H  O  M  E          
Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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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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The Buzz

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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Monday, March 10, 2008
Fifteen Minute Window...
I have fifteen minutes I can use to blog today. Yay!

I was sitting with my little ones one morning last week. As we prepared to read scripture together, but prior to praying, I asked the question, "Why are reading God's word this morning?"

My ten year old son's reply was typical, "We are reading God's word so that we can learn more about God, and knowing more about God we will be better able to please Him."

I think a lot of people would answer that way. It isn't a -wrong- answer per se, it just wasn't the answer I was looking for. I slowed things down at that point, and before we even opened up God's word together we spent a couple of moments answering my question together.

First I asked my little ones - how can we please God? What do we -do- that is pleasing to God? Is there some work that we can do? Men asked this same question of Christ and His answer was to the point: "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Christ's answer was, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." (c.f. John 6:28-29). Compare this to what the author of Hebrews tells us, by way of explaining that Enoch was a man of faith. Recall the author tells us that we know that Enoch had faith, because the text tells us that he pleased God. The author extrapolates from that a truth that we often quote - that it is impossible to please God without faith. That a person must believe not only that God exists, and is who He says He is (see Hebrews 11:5-6) - but that this same God rewards those who diligently seek Him. I might add -not with gold, platinum, wealth, or health or any such beggarly "riches" - rather God rewards the one who seeks him with Himself, as those who seek God with all their heart - find, not riches and wealth - but they find God. He is their great treasure.

We then capped it off with a dally into Romans 10:17, where we recall that faith comes by hearing God's message (my paraphrase).

I said to my little ones, yes, we read the bible to learn about God, but knowing about God is in no way pleasing to him. It is our faith that is pleasing to him - and it is through our faith that God works in us to will and to do His good pleasure - that is, we read (primarily) to increase our faith, as opposed to increasing our biblical knowledge.

When we opened the bible together, I wanted my little ones to know that we were not embarking on some effort to fill our heads with scriptural truths - since filling our heads thus is never recorded as a means of pleasing God - yet knowing that our faith will increase by reading the word of God, and that only in faith can we please God - then the reason we open that holy writ each morning, the reason we love it, and cherish it, and deny ourselves whatever the world would give us instead of it - the reason we place reading the word so high on our list is because we have been told by God in scripture that reading his word will increase our faith, and that it is this same faith through which we will be pleasing to Him, and in pleasing Him find our greatest joy.

I told my little ones, that we read the bible, because the faith that comes to us is going to be the very thing through which the greatest joy we will ever find in this life is going to be channeled - and God designed it that way so that our joy is not depending upon our cleverness, or our intellect - but rather just upon us spending time with Him in His word.

It is good to be full in our understanding, but is a sort of poverty to pursue understanding at the expense of pursuing God. We read the bible, not to fill our heads, but to fill our hearts.
posted by Daniel @ 1:45 PM  
  • At 5:14 PM, March 10, 2008, Blogger David said…

    Excellent thoughts.

    If only I could express my thoughts so well in fifteen minutes . . .

  • At 6:07 PM, March 10, 2008, Blogger Jim said…

    Amen Daniel, the Word is also the means by which we are washed from the stain and filth of the world.

    We are transformed by the renewing of our minds as we hide His word in our hearts.

  • At 2:59 PM, March 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, Daniel, these are great thoughts. I love your very last line. So true.

    I was walking the other day, listening to my pastor on my iPod. :) Love to do that...

    Anyway, part of what he was saying was this (paraphrased): we live in an age of information, and we're so good at gathering that information, i.e. knowledge - including biblical knowledge. We gather knowledge faster than we learn to apply it.

    We must be obedient to the Word. We must let it saturate and transform us. If it's not in our hearts and souls, and we're not living it, then what's the point?

  • At 1:49 PM, March 12, 2008, Blogger Marcian said…

    I second Gayla's response. Head-knowledge leaves my heart so empty unless I understand how to apply it, and follow through with that application. And while I know that I need faith to apply that knowledge rightly, the application of it serves to increase my faith as well.

  • At 2:26 PM, March 13, 2008, Blogger Halfmom, AKA, Susan said…

    at home with flu, aimlessly reading blogs and came to yours by way of JD by way of Susan - yours was the voice of reason!

    And then this statement, "because the faith that comes to us is going to be the very thing through which the greatest joy we will ever find in this life is going to be channeled"

    So perhaps I move from aimlessly reading blogs now to reading scripture - thanks to you inadvertant enouragement

  • At 3:40 PM, March 13, 2008, Blogger Daniel said…

    Thanks halfmom, I hope you come back again!

  • At 2:47 PM, March 14, 2008, Blogger Unknown said…

    This has really blessed me today, Daniel. A much-needed reminder that God Himself is our treasure and our joy.

  • At 11:40 AM, March 19, 2008, Blogger Rob Bailey said…

    We have done some reading lately(I have 5 little ones) from Psalm 119 and in this Psalm, the psalmist really emphasizes what you are saying. The best book I have ever read on Ps. 119 is "The Word of God in the Child of God" by Dr. George Zemek. He says in his preface,"As a disciple, I also have been challenged frequently to measure my personal wounds and walk by the standard of the psalmist's sublime worship."

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