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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
- C-Train

This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
 
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Friday, May 06, 2011
How to read the Bible in 240 days (or less) and other interesting things on a Friday
Here, in no particular order, are a few musing that I had this morning:

Bible Reading
There are 260 chapters in the New Testament. If you were to read a chapter a day from the New Testament, you could be finished reading the New Testament in 260 days.

There are 939 chapters in the Old Testament. If you were to read four chapters a day, you would finish reading the Old Testament in 232 days.

Thus, if you read once chapter in the NT, and four in the old each day - which isn't all that much to tell you the truth - a half an hour of your time - you will finish reading the OT in 232 days, and for the next eight days, you just read five chapters a day from the NT - and ZING! You're done, and ready to start all over again.

Now for those of you who find yourselves not reading the bible regularly, or not with a gusto akin to some former, happier time; that is, for those of you who scoffingly declare in your hearts as you read this: FIVE CHAPTERS!!?? WHO HAS THAT KIND OF TIME!? Well, let me tell you, you do. If you can't give God a half hour a day, your problem isn't time management, it is that you are holding God at arms length and this you are doing because you refuse to draw near to God.

Okay, I want to be fair too, well..., I don't really, but this -is- the Internet and everyone expects everyone else to be sickly sweet to one another (Lord help us if we offend!), so I really should address the people who are quite happy to read the bible at their own pace...

Okay, for you slackers, I am not suggesting therefore that five chapters a day is the "plumb line" of godliness - I am just saying that it is a very do-able number, and anyone with a bible can do it. Now some will say that although they are able to physically read five chapters a day, that they won't be able to absorb five chapters a day - and so they will justify reading only so much as they believe themselves able to absorb. At this point you are probably expecting me to pull back and admit that, yes, if you can't absorb that much, you should only ..yada yada. But the truth is that you cannot absorb even one chapter a day - not even a single sentence a day. These things are not absorbed because you set yourself in some sort of spiritual sponge mode, and Johnny over here is able to absorb Z chapters and Sally over there X chapters. Rather none of us is able to absorb the truths of scripture according to some ability within us - but God opens our hearts and our understandings, as we read.

If Johnny reads five chapters, God will show Johnny something in those five chapters, and what God shows, Johnny will absorb. If Sally reads five chapters, she too will absorb as much as the Lord allows. The ability to absorb truth is not a skill or power that resides within us, or that we are in control of, or that some have more than others, it is rather that God, in His grace, and for His own purpose, provides for us, as we make ourselves available for that provision.

The only difference between the believer who reads five chapters a day, and the believer who reads less, is that God is going to have less to work with in the one who reads less. God can still do great things in that person, but that does not justify slackness. Frankly, the only reason people don't read more scripture is because they have justified their slackness in some way or other.

Thoughts on how long it took Noah to build the ark
Noah had to cut down the trees, plane them into planks, and form them into a giant boat while everyone mocked him for this effort. It took 120 years from start to finish.

What I find noteworthy about the 120 years of Noah's labor, is that 120 years is also the longest lifespan we should ever expect to see this side of the flood.

Noah labored each day of an entire "lifetime" completing one task - the building of the ark. I am encouraged by this because we have one task that we are to work on in this lifetime - every single day - our obedience by faith. The daily surrendering of our will - a single labor that will last the remainder of our lifetime.

Let us be diligent therefore for God Himself is at work in us, giving us the will to go on, and the strength to go on - so that the burden is light, and the yoke easy.

Excusing our disobedience
In Matthew 21, after our Lord clears the temple, the chief priests and elders asked him by what authority was Christ doing such things, and Christ, rather than answering them directly, asked them instead a question to expose their hearts.

Think this through till you see it. They had already rejected Christ by the time they asked these questions of Him. They wanted Christ to say something that would justify their rejection. That is the only reason they were asking Him questions.

Christ exposed this fact when through his own question of them, He forced them to walk through the (non) logic of their rejection of John the Baptist. They didn't want to say that John was from God, because that would mean they should have heeded John, and they didn't want to say that John was not from God because that would make them look bad to those who believed John was from God.

So their answer to Christ concerning John the Baptist displayed the consistent problem that remained in their own hearts: they rejected John, not because of anything John said or did, but rather because if John was from God, then the things that John said were said on God's authority. Their rejection of John was not a rejection of John, for John did not speak of His own accord, but spoke only what God had sent John to speak. They were rejecting God's rule over them - but they did not want to admit that this was what they were doing.

Do you see that? Do you see that they refused to accept any more demands that God was making of them? They were content with their present effort, their present religious activity - and because they were content in the deadness of their trespasses, they rejected God's commands as they came through John the Baptist. If they reject God's commands as they came through John the Baptist, they likewise had already rejected Christ as the Messiah, and then they failed to recognize God as the authority behind John, they demonstrated that they were in fact rejecting God's authority altogether.

Here is one parallel I see in my own life, and you will see in yours also if you are a believer who has ever struggled with sin. I know that I am playing games with myself when I get to the place of saying that I am not sure whether or not such and such is sinful, and so, in my "ignorance", I am willing to entertain the doubtful activity because I haven't got some clear indication that it is sinful. That is, I tell myself that Christianity is pretty foggy at times, and when I am in the fog, I am not really responsible to obey, since I don't know what obedience should look like in such a time.

That sort of thing is really the deceitfulness of sin in our own heart. We tell ourselves that we aren't really sure, when the truth is we are sure of one thing - we don't want to surrender some thing to God, and so we tell ourselves that we aren't sure, in order to justify our rejection of God's rule in that area of our lives.

I am convinced that these things are in scripture for our sanctification - so that we will not be blind concerning the way sin would have us reject our Lord - so that in the comfort of our ignorance, we continue to sin - no, I think God takes the wool from our eyes, and lays us naked before His truth, so that sin can be seen for what it is, and so that we will have no excuse for our disobedience.

It is easier to commit a sin when we tell ourselves that we aren't sure it is really a sin - it is much harder for us to knowingly and blatantly commit sin. That is why, I think, the Holy Spirit peels back the deceitfulness of our heart, and lets us know ourselves more and more as we are sanctified - so that our Love for Christ will have teeth - a blind folded man who swings his fist may strikes his own daughter whom he loves. Yet because he is blinded, he may continue to swing his fists, excusing himself on account of his blindness - yet the same man cannot excuse such strikes when the blindfold is removed. Love stays his hand. So the Spirit is at work in each of us, making us know our sinfulness for what it is, that we may, for the love of Christ, turn from it.

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posted by Daniel @ 7:33 AM  
3 Comments:
  • At 9:57 AM, May 06, 2011, Blogger Daniel said…

    My counter passed the 100,000 visitor mark. I set it up so that it counts people, rather than hits.

    That is a humbling number...

     
  • At 9:59 AM, May 06, 2011, Blogger Daniel said…

    Oh great, having said that, I just checked at the number of unique visitors was only 62,152.

    Okay, I am still humbled, but not I am ashamed at my former pride also.

     
  • At 12:49 PM, June 01, 2011, Blogger Margaret said…

    Oh no. You just demolished my "reason" (the not-able-to-absorb one). At the same time, it's liberating, really - knowing that I cannot possibly absorb it makes it less daunting. If that makes sense.

     
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