Saturday, October 29, 2011

#13 - Leaving A Godly Legacy

Leaving A Godly Legacy
A resolution to live today with tomorrow in mind

~ Choose Wisely ~
Thursday, October 27, 2011

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.
~ Proverbs 13:22

“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. ... I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,
~ Deuteronomy 30:15-16,19

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ How have you seen (or perhaps tasted for yourself) the long-lasting fruit of personal choices on the lives of others?  How have you been harmed by them?  How have you been blessed by them?

~ What are some of the choices you already know about - ones that are coming up in the next few days, weeks, or months - that will provide you the opportunity to make an impact on your legacy?  What can you do now, ahead of time, to ensure that you choose wisely?

~ List the people most important to you that you desire to leave a godly legacy to.

~ Unexpected Legacy ~
Friday, October 28, 2011

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ If this chapter speaks of your story, what does God seem to be specifically saying to you through it?

~ Who are some younger women that come to your mind who could benefit from a mentoring relationship with you?

~ If perhaps this chapter doesn't apply to you personally, how could you use its truths to both encourage and challenge the single, childless women in your life - to invest themselves in the responsibility of legacy building?

~ Set in Stones ~
Saturday, October 29, 2011

Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place where you will lodge tonight.’”

So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the sons of Israel, one man from each tribe; and Joshua said to them, “Cross again to the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel.

Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.”
~ Joshua 4:2-7

Type of woman who journals when...
- Something is pressing on my heart and mind.
- A specific milestone has been reached.
- The Lord has been doing an important, transformative work in me.
- I'm in the middle of particular life occurrence that seems to hold implications I just know will matter in the future.

This final resolution is the climax of every other one we've made.  The primary purpose of these resolutions has been to assist and support you in leaving a legacy you can be proud of.  As we near the end of our journey, I ask you to use this last experience as the opportunity to tie together everything we've been learning and committing to along the way.  These have not just been pledges to become a better person.  This is about living a life that's bigger than yourself, one that can't be contained by the limits of a human lifetime.  This is about both responsibility and joy - the responsibility to invest heavily in others and the joy of watching God take our smallest gifts and turn them into eternal treasures.  In whatever way He leads you to do this, He will supply you incredible grace and strength to accomplish it.  As you make this resolution, realize you're making a truly lasting difference and that your commitment to these thirteen resolutions will make an impact for generations to come.

You - a woman of great resolves - are establishing a godly legacy.

Leaving A Godly Legacy
I will fully resolve to make today's decisions with tomorrow's impact in mind.  I will consider my current choices in light of those who will come after me.

Note From Myself:
Finally, finishing the last chapter of the last resolution of making today's decisions with tomorrow's impact in mind, I pray that with everything I learn and continue to learn I will leave a Godly legacy.  I need to consider my current choices in light of those who will come after me.  Doing everything with God's purpose in mind and not my own.  I plan to go back through this book sometime in the future possibly when I am in a relationship or married to the guy of my life, where we can be accountable for each other.  For now I will continue to do my best each day for God alone and praying that I do make an impact in anyone in tomorrow's coming.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

#12 - Living With Grace

Living With Grace
A resolution to make my home a welcome place to be

~ Grace ~
Sunday, October 23, 2011

Grace: favor or kindness expressed to the undeserving.

For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
~ John 1:17

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
~ Ephesians 2:8

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ List three specific attitudes and actions that make grace palatable in someone's home life that you admire, not just in their interaction with you as company but with one another as well?

~ What do you feel will be the primary challenge for you in extending grace in your home?  Be honest with God about this.  Ask Him to "give you rest" and to let His "gentle and humble" heart be the one that comes shining through you (Matthew 11:28-29).  It's Him.  Not you.  That's why they call it grace.

~ OK ~
Monday, October 24, 2011

Sometimes when I just say, "OK," the walls come tumbling down.  Those two little letters put an end to so many arguments.  It's amazing.  Outside of calling on the name of Jesus Himself, I think this is the next most powerful word in our language."
- A thirty-one year-old woman resolved to live with grace

A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
~ Proverbs 15:1

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ Prayerfully consider how you can apply the message of these verses in your life today:
A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
But perversion in it crushes the spirit.

- Proverbs 15:4
By forbearance a ruler may be persuaded,
And a soft tongue breaks the bone.

- Proverbs 25:15

~ Making this resolution a habit in your home will take time and practice.  Resolve to use this little word, in this simple way, as much as you can in the next forty-eight hours.  Record the impact it makes in your relationships.

~ Off Broadway ~
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ Do you have a Broadway play in your mind?  If so, how have you seen your family negatively affected by your expectations?

~ Do you feel as though adjusting your expectations will amount to lowering them?  Why?

~ What other people, television shows, or outside influences are contributing to the fantasy world you're attempting to force-fit onto your reality?  How can you temper their effect on you?

~ If you're the one being held hostage by someone else's demands and directives, how could you respectfully communicate your concerns and feelings and carefully navigate the situation so that you can experience freedom?

~ Sabbath Spaces ~
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Dallas/Ft. Worth Stricken with Cabin Fever."  The article went on to post the comments of local people suffering extreme bouts of claustrophobia - feeling holed up, bored, and out of touch with the world.
- "Snow.  Ice.  Single-digit temps.  Could plague of locusts be far behind?"
- "No school again tomorrow!  I think I'm going to go nuts being stuck in this house!"
- "This has ruined what was going to be a fantastic week.  And it's made me now use two of my floating holidays."
- "Well, isn't this neat . . . . All the electricity on my block just went out!  Great.  So now you can add 'trapped at home with no electricity' to the list!  Fantastic."

“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
~ Psalm 46:10

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
~ Exodus 20:8

As you move forward with signing this resolution, carefully consider the practical aspects of your decision.  What are some things you can begin to put in place to make grace and peace realized in your home?

Living With Grace
I will cultivate a peaceful home where everyone can sense God's presence not only through acts of love and service but also through the pleasant and grateful attitude with which I perform them.

Note From Myself:
After reading through the sections of "Living with Grace" I can start practicing how to cultivate a peaceful home where everyone can sense God's presence not only through acts of love and service, but as well through the pleasant and grateful attitude with which I perform them.  I can go about through the home cleaning and organizing little areas at a time and not trying to do everything at once.  Also take fourteen or more minutes out of my day to relax from the busyness of working and doing stuff that constantly keeps me from relaxing to where I can wear out pretty quickly.  I pray that this resolution will be a great effect in my life forever and ever! 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

#11 - Loving My Children

Loving My Children
A resolution to train my kids in righteousness

~ True Love ~
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.

~ Psalm 127:4

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
~ 1 John 3:18

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ In light of a decision you are currently facing with your child, what would differentiate a "loving" response from an "in love" one?

~ In all honesty, which do you desire more...
- To be your child's friend.
- To be your child's parent.

~ How does this affect the way you parent?

~ If you are not a parent, consider your own upbringing.  If your parents were overly indulgent, how does this affect you?  What if they were too strict?

~ The Soul Shaper ~
Thursday, October 20, 2011

As sweet and beautiful as children are, they are each born as sinners in need of being rescued from themselves.
- Keep their unruly minds from becoming the enemy's stomping grounds.
- Bend their will until it wants to follow God's ambitions for them.
- Steady their runaway emotions before they get our kids into all kinds of trouble.
- Awaken their deadened conscience so it can be led by God's Spirit when you're not around to tell them the difference between right and wrong.

I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.
~ 3 John 1:4

With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
~ Psalm 119:10-11

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
~ Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ What are some ways the soul shaper partners with God defensively?  Proactively?

~ This question is for everyone, but single mom, you especially:  Who are some people who can help walk alongside you in this highly challenging resolution?

~ Consider this:  Amelia Hudson Boomhall, a woman of the seventeenth century, was resolved to demonstrate Christian living to her children.  She said, "I made it a rule to take my children one at a time into my room and, having been careful to see that they were comfortably seated, I would say, 'I'm going to talk to Jesus.' And then before my child, I would pour out my soul to Him.  Oh, how precious are the memories of little pinafores lifted to wipe my eyes, or the sound of sweet little voices saying, 'Don't cry, Mother.'"
~ How can you creatively live your Christian life openly before your children?

~ If you are married and your spouse is not resolved to take the helm of spiritual leadership in your home, do not be discouraged and allow your children's spiritual health to flounder.  Respectfully ask him whether he'd mind if you led devotions or encouraged Scripture memory with your children.  This way he doesn't feel as if you've plowed ahead without him.

~ The Intentional Encourager ~
Friday, October 21, 2011

In that night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” Solomon said to God, “You have dealt with my father David with great lovingkindness, and have made me king in his place. Now, O LORD God, Your promise to my father David is fulfilled, for You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours?” God said to Solomon, “Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule My people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. And I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you has possessed nor those who will come after you.”
~ 2 Chronicles 1:7-12

Now it came about after this, that Nahash the king of the sons of Ammon died, and his son became king in his place.
~ 1 Chronicles 19:1

with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him
~ Ephesians 1:10

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ Record some of the unique characteristics of each of your children.  How can you call these out for specific encouragement?

~ List some of the immature actions and temperaments in them that might normally discourage you.  Keep this list in a place where you can always be reminded to pray regarding them, and consider who you can enlist to encourage your child in these areas.

~ Carefully consider how you can make the overarching tone of your relationship with your child one of the encouragement and approbation.

~ The Discipline Dealer ~
Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
~ Ephesians 6:4

If we want children...
- To be responsible, we must train them to be responsible with their chores, homework, and personal duties.
- To be considerate, we must enforce the manners we expect them to use with siblings and friends.
- To respect and submit to authority, we must make it start with how they treat us as their parents, while also letting them see us demonstrate this same principle ourselves in our home, our work, our church life, and other areas.

When you sign your name to this resolution, don't feel burdened to be perfect.  Rather, resolve to express biblical love to your children, and then consider this a starting point on that journey.  Craft a mission statement for your children, and then implement small things that will point them in that direction.  This is a resolve to see in your children the potential for true spiritual greatness and to care enough to give them what they need to achieve it.  To love them.  To really, really love them.

Loving My Children
I will demonstrate to my children how to love God with all their hearts, minds, and strength, and will train them to respect authority and live responsibly.

Note From Myself:
Reading this I have no children of my own, because I am not married.  For now I look at other families in my church to see how they demonstrate to their children how to love God with all their hearts, minds, and strength.  I also will observe how they train them to respect authority and live responsibly.  I pray that I will take what I learn from "The Resolution for Women" and mothers raising their own children to someday raise my own children when God blesses me with a family.  I love children, talking to them, playing with them, and do pray to someday have children of my own.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

#10 - Fulfilling My Husband

Fulfilling My Husband
A resolution to be the kind of woman who truly blesses her man

~ Marriage Proposal ~
Sunday, October 16, 2011

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ What are some things you would say if you were counseling a young woman on the eve of her wedding day?

~ Would you say you have accepted the responsibilities marriage has required, or resisted them?

~ List some of your husband's characteristics that you wish would change but likely will not.  Now record the way YOU can change to adapt to your husband's characteristics if these attributes are never altered.

~ Before reading further, record some of the facets of your marriage you would like to see affected by this resolution.  Use this as a guideline for prayer and a barometer for change in your relationship as you incorporate into your marriage the principles we will discuss.

~ Single women, as you read these chapters, take the opportunity to record your thoughts, questions, and insights.

~ Hopes and Fears ~
Monday, October 17, 2011

Men (husbands in particular) possess two great fears:
- The fear of being found inadequate
- The fear of being controlled by a woman

He desires more than anything:
- To see a look of love and admiration in your eyes
- Wants to know that you celebrate him.
- Wants to know that you depend on him.
- Wants to know that you feel privileged to be married to him.
- Wants to know that you expect great things from him.

His fear of inadequacy:
- He is capable, honorable, and worth of your attention and admiration.
- Desires to know more than anything that you trust him, that you believe he has the wisdom and talent to succeed.
- Fulfilled when he senses that, despite his inadequacies, you see the possibilities and potential God has given him as your provider and protector.
- Likes knowing you're praying for him, rooting for him, assuring him that he still has what it takes to be the man of your dreams.
- Feels genuinely affirmed by you, it makes him want to live up to your trust in most cases.
- When he falls short, it will be apparent that his desire was to meet your expectations.

His fear of being controlled:
- Males and females have equal value, but both are not the same.
Female standards and opinions are different from a male.
Males are the leaders and females are the helpers.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
~ Genesis 2:18

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ What does your husband do or say that shows signs of these two fears in his life?  After recording your answers, consider what you do to contribute to them, as well as what you could do to defuse them.

~ How does soothing a husband's fears ultimately benefit the wife?

~ "The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands." (Proverbs 14:1).  What are some practical ways you can begin to "build your house"?

~ if your friends were to describe your husband, based solely on your comments and conversations about him, what would their depiction be?

~ Need a Little Peace and Quiet? ~
Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands;
~ 1 Peter 3:1-5

- Greek language of the Bible, this is the word praus, meaning not to be overly impressed with oneself, to be humble, considerate, and meek.
- Being asked to be kind to our husbands, as the same way we want them to be kind to us.

- Greek language of the Bible, this is the word hesychois, meaning to be well ordered, to lead a peaceable and discreet life, thus lightening the task of the one in authority.

Begin this resolution by asking your husband what honor looks like to him.  What causes him to be dishonored?  You may be surprised by his answer.  Creatively consider on thing you can do to be proactively kind. (If you're single, determine to meet with a married couple whose relationship you admire, and ask them what this looks like in their marriage.  It's a wise single woman who takes the opportunity to learn these things now.)  So with a prayerful, honest, hopeful heart, sign this resolution into practice.  Prepare to live it for the good of your marriage and the glory of Christ.

Fulfilling My Husband
I will be faithful to my husband and honor him in my conduct and conversation in order to bring glory to the name of the Lord.  I will aspire to be a suitable partner for him to help him reach his God-given potential.

Note From Myself:
After reading these four sections, this has made me want to be in the future a more faithful wife to my future husband.  I am still single and reading this I pray ever more that I can be a wifeI want whom ever I am meant to be with to see a look of love and admiration in my eyes.  I also want him to know that I will celebrate him, depend on him, feel privileged to be married to him, and expect great things from him.  I will ask a married couple sometime about how their marriage is like, because I definitely want to be in a relationship with the man God will allow me to be with. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

#9 - My Heart

My Heart
A resolution to care

~ Look Again ~
Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why do You make me see iniquity,
And cause me to look on wickedness?
Yes, destruction and violence are before me;
Strife exists and contention arises.
~ Habakkuk 1:3

Look among the nations! Observe!
Be astonished! Wonder!
Because I am doing something in your days—
You would not believe if you were told.
~ Habakkuk 1:5

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ What global or local devastations are you currently seeing that stir compassion in your heart?

~ What has kept you from doing something to help?

~ What is one thing you can do and would be willing to make time to do?

~ How Do You Heal an Unbroken Heart? ~
Friday, October 14, 2011

After watching a video clip that moves your heart to reach a lose you hear a choir start to sing:
Beak my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdom cause
As I walk from earth into eternity?

He stopped to care for those who were disenfranchised and distressed.
- When He saw the hungry, His heart was broken
And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.”
~ Matthew 15:32

- When He saw the sick, His heart was broken
When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.
~ Matthew 14:14

- When He saw the emotionally devastated, His heart was broken
When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.”
~ Luke 7:13
Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.
~ John 6:35

- When He saw the lonely and spiritually lost, His heart was broken
Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.
~ Matthew 9:36

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ Perhaps you've been burned when trying to reach out too drastically.  People have taken advantage of you of misunderstood your motives.  But when you go to minister Christ's love to another person, what is your real reason for going?  What's a better way to evaluate your success than with measurable, feel-good results alone?

~ Mercy Me ~
Saturday, October 15, 2011

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
~ Ephesians 2:10

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
~ Micah 6:8

This much you do know:
1.) Do justice.
2.) Love mercy.
3.) Walk humbly with your God.

- To act
- To do
- A women resolved to justice doesn't take advantage of people, even if she has the means and opportunity to do so.
- A women determines instead to act rightly, to pursue a just solution, to deliberately consider the best way people or circumstances could be served in a particular situation, even at her own expense

Woe to those who scheme iniquity,
Who work out evil on their beds!
When morning comes, they do it,
For it is in the power of their hands.
They covet fields and then seize them,
And houses, and take them away.
They rob a man and his house,
A man and his inheritance.

~ Micah 2:1-2

- Kindness
- Love mercy

She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.

~ Proverbs 31:20

- Justice and mercy together
- Humbly

I think we've said enough, don't you?  Now's your chance to act on it.  To put in writing what God has been writing on your heart.  You may not know exactly who God will call you to serve or how He will supply the resources to meet their need, but you are resolving to be available.  To keep your eyes and heart open - and full of justice, mercy, and compassion.

My Heart
I will pursue justice, love mercy, and extend compassion towards others.

Note From Myself:
Finally two-thirds of the way through this book, I have come to this chapter of a resolution to care.  This has taught me I must pursue with justice, love mercy, and extend my compassion towards others around me.  As this book has said, I may not know exactly who God will call me to serve or how He will supply the resources to meet everyone need, but I will do my best to be available.  I am learning to keep my eyes and heart open to others.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

#8 - My Integrity

My Integrity
A resolution to live with the highest standards of virtue and purity

~ Structural Soundness ~
Monday, October 10, 2011

How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of the LORD.
~ Psalm 119:1

I will not tolerate evil influences even in the most justifiable form, in myself or my home...

As the mother of evangelist John Wesley is said to have written to her son:
Whatever weakens your reasons, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual things - in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind - that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.

I will give heed to the blameless way.
When will You come to me?
I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart.
I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not fasten its grip on me.
~ Psalm 101:2-3

King David wanted to be different, and he expressed several of the commitments he employed to help him achieve his goals - ones that we can make as well:
1.) Have no tolerance for evil.
2.) Closely monitor the type of people you allow to influence you.
3.) Recognize your need for divine help.

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ In light of what John Wesley's mother wrote to him (page 149), what do you participate in right now that...
- weakens your reason.
- impairs the tenderness of your conscience.
obscures your sense of God.
- takes the relish off spiritual things.

~ The Three Percent Difference ~
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap;
~ Luke 21:34

But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
~ Ephesians 5:3

A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.
~ Galatians 5:9

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ Is there an area of your life that you'd be embarrassed or ashamed for others to find out about?

~ How would a deeper, more vulnerable, more comprehensive type of accountability be of use to you in maintaining a high level of integrity?  What would that look like, and would you be willing to submit to it?

~ From Strength to Strength ~
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.
~ Daniel 6:10

My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime.”
~ Daniel 6:22

Resolving to be a woman of integrity is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.  It means you're free!  No longer living in fear of a secret life being "discovered" or "found out."  By signing and agreeing to this, you are agreeing and transformed you to be.  You're also opening yourself to become an influence and example that will draw others around you to Christ-likeness.  So come on in.  The living's good in here.  Much better than advertised.

My Integrity
I will not tolerate evil influences even in the most justifiable form, in myself or my home, but will embrace and encourage a life of purity.

Note From Myself:
This chapter of the few sections have really made me look at my life at what I do, what I watch, and just about anything else as I go on about my day.  I will not tolerate evil influences even in the most justifiable form, which means before I do something, I need to really pray about what goes on, so that it won't be any kind of an evil influence in myself or my home.  In everything that I do, eat, dress, act, go about my activites, and so much more, I will embrace and encourage a life of purity and not evil.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

#7 - My Forgiveness

My Forgiveness
A resolution to release others from the prison of my hurt and anger

~ Internal Injuries ~
Friday, October 7, 2011

"Examine Yourselves"
But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
~ 1 Corinthians 11:28

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?
~ 2 Corinthians 13:5

"root of bitterness"
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
~ Hebrews 12:15

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ If you don't feel like forgiveness is something you have an issue with, list some practical ways you can continue to see to it "that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble" (Hebrews 12:15).

~ Are you more prone to care for others than to examine and tend to your own spiritual needs?  If so, how does this manifest itself in your life?

~ Prayerfully consider: Who, if anyone, are the people you harbor unforgiveness toward?  How have you seen this affect your life?

~ Grab your Bible and choose one passage to read and study on forgiveness:
- Mark 11:25-26 - making reconciled relationships a regular part of our praying.
Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. [But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”]

- Matthew 6:14-15 - how our forgiveness of others relates to God's forgiveness of us.
For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

- Hebrews 12:14 - the blessing that flows from pursuing peace with everyone.
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.

~ On bitterness:
- Ephesians 4:31 - the only good thing to do with it is to get rid of it.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

- Hebrews 12:15 - what bitterness can do if it's not pulled up by the roots.
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

- Proverbs 14:10 - all we can ever expect from hanging on to it.
The heart knows its own bitterness,
And a stranger does not share its joy.

 ~ All Clear ~
Saturday, October 8, 2011

No one has the responsibility or even capability to forgive themselves:
- The capacity to forgive yourself is personally impossible.
- The Bible doesn't tell us to forgive ourselves.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
~ Romans 3:23-26

Bottom Line: Forgiveness of your sins is something that Christ suffered a terrifying death to give you.

Judah and all its cities will dwell together in it, the farmer and they who go about with flocks.
~ Jeremiah 31:24

Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
~ John 19:30

For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
~ 2 Corinthians 7:10

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ Describe in your own words the differences and connections between forgiving yourself and receiving God's forgiveness.

~ Choose one past action that you've held against yourself, and then prayerfully consider the Lord's payment for this sin.  Choose to receive it for yourself.

~ No more Circles ~
Sunday, October 9, 2011

Forgiveness is reached through a combination of several actions:
- First, refuse to store up and harbor a grudge.
When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
~ Colossians 2:13-14

- Second, you must leave room for God to act on your behalf.
Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
~ Luke 17:3-4

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.
~ Romans 12:19

- Finally, you must pray.
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
~ Hebrews 12:15

bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
~ Colossians 3:13

Questions to Ask Yourself:
~ Circle the step that's most difficult for you in forgiving someone else, and then consider why that's the case:
- refusing to store up and harbor a grudge
- leaving room for God to act on your behalf
- praying, asking the Lord to give you a desire to forgive

~ Think of the names you wrote at the first of this section - people you are holding grudges against.  Ask the Lord to empower you to forgive them.  Then replace the underlined phrase with each person's name, "forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ" (Ephesians 4:32).

~ To be fair and complete, is there anyone you need to request forgiveness from?  As the Scripture says, "If you are offering your gift on the alter, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the alter.  First go and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift"  (Matthew 5:23-24) ... even your gift of forgiveness.

As you move forward to sign this resolution, remember that this should only be the beginning - the initiation of a journey that may take time and counsel to complete.  Be willing to seek the necessary help to fully experience the benefits that forgiveness is designed to give.

My Forgiveness
I will forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.

Note From Myself:
Reading these three sections of knowing that God can only forgive me and others when I can't forgive myself, not to keep bitterness of those who have done wrong towards me even if they do not realize it, and that to reconciled with those I have done wrong with.  This will take time and with my elders and older women of my church can help me through with different ways of forgiveness.  I will always be willing to seek the necessary help to fully experience the benefits of forgiveness of more than I know now.  At this moment I do not feel or know of any unforgiveness I am harboring towards anyone.