December 31, 2014

The book of Hebrews intimidates me.  It reminds me of how much I don’t know and understand about the Old Testament.  Hebrews exposes my lack of knowledge and understanding of the gospel message in the Old Testament.  It shows me how little I know about the arrangement of the Temple and what the significance was of the layout.  It shows me the deeper meaning of the laws in the book of Leviticus.  It exposes my ignorance of a book I claim to love.

I think too much of the time I read the OT as a book on individual stories.  I don’t take the time to understand how they are really one story telling the nation of Israel, and all of mankind, that a Savior is coming.  I know that it is there but I don’t take the time to truly  understand it.  The apostles preached the gospel from the OT.  The NT is a record of their preaching of the gospel from the only source they had available, the OT.

One example, but it doesn’t refer to the gospel, is in the book of Daniel.  Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a statue made of different metals, starting with head made of gold down to the feet mixed with iron and clay.  Daniel explains the dream and Nebuchadnezzar understands his kingdom is the head of gold.  Chapter 3 is the chapter of the giant golden statue.  I always treated them as two different stories and never made a connection.  Then I read a commentary that the statue was a replica of the one in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and it was built by him for his pride and arrogance.  A light went off and I did not understand why I didn’t see it before.

That is just one example of many that I did not spend enough time meditating about.  I would like a better understanding of how the OT points to the gospel of the NT.

Discipline

Dear Jesus,

I have been listening to the bible while I drive to and from work, which you probably already know.  Recently I had listened to the Book of Daniel.  I am humbled.  But even more I am sorely disappointed in myself.  But I also wonder how many other people like me are in the church.  Daniel fasted for 21 days.  21 days.  I have a difficult time fasting for 24 hours.

I feel I have a lack of discipline in my life.  I can’t pray for more than ten minutes and my mind starts to wander.  I hear people talk about spending all night, gripping the horns of the altar, praying for something, anything.  Have I found anything worth a night of sleeplessness because I had to pray?  Do I think my Heavenly Father is worthy of my time?

Sometimes I wonder if I am worthy to be called your fellow heir.  I don’t communicate with you as often I should.  And when I does not seem as important to me.  I hear people talk about finding your own way to talk to God, but I feel like it is a cop out.  I lack discipline, and I pray I could have the discipline of Daniel.  It takes absolute reverence and humility before you in order to be that way.  How long until I can achieve it?

Help me, please,

Mike