1) Every day will be a new devotional. I have enough devotionals for every day for three years
2) Also as I can, I'll be posting on my new political blog (see bottom of page).
Some other housecleaning:
A) If you'd like to just get new postings sent to your email, just submit your address in the box on the left just below. There's just one possible downside, though. Occasionally I'll add a music video at the end that's relevant to the devotional, and you won't get them in the email sent to you. If I add a video though, I'll make sure to mention in the posting, so you'll know to come to the site to see it if you'd like.
B) I actually finished writing new blog posting for the TAWG at the end of 2016. So what I'm doing now is at the beginning of every month, I'll move the earliest month from 3 years ago ahead so that a "new" posting appears every day. That's why you won't find any postings for January 2014, for example.
C) When I started this Blog, I was using the 1984 edition of the NIV, and that’s what I linked to on the Biblegateway site. However, in 2011 Zondervan updated its edition and thus reworded a lot of the NIV translation. Therefore, all the links which went to the 1984 edition now redirect to the 2011 edition, which often has slightly different wording. Thus, part of my editing process has been to update my Scripture quotes in my postings. But I might have missed some, in which case you might see my quote in the posting as a little different from what comes up when you click on my citation link, since that redirects to the 2011 edition on the Biblegateway site. It's a good thing that we realize that the work of translation never ends, but it can be a kind of a pain on a site like this. If you see any difference in verbiage between my quote and what shows up as a link on the Biblegateway site, or if you hover over a link and it has "NIV1984" at the end of it, please notify me and I'll correct it.
D) I can't believe I have to say this, but here goes. At the end of every posting is a suggested short prayer that has to do with what we discussed. This is actually what I've prayed when I finished writing it. In no way am I asking you to pray the exact verbiage of my suggested prayer. It's just a springboard for your own prayer, nothing more. Quite frankly, I've never been a fan of praying rote prayers written by someone else. As with everything else I do here, to the degree it helps, great; to the degree it doesn't, chunk it.
As always, thank you so much for reading, even if it's to read one post. God bless.
That’s what the Lord was doing here. He loved his people and didn’t want to see them come to harm. He’d given them the Torah, which should've been all they needed as far as instructions. But they ignored and rejected it. He sent them prophets, who also were ignored or even persecuted. So almost as a last ditch effort, he made his servants do some crazy-seeming things in order to get peoples’ attention.
D.L. Moody, one of the greatest and most effective evangelists of the last century, once got into a discussion with a woman about his style of evangelizing, which some people complained was too pushy or too in-your-face. “I don’t like your methods very much, Mr. Moody,” she told him. “I’m not sure I like them all that much either. Why don’t you tell me your method and maybe we can learn from each other?” “I don’t have a method,” she answered. His reply: "On second thought, I like my method better."
What’s my point with that story? The sorriest method of sharing Christ is better than no method. In that spirit, one method I’ve used over the years is on a link found on the right side of the page. I've heard it called one-verse evangelism. I certainly can’t claim authorship, and I can’t give the original source. If you find it helpful, then great. If you have a better method, then more power to you (literally).
And here’s my quote from Dr. Walter Martin: “As far as Satan is concerned, the next best thing to a damned soul is a silent Christian.”
Lord Jesus, I can talk about anything. I can talk about hockey, the weather, the restaurant I just went to, everything under the sun. Except you, the most important Person in my life, the greatest thing that's ever happened to me. Please forgive me, and unzip my lips.
Yesterday we ended the book of Daniel with a reference to evangelism. Daniel said that those who “lead many to righteousness [will shine] like the stars for ever and ever.” I think that’s a great segue into a subject I’ve been wanting to bring up for some time, namely evangelism. Of course, this isn’t a full course like Evangelism Explosion or anything like that. But I think I’m qualified to teach a short primer on it.
Today we’re going to talk about the need. Now, before you check out and say “Thanks Keith, but I know that people are going to Hell. What I need is to be able to witness to them,” you might be surprised by what I have to say on it.
Before we get to the surprising part, let’s get to the stuff you’re expecting me to say. Yes, there is a Hell. Please read the passage from Revelation again.
It's real. It's eternal. Once you get in, you’re never leaving. Is it literal fire? Here’s my answer to the question: If it isn’t literal fire like we understand fire, it’s worse. God has a tendency to use human terms that we can understand in order to convey spiritual reality that we haven’t experienced.
And everyone who doesn't have faith in Jesus Christ is going there. Any family that you have who’s not a believer. That really nice Jewish doctor who treats your mother. The kind Buddhist who’s polite to you in the grocery checkout line. This is what the Bible unambiguously teaches. You might disbelieve it or dispute it, but that's what it teaches.
Another reason? Please forgive me for stating the obvious, but I think we tend to forget it: Our Lord commanded it. The passage from Matthew is one of the most famous in the Bible, at least for those who take commands from the Lord seriously. The same God who told us “Don’t steal,” “Don’t commit adultery,” and “No other gods besides me,” also told us to go and make disciples of all nations. This is not an option.
The third reason is one you might not have thought before. In a man-centered culture, this escapes a lot of Bible-believing Christians. I heard it from John Piper, but I’m sure he’s not the one who originated it. Here it is: The glory and honor of God. Every person who's not believing in--and submitting to--Christ is depriving the Lord of the rightful glory and honor that belongs to him.
That’s the conclusion I draw from the Ephesian passage. Why were you saved? Was it mainly for your sake? Was it out of compassion for you? Yes, he has compassion for you. Yes, you’re a beneficiary of all this. But you were not saved for your own sake. You were saved in order to bring glory to the One who saved you. See how many times Paul mentions this here: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. . .” “for the praise of his glory,” “to the praise of his glory.” This is why you were saved. Not to be too crude about it, but in a sense your purpose of existence and in salvation is to be. . . a living trophy. Forever and forever and forever my every being and action will be to praise and honor and magnify and worship and give credit to my Savior.
And he deserves it. Every bit of it. Every moment of it.
And the flip side of this, obviously, is that every person who’s out there who’s not part of this is depriving God of what belongs to him. That person is a thief.
That’s what I’d like to have as my main motivation, by the way. Compassion for the lost is a wonderful thing. If a believer is fervently witnessing because he doesn’t want anyone to go to Hell, I certainly don’t want to do anything to discourage him. And it is an issue of obedience to Christ’s explicit command. But most importantly, above all, I want my Savior to get what he deserves.
Lord Jesus, you deserve it. Every part of me, and every part of everyone else. You deserve the honor and praise and worship and thanksgiving. What can I do to help that along?