I arose at 5:00am and began the day reading Deuteronomy, chapters 5 – 8; a retelling of the covenant, the Word of the Lord spoken to the Israelites at Horeb and a declaration of what Jesus called the great commandment: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”1 After this Moses tells them to bind the words that he speaks to them on their hearts, to teach them, to talk about them and to write them in visible places.2 I find this interesting because this is what Christians should be doing regarding Christ and all that he commanded. After this I recited John, chapter 1. At Sylvania church from 9:00am – 12:00pm: Shane taught on Acts 1-9, Paul at Thessalonica and Phillip preached on Luke 13:18-35. The main idea from Phillip’s sermon: The kingdom of God is expansive and inclusive, but it is narrowly defined and marked by suffering. Darlene and I spent the afternoon shopping for groceries. The pain in my right heel is very noticeable. How is this going to affect my running? Today my family seems a little short with me and somewhat argumentative. Is this related to a change in my actions, or speech, or my perception, or is there something going on with them? I have many imperfections of which I am aware and desire to change but there is likely many that I am unawares. If it is my lacking, I hope to be made aware, and if it is something going on within their hearts, may I love them through.
Before going to bed I reluctantly decided that I would not run this morning do to the pain in my right heel; therefore, I arose at 5:00am and began the day reading Deuteronomy, chapters 9 – 11. Significant verse from the reading: “You shall therefore love the Lord your God, and always keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments.”3 This is significant indeed, for Christ said: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”4 I recited John, chapters 2 -3. During breakfast I competed: Spanish – Beginner I – lesson 3 - ¿Vives Por Aquí? Review. I worked in outpatient cardiac rehab from 7:30am – 16:45pm. Many of these patients are wonderful people and I enjoy them all. Today, I have been thinking about this world in which we presently abide. I do not desire to abide in this world any longer; therefore, I shall abide in the kingdom of God. Jonathan Edwards called heaven, “a world of love.” I cannot do anything about what the world thinks, says or does but I choose to observe the law of Christ,” A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”5 Through loving one another we demonstrate our love for Christ. I am seeking to remember through 1 Corinthians 13 what love is and what love is not. I want to live on the earth as though I abide in heaven and not in the world.
I awoke at 4:00am and read Deuteronomy, chapters 17 – 23; then I recited John, chapters 5 – 6. I have decided that I am going to follow a prescribed reading plan for my daily reading excluding John. When I get there, I will go straight from Luke to Acts. As for John, I have decided to recite 2 chapters a day, which will have me going through John twice every 3 weeks. I did not run this morning do to my heel pain. I have decided to run every other day until it heals. This morning, I began Spanish – Beginner I – course 2 – lesson 5. I worked in cardiac rehab from 7:30am – 4:45pm, then met Darlene at Sylvania church for dinner; after dinner I met with the mission’s committee about our missions conference February 28th– March 1st. I had a difficult time today when people were unhappy with my actions and words: yet, l am reminded that love does not take into account a wrong suffered.7
I awoke at 4:00am. I read Deuteronomy, chapters 24 – 27 and recited John, chapters 7-8. I began running a little before 5:30am for a distance of 5 miles in 39 minutes and 17 seconds. During breakfast I worked on my prescribed Spanish lesson. I arrived at work a little before 7:30am and worked until 6:30pm. Lately, I am having a difficult time. I try so very hard to be patient and kind with everyone; yet, I can say something that was not intended as unkind but will be interpreted as unkind. Why do I try so hard when no one acknowledges my efforts? The answer is that I want to be like Jesus Christ. Yes, I want to be just like Jesus Christ in every way. I look up to him and I love him; he is everything that I desire to be. So why do I feel such disappointment when others are angry with me or accuse me of unkindness? How do I measure success in following Christ? Is success measured by what others think or should I be unconcerned with what others think? If being pleasing to those around me is not the measurement then what? I have heard the saying, “You can’t please everyone.” Well, I do not think that I have ever truly pleased anyone. I am not an old man but I am far past being a young man. Can I live without seeking my own? Can I live a life only being concerned for the other? Is it possible to live that way? Seeking to be satisfied in others satisfaction of me is not working. I feel so disappointed when others express the slightest degree of dissatisfaction. Living without seeking my own includes satisfaction. Can I live without satisfaction? “Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.”8
I arose at 5:00am and began the day by reading Deuteronomy, chapters 28 – 29; blessings promised to Israel for keeping the covenant law and curses for breaking the law. The new covenant is like the Deuteronomic covenant not in having a prescript of laws to abide by but the promise of blessings in the new heaven and new earth, yet to come, or curses in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. However, it is not, have you kept the law but are you in Christ? The law of Christ is Christ Jesus; if you are in Christ you are blessed as keeping the law all the days of your life. Moses ends this dialogue saying, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.”9 After reading I recited John, chapters 9 – 10. Today I worked in pulmonary rehab from 9:00am – 4:00pm. I am looking forward to having the next 2 days off from work to re-energize. Yesterday I wrote that I am having a difficult time when others express disappointment of me. A thought entered my mind today regarding this: Christ said, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.”10 I feel hurt when others express disappointment of me; therefore, if I am treating others the same way that I want them to treat me, I should not express disappointment of anyone. This is not a post-modern idea of expectance but a biblically minded idea of kindness towards all people. This is not about confronting a brother regarding his sin but that quick snap unkind look or word of judgment.11 In 1 Corinthians 13, the apostle Paul gives a list of what love is and what love is not; the first two is that love is patient and kind. I must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; this is the only way to live as Christ.12 So yes, confront others in their sin but first be patient, really hear, and second, be kind when you speak, not angry.
I arose at 5:15am and began the day by reading Deuteronomy, chapters 30 – 31; this was the conclusion of the Deuteronomic covenant. Then I recited John, chapter 11; the death and resurrection of Lazarus as a demonstration of the power of God to raise people from the dead. I have decided to return to reciting 1 chapter out of John’s gospel a day that I may take the time to meditate on it and not feel pressed. Yesterday morning I felt really pressed for time. I of course do not feel pressed for time today as I have the day off work; nonetheless, I will recite 1 chapter a day that I may meditate on the Word. I have continued a slow progression of memorizing the prolog (first 13 verses of John’s gospel) in spanish. This morning I added verse 9 and spent sometime on this before going running. I ran for 1 hour, covering a distance of 12.2 km. My heel was noticeably sore during the run but not too painful. I hope to get back to running 6 days a week but will continue running only 3 days a week next week. While running I have time to think. So, I was thinking about what I should read and study next. I have decided that I should read about and study the subject of baptism. Baptism is not an essential doctrine; however, baptism is not a minor issue either. Baptism is a major issue because baptism is regularly connected in Scripture with belief and salvation.13
John 14:15, NASB.
Ibid, 13:34, NASB.
“SpaceX Launches 60 Starlink Satellite, Nails Rocket Landing in Record-Breaking Flight,” Amy Thompson, cdli:wiki, https://www.space.com/spacex-starlink-2-launch-success.html .
1 Corinthians 13:5.
1 Corinthians 10:24, NASB.
Deuteronomy 29:29, NASB.
Luke 6:31, NASB.
Cf. Matthew 7:1.
Thomas R. Schreiner and Shawn D. Wright, eds., Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2006), 1.