Last evening Barack Obama, President of the United States of America,
delivered the annual "State of the Union" address. The speech is as
much a tradition as it is a message designed to convey information.
George Washington delivered the first such address in 1790 in New York
City (which then served as the infant nation's capital). The U.S.
Constitution mandates that the President make such a summary of the
condition of the nation's affairs "from time to time".
Our purpose is not to examine the content of President Obama's speech,
but to merely note that it is customary. It's a good thing, we
believe, to step back and assess how things are going for the country,
and to propose new policy or to criticize outdated methods.
Congress is not the only place where such speeches are delivered.
Virtually every state of the Union now has such an event. On January
6 of this year, the Governor of California delivered his "State of the
State" address. Citizens of Arizona heard a message from their
governor on January 11, and a "State of the Commonwealth" speech was
heard in Kentucky on January 6.
What might happen if each of us developed an annual "state of my life"
message? Would we see things we normally don't? Would we be moved to
address deficiencies we presently have?
King Hezekiah of Judah received such a challenge from God: "In those
days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the
son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, 'Thus says the Lord: "Set
your house in order, for you shall die, and not live"'" (2 Kings
20:1). "Set your house in order" meant that Hezekiah would first have
to take inventory. How else would he know what needed to be set in
The account in 2 Kings 20 goes on to state that the king was given a
reprieve. Instead of facing imminent death, Hezekiah was granted an
additional 15 years (2 Kings 20:6). But did the added time mean that
he no longer had to set his house in order?
How does God see me? James says we can know how we appear to the
Lord: "For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is
like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes
himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was"
(James 1:23,24). Discovering how God sees us is a simple matter: Read
His word, the Bible.
That's precisely where so many fail. With so many activities
demanding our time and attention, Bible reading ranks low on our list
of priorities (Christians included). Churchgoers used to be
conversant in the details of this Holy Book. Spiritual IQs today, we
suspect, have dropped sharply.
God challenges us to prepare a "state of my life" address, looking
honestly into His word for the standards He has set. We would do well
to imitate the example of some Luke mentioned: "These were more fair-
minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with
all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether
these things were so" (Acts 17:11).
Begin searching the Scriptures today. Learn what God thinks of your
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him
in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you'd like
to discuss these ideas further.