– Do we condone these comments when guests are in our home or with
– Do we curse?
8. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and
do not give the devil an opportunity.
– Do we close our eyes to the possibility that we may be a landing strip for
Satan when we open our minds to him through ungodly practices, psychic
predictions, occult literature, violent and sex driven movies?
– Do we seek counsel for daily living from horoscopes in the paper, on
television or the web as opposed to seeking God?
– Do we let Satan use us to set up barriers that inhibit the cause of Christ
in our churches and in our homes through criticism and gossip?
9. Not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
(i.e. Not slothful in business.)
– Are we chronically late in payment of debts? If at all?
– Do we charge more on our credit cards than we can afford?
– Do we neglect to keep honest tax records?
– Do we engage in shady business deals?
– Do we inflate our financial worth?
– Do we get into business partnerships with unbelievers?
10. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts
which wage war against the soul.
1 Peter 2:11
– Are we guilty of a lustful eye toward the opposite sex?
– Do we fill our minds with sexually oriented Internet sites, lewd movies,
books and magazines?
– Magazine covers? Centerfolds?
– Especially when alone?
– Do we indulge in lustful activities that God’s Word condemns such as
fornication, adultery, or perversion?
– Do we have improper Internet relationships?
– Are we engaged in pornography in any way?
11. Bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a
complaint against another; even as Christ forgives you, so you also
– Have we failed to forgive anyone who has hurt us, physically, spiritually,
– Have we written off people as not worthy of our friendship?
12. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full
of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
– Do we know in our hearts that we are often not what people see?
– Are we possibly hiding behind being active in our churches as a cover for
our activities away from the body?
– Are we mimicking the Christian faith for social status or acceptance in church
– Are we real?
13. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is
any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
– Do we enjoy listening to conversations that hurt others?
– Do we pass it on?
– Do we believe rumors or partial truths, especially about an enemy
– Do we choose to spend little or no time each day allowing God to speak
to us through His Word?
THAT WHICH WE NEED
TO SURRENDER TO GOD:
OUR MINDS (The way we think)
OUR WILLS (What we are convinced we should be or do)
OUR EMOTIONS (How we feel)
OUR BODIES (The sum of who we are)
OUR TALENTS (The abilities for which we sometimes
claim full credit)
OUR ATTITUDES (Often our selfish response to others)
OUR MOTIVES (What we know really drives us to succeed)
OUR CAREERS (The business of life that too often becomes our