“Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.” Romans 14:12 (NLT)

What if each of us received a monthly or annual productivity report about our lives? How would it look? Would the lines on the graph go up or down? Would it show growth or decline? Would it contain positive or negative results?

Did you know that we will all give a personal account to God about our lives? We should not have to wait until we die to do so. That’s why it’s important to do a periodic evaluation to make sure our lives are in line with God’s will. Since we were created with purpose, we should focus on making the most of our time here on earth.

So as we come to the close of another year, what will your personal productivity report look like? Have you grown spiritually in your walk with God? Were you focused on your priorities? Did you build stronger relationships? Were you faithful to complete your assignments? Are you a better person today than you were before?

An honest evaluation with these questions in mind will help you determine your results. It will also show you where there’s room for improvement and how you can live a more fruitful and productive life!

“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” – Colossians 3:15 (NLT)

We have so much to be thankful for today! I know that as we look at the condition of our world, there doesn’t seem to be much to be grateful for. And then there’s a great deal about ourselves that we wish we could change, right?

Oftentimes, in an attempt to make ourselves better and our world better, we forget to be grateful for the good things happening around us. We focus so much on the negative that the positive loses its place in our hearts.

To make gratitude and praise a daily part of our lives requires focusing on our blessings and learning to express our gratitude to God for them. Despite all the negative things happening in our world, God’s goodness and favor is all around us. The more we acknowledge it, the more we will experience it. Let’s determine to always be thankful!

“I have experienced times of need and times of abundance. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing.” – Philippians 4:12 (NET Bible)

Are you aware that the search for happiness and fulfillment can consume our lives? It seems that we are always looking for something or someone to make us happy or bring us satisfaction.

Everyday we’re searching, working, and even shopping for happiness. The problem is that most people are looking for happiness in all the wrong people, the wrong places, and the wrong things.

There is power in contentment! Simply put, contentment is learning to rest in Christ. It’s embracing who you are, where you are, and what you have without buying into the lies of society that say you are not enough and you do not have enough.

Contentment does not depict having everything you want, but being grateful for the things you do have and trusting God for the things you need. This is a powerful attitude that results in true peace, joy, and fulfillment!

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

In a culture filled with cynicism and criticism, we are called to be encouragers.

Research shows that encouraging others works better than criticizing them. To encourage means to instill courage. It’s using your words to build, instruct, empower, and console. It’s choosing to magnify the good and not the bad.

Your words of encouragement to a loved one, a friend, or even a stranger can mean a great deal. A positive, uplifting word about doing better, making it through a difficult situation, or overcoming an obstacle can make all the difference in someone’s life.

Look at it this way. We all have an emotional tank that works like the gas tank of a car. In order for the car to drive, you have to fill the tank with the proper fuel. Encouragement works the same way. It is the fuel that motivates and propels you forward.

I want to challenge you to seize more opportunities to encourage others rather than criticize them. Never shy away from expressing hope and inspiration to those around you. Determine to be a tank filler and not a tank drainer.