Friday, December 30, 2016

New Year. Renewed life? Day 1

Today is December 31. (Yes, I know the date above says December 30, but my blog is set to the day it is in my hometown, but right now I am on the other side of the world.)  So here, tomorrow starts a new year.  Impressed by the thoughts I encountered as part of one church’s formal commitment to 5 days of repentance and renewal I am borrowing and adapting from their thoughts and writing on that topic and hope to spend time over the next 5 days starting my New Year with new focus.  Since I am looking forward to finding it helpful, I am sharing it.  

The following is adapted from their plans for  Day 1: Integrity in Attitude and Focus

Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my concerns. 
See if there is any offensive way in me;
lead me in the everlasting way.
Psalm 139:23-24

Prayerfully work through the following reflective questions. After each of the following questions, pause and allow God to speak to you.

Questions for reflection: (a) Do I tend to think more about worldly things than spiritual? ___ (b) Does the focus of my thoughts often indicate a lack of remembering and loving others and loving to do good? ___ (c)What is the ratio of the amount of time I spend on hobbies, sports or recreation to the amount of time I spend in study of scripture and in prayer? ___ (d) Do I have any patterns of unclean or lustful thoughts? ___ (e) Have I opened the door to destructive self-indulgence or objectification of others by anything I view online or in other media? ___ (f) Do I frequently have thoughts that are envious or jealous? ___ (g) Am I overly competitive and self-exalting? ___ (h) Am I interested in serving God only if I can have a preeminent role? ___ (i) Am I determined to get my way? ___ (j) Am I overly interested in being noticed? ___ (k) Do I often have thoughts that are angry or resentful? ___ (l) Am I frequently dominated by thoughts of doubt in God’s power  instead of trust in his love and power? ___ (m) Do I consistently harbor thoughts of bitterness and unforgiveness of others?  Of myself? ___ (n) Do I  brood about harsh things I would like to say to certain people or groups? 

Helaman 3:35:  The process of moving towards joy and consolation through  yielding your heart to God and embracing light and goodness.

Suggested course of action:   For prayer and repentance, review what you know about repentance.  Seek to learn more. Resolve now to put off sinful thoughts and ally yourself with Christ by faith. Be willing to be specific in what you confess and forsake. Place strong focus on identifying the specific righteous thoughts that will replace those that are wrong. List some of your key points for change.

Pause in prayer and trust God to empower you to, with the Holy Spirit, to change.

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