Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Gazing at Glory in 2008

Happy New Year!
In 2008, I would like to have a bit more structure and planning for this blog.  To that end, this purpose of this post is to describe my intentions and let readers know what they may expect.
In the past, I have posted somewhat sporadically, but I would like to post at least twice a week, generally following the plan below:
Tuesdays:  Every week, I hope to post links to resources related to a Biblical or theological theme/topic.  Most of these will be "resource pages" that I may go back and update from time to time.  Therefore, if you find one particularly helpful, you might want to bookmark it and check it out again sometime in the future, as I may add other resources I find later.  At least some of these resource pages may be accessed from links I add to the sidebar (and all of them from the "Resource Pages" label that I hope to add next week, after posting the first one).  From time to time, I might also use this day to post miscellaneous links - a variety of things that don't quite fit a single category (which may include links to updated resource pages).  Feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have come across something that may be of interest that I have omitted.
Wednesdays:  This will be an optional day in which I may or may not post anything.  Content on Wednesdays may include articles on hermeneutics, doctrine, various Biblical topics, word studies, or church history.  Book reviews may also be posted or linked to on Wednesdays.
Fridays:  I intend this day to be the "meat and potatoes" day of the blog.  The purpose of the blog is our sanctification through Scripture - conformity to the image of Christ through beholding His glory in His Word (See 2 Cor. 3:18, from which the blog title was derived).  I want to do a better job of this in my own personal walk and on this blog.  Therefore, I hope to post some sort of Bible study every week.  These may take various forms:  an outline of a Bible book, a brief exposition with application questions, a fuller exposition, an overview of a book of the Bible, a sermon summary, or a devotional article reflecting on Scripture.
In addition, there may also be a guest-blogger from time to time.
My goal is to provide education and edification to readers of this blog, showing Christ so that we may be changed. 
If you find that blog-reading consumes too much of your time and is actually preventing you from spending sufficient time with Christ, I have one of two suggestions: 
1) Streamline your blog reading.  Some blogs, such as this one, have email subscription features (see the sidebar if interested).  You automatically get an email with the latest post (with mine, on the next day), so you never have to visit the blog to see new content (with the exception of links on the sidebar if they are updated).  I like this option for blogs if I enjoy virtually everything the author writes and like to have a copy (in addition, I do not have Internet at home, and this is an easy way to save time and simply download the emails to my laptop and read later).  Another way to maximize time is to use a Google homepage (igoogle - www.google.com/ig - you can set one up for free) and subscribe to blogs that way or in a way similar.  You can see the titles (with links) of the latest posts of all the blogs you read on the homepage and not waste time typing the address everytime you want to visit it.  There are also blog readers (Google, for example, also has one of these) where you can read the full posts automatically.  If you find some blogs unhelpful, simply unsubscribe from them.
2) Stop your blog reading.  "Fast" from the Internet for a time, if need be, or even stop altogether.  You have everything you need for spiritual growth in your Bible.  You don't need the Internet or this blog to grow in conformity to Christ.  If this site is a help, praise be to God.  But if you don't get anything from it, or - even worse - if it, or others, merely become "theotainment," where you are just filling your head with knowledge that you are never applying to your life, please do everyone a favor and stop.   Instead, spend that time directly in God's Word and prayer.  You will be better off for it! 
I plan to start the year with a series of posts from Dr. Jim Hamilton's paper, "Spiritual Formation and the New Media: Making Good Use of the Mammon of Unrighteousness," and an overview of Haggai.
May God bless us with much exposure to His Word for His glory and our good, in 2008.  If you haven't already committed to a Bible reading plan, let me suggest Robert Murray M'Cheyne's (available for free in a one page-front/back format here, and as a 12-page calendar here; also, see this site for more on M'Cheyne).  This is the one linked to in the upper right corner of the blog.  
I leave you today with these words from M'Cheyne (a preface to his Bible reading plan, I suppose as originally printed):




"Thy Word is very pure; therefore Thy servant loveth it."


MY DEAR FLOCK, -- The approach of another year stirs up within me new desires for your

salvation, and for the growth of those of you who are saved. "God is my record how

greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ." What the coming year is to

bring forth who can tell? There is plainly a weight lying on the spirits of all good men,

and a looking for some strange work of judgment upon this land. There is a need now

to ask that solemn question -- "If in the land of peace wherein thou trustedst, they

wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?"


Those believers will stand firmest who have no dependence upon self or upon

creatures, but upon Jehovah our Righteousness. We must be driven more to our

Bibles, and to the mercy-seat, if we are to stand in the evil day. Then we shall be able

to say, like David – "The proud have had me greatly in derision, yet have I not declined

from Thy law." "Princes have persecuted me without a cause, but my heart standeth in

awe of Thy word."


It has long been in my mind to prepare a scheme of Scripture reading, in which as

many as were made willing by God might agree, so that the whole Bible might be read

once by you in the year, and all might be feeding in the same portion of the green

pasture at the same time.


I am quite aware that such a plan is accompanied with many



(1.) Formality. – We are such weak creatures that any regularly returning duty is apt to

degenerate into a lifeless form. The tendency of reading the Word by a fixed rule

may, in some minds, be to create this skeleton religion. This is to be the peculiar sin

of the last days – "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."

Guard against this. Let the calendar perish rather than this rust eat up your souls.


(2.) Self-righteousness. – Some, when they have devoted their set time to reading of

the Word, and accomplished their prescribed portion, may be tempted to look at

themselves with self-complacency. Many, I am persuaded, are living without any

Divine work on their soul – unpardoned and unsanctified, and ready to perish – who

spend their appointed times in secret and family devotion. This is going to hell with a

lie in their right hand.


(3.) Careless reading. – Few tremble at the Word of God. Few, in reading it, hear the

voice of Jehovah, which is full of majesty. Some, by having so large a portion, may

be tempted to weary of it, as Israel did of the daily manna, saying – "Our soul

loatheth this light bread;" and to read it in a slight and careless manner. This would

be fearfully provoking to God. Take heed lest that word be true of you – "Ye said,

also, Behold what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of



(4.) A yoke too heavy to bear. Some may engage in reading with alacrity for a time, and

afterwards feel it a burden, grievous to be borne. They may find conscience

dragging them through the appointed task without any relish of the heavenly food. If

this be the case with any, throw aside the fetter, and feed at liberty in the sweet

garden of God. My desire is not to cast a snare upon you, but to be a helper of your



If there be so many dangers, why propose such a scheme at all? To this I answer, that

the best things are accompanied with danger, as the fairest flowers are often gathered

in the clefts of some dangerous precipice. Let us weigh



(1.) The whole Bible will be read through in an orderly manner in the course of a year. – The

Old Testament once, the New Testament and Psalms twice. I fear many of you never read the

whole Bible; and yet it is all equally Divine, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and

is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness, that the

man of God may be perfect." If we pass over some parts of Scripture, we shall be incomplete



(2.) Time will not be wasted in choosing what portions to read. Often believers are at a loss to

determine towards which part of the mountains of spices they should bend their steps. Here

the question will be solved at once in a very simple manner.


(3.) Parents will have a regular subject upon which to examine their children and servants. – It

is much to be desired that family worship were made more instructive than it generally is.

The mere reading of the chapter is often too like water spilt on the ground. Let it be read by

every member of the family before-hand, and then the meaning and application drawn out by

simple question and answer. The calendar will be helpful in this. Friends, also, when they

meet, will have a subject for profitable conversation in the portions read that day. The

meaning of difficult passages may be inquired from the more judicious and ripe Christians,

and the fragrance of simpler Scriptures spread abroad.


(4.) The pastor will know in what part of the pasture the flock are feeding. – He will thus be

enabled to speak more suitably to them on the Sabbath; and both pastor and elders will be able

to drop a word of light and comfort in visiting from house to house, which will be more

readily responded to.


(5.) The sweet bond of Christian love and unity will be strengthened. – We shall be often led to

think of those dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, here and elsewhere, who agree to join with

us in reading those portions. We shall oftener be led to agree on earth, touching something we

shall ask of God. We shall pray over the same promises, mourn over the same confessions,

praise God in the same songs, and be nourished by the same words of eternal life.


Robert Murray M'Cheyne. December 1842


Jason Button said...

Great plan, Doug! I'm looking forward to what the Lord has in store for us this year. May He come!

RC said...

I like the idea of structure. I have been toying with it for my blog. I look forward to reading your blog in the upcoming year.

Glorygazer said...

Thanks, brothers. I hope you find something profitable here.