Have you ever resolved in your heart to do something? Did you meet that goal, objective or desire? One of the things that I resolved to do when I was younger was to find a wife. At first, my goal was very broad and in those days of my youth, the main criteria for whether a girl was potential wife was that she was pretty and she liked me (emphasis was on the latter.) Then I found out that liking someone is not the same as loving someone for the rest of your life. So like all broad goals, I need to get more specific. Rejection can bring us to a better resolution if we don’t put our head down and sulk. Resolution occurs as we gain clarity and rejection gains clarity because it eliminates some of our other options. In my case, when I got specific as to the characteristics I was looking for in a wife, I gained clarity and therefore resolution. I wrote down when I was 19 years old a list of virtues in my ideal wife. Do you want to know the list?
- Loves the Lord Jesus Christ
- Doesn’t lie
- Desires to know God better
- Tough (emotionally)
- A good cook
- Preferably Baptist
- Attractive (well-proportioned, slender, average height, brunette or blond)
- Doesn’t swear
- Modest (in dress and thought)
- Neat (likes to keep things tidy)
- Comes from a Christian Home
- Sense of Humour
- Positive Orientation
- Likes children
- Likes sports and the outdoors
- Secure in Christ
If you know my wife, in her I received all these characteristics and then some as a gift from the Lord. (NOTE to all those looking for a spouse: Seek the Lord – Proverbs 18:22; don’t expect in others what you are not willing to become yourself and don’t compromise those virtues.)
The Lord Jesus was also resolute in what He wanted. Luke 9:51 (NASB) declares, “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, He resolutely set His face to go to Jerusalem.” “To set one’s face is to resolve.” Notice that the goal was for Jesus to be taken up to heaven. Heaven and being reunited with His Father was the real goal so He resolved to go to Jerusalem. Jesus was heading toward the Old Jerusalem with His eyes on the New Jerusalem. What did Jerusalem represent? Suffering! Pain! Rejection! In fact, it wasn’t just Jerusalem where Jesus experienced rejection but along the way to Jerusalem. I can’t help think about the Rocky movies where Rocky went into a torturous training program and then got pummelled in the ring against Apollo Creed but eventually won. It is a picture of the greater victory Jesus had when He was considered a kid from no where who experienced rejection throughout his ministry. Jesus even sent His followers ahead of Him to make a path for Him (Luke 9:52; cf. 3:4). They encountered resistance and so a few of them were ready to fight the resisters with heavenly power. James and John, “the Sons of Thunder” (Mark 3:17) were ready to call down fire from heaven to destroy the Samaritans that rejected Jesus (Luke 9:54). This often happens when you are around people of power. You gain more confidence. James and John had just been with Jesus and Elijah up on the Mount of Transfiguration so maybe they were recalling how Elijah dealt with his enemies in 2 Kings 1.  The Sons of Thunder would have loved to whoop up on some Samaritans and finish the battle that Elijah started when he took on King Ahaziah who lived in Samaria. (2 Kings 1:2)
But Jesus rebuked His followers because He didn’t want to get involved with a group of people who were not His enemy. Some manuscripts add these words of Jesus, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” He had THE BATTLE to fight. Those who were opposed to Him could easily swayed to His side if He stayed focused. The real battle was in Jerusalem. And in the real battle, though bloodied and bruised, Jesus pulled out an unexpected victory at the Cross and through an empty grave. Jesus did not let detractors distract him from His purpose and neither should we!
But is this the lesson for today? Resolve! Don’t let anything distract you from your purpose here on earth! Not even people who are close to you. It is a good lesson but is resolve the key to life. Don’t we make resolutions all the time and most of them fail. How are your New Year’s Resolutions going for you? Stats show nearly 90% of them fail! Resolve only works when you let rejection bring clarity to your vision. You could call this higher resolution!
Jesus goes in Luke 9:57-62 to explain that there are many distractions to doing the work of the Kingdom. You may have no place to stay like Jesus. You feel alone and unwelcome. Your provisions are meagre. You may have family and their problems to look after. But Jesus then says, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (v. 62) Jesus didn’t look to the left or to the right and certainly not back! Jesus experienced the fulfillment of Isaiah 50:7, “Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” Flint is a variety of quartz and is therefore a very hard rock. Therefore, the picture of having your face like flint is communicating that nothing with penetrate my gaze on the goal; opposition will glance off.
So in conclusion, does resolve and determination get the goal and get the girl? Certainly, we need more resolve in our lives. We need focus. But we need to focus on the Ultimate Goal. Jesus saw the ultimate goal – union with His Father! He didn’t let others distract Him even though they were rejecting Him. In the end, after Jesus did make it Home to heaven, we find that one of Jesus’ followers Philip fulfilled Jesus’ words to be His witness in Samaria and was able to go back to the area and proclaim the Gospel and “Samaria…accepted the word of God.” (Acts 1:8; 8:14). Peter and John went to see God’s work first hand. Imagine John laying hands on the Samaritans who He originally meant to destroy by calling down fire for Heaven. Now John was asking for fire again from Heaven; fire from the Holy Spirit that would set ablaze the region with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Acts 8:15-17) The Samaritans were saved because Jesus, the victor set His face towards Jerusalem. And you were saved because Jesus set His face to Jerusalem. Only through such resolution on the Cross will your life be changed and more importantly the world will be changed!
WHAT ARE YOU SETTING YOUR FACE TOWARDS?
 Darrel Bock, The NIV Application Commentary on Luke (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 283.
 Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary – Vol. 1 (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1989), 209.
 “A 2007 study by Richard Wisemen from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning.” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year’s_resolution (accessed April 15, 2012)
- Busy hectic lifestyle (Your idols will enslave you to your schedule: money, security, approval, pleasure)
- Working shifts that keep you away from each other
- Letting children’s schedules rule the home
- Technology – turn off the tech devices, the computer and TV and replace them with talking to each other!
- Living under the expectations of the other spouse
- Treating In-laws like Outlaws
- Unhealthy friendships with others
- You’ve stopped being best friends with your spouse
- Having your eyes on other people besides your spouse – “Your standard of beauty is your spouse” Mark Driscoll
- Go to bed at the same time and don’t ever go to bed mad! (“Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath” Ephesians 4:26)
- No TV in the bedroom – the devil will use anything he can to keep you from being intimate with each other (For those newly married: Try starting off the first 6 months of marriage without a TV)
- Make the bedroom your romantic private oasis
- Know each other’s love languages (Which does your spouse feel most loved by: words of encouragement, quality time, gift-giving, physical touch, or acts of service?
- Have a date night once a week
- Schedule a weekend away at least once a year
- Pray together daily
- On one of your dates sit down and dream together (make a bucket list of the top 100 things you want to do together before we die)
- Play together- find activities that you enjoy doing together
- Have a budget so you can know where your money is going
- Kiss for 10 seconds before leaving for the morning (Hint: brush teeth first)
THE GREATEST ROMANCE REFRESHER IS RECEIVING GOD’S GRACE THROUGH THE CROSS OF JESUS CHRIST WHICH WILL MOTIVATE YOU TO GIVE GRACE
 Taken from Gary Chapman, The Five Love Languages (Chicago: Northfield Publishing, 1992).
To my daughter Jessie:
There once was a beautiful princess named Christina! Her heart was pure, she loved people and she had great faith in Jesus. As she grew, she wondered whether she would find her prince charming. One day she met an old hag who told her that if she found a frog and kissed him that he would turn into her prince charming. Then one day, she met a frog named Pogan. At first the thought of kissing a frog was disgusting. However, Pogan was a “real nice frog” and was very moral. He did not follow all the other frogs and do bad froggy things like eat flies (at least not when Christina could see him). Pogan treated Christina very good. So Christina finally gave her heart to Pogan and kissed him. At that very moment, something very surprising happened – Pogan remained a frog. THE MORAL OF THE STORY: A kiss will not change a person into something else. No matter how much love you give another person, only Christ can change him into a new creation so wait for Christ to do it! (2 Corinthians 5:17) In the meantime, above all else guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
Remember, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
P.S. To all the “Pogans” of the world, please consider how you can become a prince. Of course, the only way you can become a prince is through a king declaring you one. The King of Kings wants you to become a prince! Will you follow Him and become a part of His Kingdom?
And just because you become a prince does not mean you will be able to date my daughter Jessie, not only because she is only 10 years old and has 15 more years before suitors can court her, but because you have to go through ME first!