The Week of January 19th, 2020 – January 25th, 2020
I arose at 5:15am and began the day reading Judges 1 – 3. Joshua, the leader that brought Israel into the promised land died, and all that generation died leaving many of the inhabitants of Canaan in the land. The generation that followed did not observe the Lord’s covenant and did what was right in their own eyes; they served the gods of the inhabitants of the land. God used the inhabitants to oppress them, then when they called on the name of the Lord for deliverance, the Lord God would raise up a judge to deliver them. This cycle of fall, oppression, calling on the name of God for deliverance, and the raising up of a judge who delivers them is repeated over and over again. From this point on I will be reciting 1 chapter out of John a day and I began this week by reciting chapter 1. A week ago-today, I closed my social media accounts. I have a blog, the Nurse Theologian on which I began posting these journal entries too in December. Lord knows if anyone will read the things that I write and if they do, I will not know who read it. There is so much self promotion in American society and our pastor at Sylvania church actually mentioned this in his sermon today. He preached on Luke 14:7 – 24: the parable of the guest and the parable of the dinner. I will simply write, if someone gleans from what I write, glory be to God in Jesus Christ. If no one reads what I write; so be it but write I shall nonetheless because I love Jesus Christ and I am thankful to God for all that he has gifted me. May I honor the Father and exalt Jesus Christ as Lord. May I tell people what God has done in Jesus Christ to save us from sin, death and eternal punishment in hell. May the joy of the Lord fill my heart. May I not fear man but fear God alone.
We listen to God by reading his Word, we speak to God through prayer and all who know the Lord must convict the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment; pointing all to Jesus Christ for salvation. This morning I read Judges, chapters 4 – 6: Deborah, Barak and Gideon. Some things are strange to us, like Gideon and the fleece but there is always a universal principle in every text of Scripture. This does not mean that we should test the Lord with fleeces. We should trust the Word of God and observe all that he commanded us. I have been neglectful my duty as a soldier. I have not been actively evangelizing. I even convinced myself that writing a blog is enough. Before that, making a post about the Lord on Facebook or some other social media site was enough. I am and have always been an introverted person; however, evangelism requires that I spend time with people and talk with them. It has been my habit at work to depart from my department at lunch time and find a table by myself to sit at, put headphones in my ears, and turn on an episode of Andy Griffith to watch on my phone while I eat lunch. I do this that I may take a break from the world and drowned it out, so I go to a fake world instead. People looking for a spot to sit at will bypass me because I am in a world of my own and those who try to speak to me see that I cannot hear them especially when I say “What?” And pull out an ear plug. I can see that my lunch period might be an evangelism opportunity that I need embrace. Today, I will depart from my department as usual, find a table to sit at, if someone is looking for a table, I shall invite them to sit down that I may talk with them. Lord willing, if they have an ear to hear, I shall tell them who Christ is and what he has done.
I began the day reading Judges 7 – 9:21 and reciting John 3. Today I am off work and plan to spend the day reading. I also plan to go for a run. I will do an easy paced run for 30 minutes as I have been allowing my foot to heal. Yesterday, I worked in cardiac rehab from 7:30am – 6:30pm. Then, I road on a stationary bike for 30 minutes at a moderate effort. I appreciate these cross-training machines, but they are not running. I love running, it is a joy and these machines feel like a chore. I will continue to use these machines to supplement my running, that I may exercise 6 days a week for at least 30 minutes a day without re-injuring my foot. I plan to run 3 days a week and use one of these machines 3 days a week. Yesterday, during lunch, I took my lunch out of the department and sat at a table in the lobby near the café. No one needed a seat, but I was open to that. I did not put earphones in, may the Lord bring a guest who needs a seat. My life needs to be evangelical. In every aspect I must invest in the people around me and create opportunities to reveal Jesus Christ. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
I arose at 4:45am and began this day by reading Judges 9 – 11 and reciting John 4. Today, I am scheduled to work in cardiac rehab from 7:30am – 4:30pm. Yesterday, I was able to run without pain. I ran on a treadmill for 4.1 miles at a moderate pace. I ran on the treadmill because I believe that it would be better for my foot. I will do cross training this evening and Friday. I will run on the treadmill again Thursday, and Lord willing I will run outside Saturday morning. Today is the day that the Lord has made; therefore, I shall rejoice and be glad in it. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, piece, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. May I have love for God and my neighbor today; may I have joy in all circumstances; may I be at peace with God and men; may I have patients in every situation and with all persons; may I be kind to everyone; may I do good to everyone, loving righteousness and hating evil; may I be faithful to the Father God and my Lord Jesus Christ by preaching his Word and revealing Jesus Christ to the world around me; and may I have self-control regarding temptation and not give in to the flesh, the world or Satan. We have a wellness member named Delwyn who gets amped up on Wednesday morning and is a motivation for all the wellness members and rehab patients. On Wednesdays he says, “Mike, Mike, Mike: What day is it? It’s hump day!” I had a t-shirt made with his face on it with the words “Hump day” written across the top and on the back. “Come on Y’all,” another saying of his. I hope that this brightens his day and makes him feel loved.
I began this day by reading Judges 12 – 15; the beginning story of the Nazarite Samson. Then I recited John 5. Yesterday evening, I rode a stationary bike for 22 minutes and an elliptical trainer for 23 minutes. After coming home, I had contention with my daughter Bethany. I wanted to wash my gym clothes, but she had already started the washer with her’s; therefore, I asked her to be vigilant about moving her clothing from the washer to dryer and out. Once her clothes were done they had not been moved; therefore, I started to move them to the dryer. When she saw this, she took over and moved them. Then I put my clothes in the washer and asked her to be vigilant about removing her clothes from the dryer. When the washer was on spin cycle and the dryer was on the last few minutes I asked her to remove her clothes. I became inpatient and repeatedly asked that they be removed. When she was in process I became pushy, trying to hurry her along. Then she became argumentative and I did not want to hear her arguments, so I said “No.” When she continued to argue I repeated saying “No” over her argument. This led to her loosing her temper. Yelling at me and slamming the laundry room door. I opened the door feeling angry. I pointed my finger at her and said, “That is unacceptable.” I will not allow you to talk to me that way. Then I gave her an ultimatum. “Either apologize or you have until March 1stto move out.” Her having a fit and slamming doors in our home is unacceptable but this would not have occurred if I had not been rushing her and nagging her to put away her clothes. My sin is inpatients. I am inpatient with Bethany, yet scripture says that love is patient. Bethany has a quick temper and I was that way before coming to the Lord. Truth be told, I was a very angry person; therefore, I understand her loosing her temper with my nagging and refusal to listen to her argument. I will ask for her forgiveness for my nagging her, refusal to listen to her argument, and for my hastiness in making an ultimatum. May the Lord give me strength to do what is right.
My typical time to depart the house for work is 7:00am. I like to spend the first hour of the day doing 4 disciplines: 1) prayer, 2) reading God’s word, 3) reciting God’s word, 4) and writing an entry into this journal. For my daily reading, I am following a 364-day Bible reading plan. I have extracted John’s gospel out of that plan; thereby, reducing the plan to 354 days. I have been reciting 1 chapter or more from John’s gospel account a day. Some chapters are longer than others; chapter 6 is almost 3 times longer than chapter 17. I have decided to follow a 30-day plan for reciting John’s gospel rather than a chapter a day; this way, the portions are nearly equal in quantity. I have decided to do this because the time I have on most week days is limited. I arise at 4:45am and sit down in my study at 5:00am. I pray, read Scripture, recite, and lastly write in this journal. I must be out of my study by 6:00am to shower and eat breakfast before departing the house at 7:00am. I have felt pinched for time and want to have adequate time for all of these; therefore, I have decided to divide my daily recitation of John’s gospel into 30 equal portions rather than the traditional chapters. I have been reading Judges: “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.”This passage sums up the content of Judges and not only Judges but the actions of man since creation. What is sin? 1 John 3:4 says that sin is lawlessness. Lawlessness is everyone deciding for themselves good and evil; however, there is but one lawgiver and judge.There is one God, the Father, who created all things; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are created.On the day of judgment, all will be held accountable. Christ sacrificed himself so that God may be just and justify wicked men.
The message that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life does not fit with the Bible. I just completed reading Judges 19 – 21: the story of a certain Levite, his concubine (wife), the city of Gibeah, the tribe of Benjamin and Israel. It is a story of rape, the grotesque hacking of a dead human body and parts sent throughout Israel; the destruction of an entire tribe less 600; the destruction of a city who refused to take part in the act; and the taking of their young daughters as wives for 400 of these men; and the kidnapping of another 200 girls from another city. The world that we live in can be a very horrible place and many horrors have occurred since the fall of man. I recently looked at a method of evangelizing that is promoted by the Southern Baptist Conventions North American missions board: The 3 circles life conversion guide. The method uses 3 circles that the evangelist draws on a piece of paper for the person that they are talking too. First, the person must be in a place of “Worldly” brokenness. The 3 circles are God’s design, brokenness, and gospel. Then the evangelist draws an arrow away from God’s design to brokenness and writes the word “Sin” above the arrow, explaining that sin is the cause of brokenness. Then the evangelist says that people try many things to get out of brokenness. Then the evangelist presents the gospel in easily understandable terms. Then the evangelist draws an arrow from sin to Gospel and writes the words “Repent & Believe.” Then the evangelist draws an arrow from Gospel back to God’s design and writes the words “Recover & Pursue. I would say that the method has two big problems. First, the method is implying that if you repent and believe you can have the wonderful life that God originally designed here and now. This is not true in the here and now but only in the world to come. We remain in a broken and fallen world and following Christ does not change that: bad things happen, we are tempted every day and believers are persecuted all around the world. I believe that the church needs to repent from giving people false hope. The apostle paul wrote: “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”Isn’t this what the church is doing by either out right telling people that God has a wonderful plan for their life or implying such. Second, this method is designed for someone in brokenness but what about the rich man? The biblical message is this: It is appointed for a person to die once and after this comes judgement;you will give an account of your life before almighty God on the day of judgment.God’s standard is moral perfection,but you have violated his law.Jesus Christ paid the price for our sin and what you must do is repent and believe. God can justly forgive your sin and grant you eternal life; however, if you refuse the free gift of God you will go away into eternal punishment for your crimes committed against almighty God. The gospel message is an offer of pardon for a guilty criminal before eternally being thrown into prison.The offer is eternal life in the new heaven and new earth with the very Son of God, our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins and was buried and rose again on the third day.