Legacy Journal Exercise

Introduction to Legacy Journal:

The Prophetic Scribe Legacy Journal™ guides the Christian writer through the process of examining the legacy of their religious roots.  This journal is designed to help you discern what traditions and family values in your life need to be built up and which ones need to be torn down.

The exercises will help you determine whether the traditions and religious influences inherited from family or childhood are still relevant to your relationship with Christ today; as well as whether they are traditions that you want to leave as your own personal or family legacy.

As you examine the Word of God and the roots and origins of your beliefs and ideals, you will begin to see which of them should be torn down.  As you grow in Christ through Bible Study, Scripture Meditation, Prayer and Journal Writing, you will begin to build a new legacy rooted in the foundation of your renewed mind and your growing relationship with Christ.

Religion versus Relationship

Most of us have had some kind of church experience.  Some of us continued the traditions passed down to us from childhood, some of us rejected part or all of it, and some of us rebelled and ran as far and as fast as we could to get away.  Some of us were hurt in the process, and have the scars to prove it.  No matter what your church or religious experience was, it probably made an imprint on your personality and determined how you perceive, practice or don’t practice religion today.  If you have children, your beliefs may affect the way they see religion as well.  As you journal, the Holy Spirit[1] will show you what areas of your religious beliefs need to be torn down; what areas need to be built up; and what areas need to be established.[2]

“…. Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  Proverbs 24:2-4

First, let’s discuss the difference between “religion” and “relationship”

Religion is defined as a belief in God or reverence for a higher power; a system of worship for such a belief; a cause pursued with dedication and devotion; the lifestyle, habits and traditions of a person practicing a religion; practices, beliefs and values based on the teaching of a spiritual leader

For the sake of this commentary we are referring to the religion of the institution that we, Christians call “church”.  Unfortunately, some of the churches that we have experienced do not match the description of the church depicted in the bible that is described as members of one body[3] on one accord[4] under the authority of leadership that is holy unto the Lord[5].  The problem is the only way to have this kind of church is when everyone is worshipping God in spirit and truth[6], and that is only possible through a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ. [7] In truth, the fear of God alone should provoke the church to the obedience, honesty and humility that are required to be the church that He intended. [8] God’s church is His “bride.”[9] The bride/bridegroom relationship between Christ and His church (that’s us) requires intimacy, disclosure and fidelity.  It is the “covenant” relationship that He wants to have with us.  The marriage bond is “sacred”.  Therefore, when we break our vows, we become adulterers and adulteresses in the eyes of God.[10]

Jesus took the message of God’s love to the people because just like today, many had turned away from God because of the hypocrisy and strict rules of religion (i.e. “the church”).  The religious leaders were so caught up in the traditions, rules and the status that their religion afforded them that they missed having a relationship with God when he showed up.  They knew of God, but they did not have a personal relationship with him or they would have recognized Jesus who was the Word of God in the flesh.[11] He was the Messiah they had been waiting for, but they were so caught up in the politics of religion that even though they had descriptions of him in the Books of the Law and the Prophets that they knew so well, they still missed him.

Not much has changed.  Our creator still wants to have a relationship with the people he created.   He still lives and he is still creating everyday….in us and through us….whether we recognize, acknowledge or believe in Him or not.

Have you allowed religion to cause  you to miss Jesus?  Would you like to know your creator for yourself – without the influence of others, the bias of past experiences or your own lack of knowledge and understanding?  You must begin by understanding that religion cannot replace relationship. Although many religious practices are not bad and can, in fact, enhance your spiritual experience in their proper context, it still cannot compare to having a personal or intimate encounter and relationship with God and you can’t have that without having a relationship with his son, Jesus.[12]Religion should actually be the result of having that encounter or relationship with God, not a substitute for it.  Sadly, many have come to confuse religious activities and traditions with knowing God.  Truly, in a spiritual sense, these practices and traditions should reflect certain aspects of God’s character, but the fact is there is only one way to truly know God and that is through building a personal relationship with him through his son.

[1] John 14:26; 16:13; 15:26

[2] Jeremiah 1:10

[3] Romans 12:4,5; 1 Corinthians 2:12-14, 20, 25; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 3:15

[4] Acts 1:14; 2:1,2:46, 4:24, 5:12, 8:6; Philippians 2:2

[5] Isaiah 55:4; 9:16; 1 Timothy 3:7-13

[6] John 4:23,24

[7] John 5:23

[8] Psalm 61:5, 64:9; 67:7; Ecclesiastes 5:7, 12:13, 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 5:21; Revelation 14:7

[9] Jeremiah 2:32; Ephesians 5:24, 5:32

[10] Refer to Book of Hosea

[11] John 8:18

[12] John 14:6

p.s.  A relationship with Christ can only be obtained by faith in him.  If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior, please read the article on Salvation before proceeding.  You will receive much more from this series if you enter in faith.

Prayer of Preparation:

Father, setting aside everything that I have been taught, I desire more than anything to develop a relationship with you.  I confess that in the past, I may have used religion and tradition as an excuse to avoid intimacy with you or as a substitute for true intimacy with you, but today, Lord I put aside all my ideals, opinions, and doubts to seek your face.   I will share my heart with you, Lord, and I will read your word to gain a better understanding of your character, your desire for man, and your specific purpose for me.  Lord, I am willing to release my ideals as I purposefully build a real relationship with you and discover what you want from me.   Open my eyes, my ears, my heart and my understanding to receive the mysteries of the gospel as I have never understood them before.  I surrender myself to you now.  I truly want to know you.  Amen

Meditation Scriptures:

  • Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,2Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.3But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? Matthew 15:1-3
  •  (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)22Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.23For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.24God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;25Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; Acts 17:21-25
  • Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:8

*All scriptures are from King James Version of the Holy Bible

Writing Prompts:

1.      What is your perception of God?  What is it based on?

2.      Describe your personal relationship with Christ.

3.      List all the religious traditions your family believe and participate in.  Describe how one religious tradition in particular glorified God.

4.      Explain the reason you chose to carry on or abandon some family traditions and religious beliefs.

[1] John 14:26; 16:13; 15:26

[2] Jeremiah 1:10

[3] Romans 12:4,5; 1 Corinthians 2:12-14, 20, 25; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 3:15

[4] Acts 1:14; 2:1,2:46, 4:24, 5:12, 8:6; Philippians 2:2

[5] Isaiah 55:4; 9:16; 1 Timothy 3:7-13

[6] John 4:23,24

[7] Psalm 61:5, 64:9; 67:7; Ecclesiastes 5:7, 12:13, 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 5:21; Revelation 14:7

[8] Jeremiah 2:32; Ephesians 5:24, 5:32

[9] John 8:18

[10] John 14:6

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