“The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.” – John 10:10

One of the best year-end practices for cultivating spiritual growth is to pay attention to how you have grown in the past year. Who were the people who impacted you in the past year? What specific learning or practice energized your human formation? What failure helped you to grow? Where and when were you astonished by the activity of God in your life? As author and Spiritual Director David Benner says, “Our challenge is to unmask he divine in the natural and name the presence of God in our lives.”

Advent is a good time to take stock of your life. A great place to start is by asking God to examine your life. In his classic book entitled Pray, Richard Foster says there are two things to reflect on when we do this. The first is to become aware of how God has been present to us during our day and how we have responded to him. The second is to allow God to bring to our attention those areas in which work needs to be done in our lives.

Today, as you engage in this quiet time of devotion in God’s presence, invite the Holy Spirit to examine your heart. Pray the prayer of David in Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting.”

Christ came not sot hat we could feel condemned for our weakness and sin, he came so that we can enjoy the abundant life he desires for us. When you think of an abundant life, what do you imagine? How do you think the living of an abundant life brings glory to God? Why is it important to be aware of how you are living your life?

The message of the prophet Isaiah was a song of hope. Christ is that embodied hope. Take a few moments to consider the questions above and perhaps journal your thoughts about what He is doing right now in your life. Thank him for what He is doing, and ask him to do more! I promise, He will!

(Thank you to our Pastor, David Wahlstedt for this guest post)