OK, here's the plan (if God is willing):

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.

[Aug 02]—David’s Sweet Song

Romans 4:5-8

            Like I said before, Paul presents two major pieces of evidence for his case that we’re saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. The first was Abraham, the physical father of the Jewish people and (as he states later) the spiritual father of all who believe. Now we turn to his second piece of evidence: David.
            Why did Paul choose a Psalm of David?
            Well, obviously he’s considered by conventional wisdom to be the greatest king Israel ever had. If you read the history books of the Bible, every king is compared to him, and none of them measure up until we get to Hezekiah and Josiah. Nearly all of the Psalms which name their author cite him as their source, and many of the promises of Israel’s great future were made to him or about him. It was also commonly understood (rightly) that the Messiah would be descended from him. There’s a reason why when someone wanted to address Jesus as the Messiah, they used the term “Son of David.” Of all the O. T. saints who were considered pivotal to God’s dealings with his people, he was one of the top three, the others being Abraham and Moses.
            But there’s another reason here which we can miss. Imagine someone who objects to Paul’s teaching. They might respond “Sure, Abraham was counted as righteous because he believed in God. But he was dealing with God before the Law of Moses was given. Once Moses came along, everything changed. Now we’re under the Law. In order to be right with God, you have to be circumcised and obey it.”
            Now, to be sure, there are differences between the Old Covenant and the New One. If there weren’t, there would’ve been no need for the New One at all. All you need to do is read the book of Hebrews, particularly 12:18-24 to get a great summary of how different they really are, epitomized by what we can call “The Mountain of Fear” versus “The Mountain of Joy.”
            But to bolster his case, Paul cites David, who was under the Old Covenant, the Law of Moses. David offered animal sacrifices. He kept the dietary laws. He wrote Psalm 19, which has a wonderful tribute to the benefits of God’s word, which in those days mainly was the Torah. He loved God’s instructions as given to Moses.
            But he needed God’s forgiveness as much as anyone else. If you see the footnote, you know that Paul is quoting Psalm 32. The traditional understanding of the 32nd Psalm is that David wrote it after the episode with Bathsheba and Uriah. Whether that’s true or not, it certainly is consistent with that understanding. That was David’s absolutely lowest point in his life as far the Lord was concerned. The “man after God’s own heart” fell into dereliction of duty, lust, adultery, and finally murder. It wasn’t a killing on the battlefield, or even a duel gone horribly wrong. David used Uriah to deliver the message to Joab that contained the orders to kill this honorable man. This was cold-blooded murder of an innocent man who had not only had never done him harm, but who was one of his finest and bravest warriors, one of the “Thirty” (see here, and notice the last verse).
            There was no animal sacrifice for adultery or murder, and David had committed both. That’s why he said in the 51st Psalm “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.” He could've killed a thousand bulls, goats, rams, and lambs, and it never would've blotted out what he did.
            But the Lord did forgive him. He told David (through his prophet Nathan) that he had "taken away" his sin and would not carry out the death penalty that the Law called for. Apparently there was a sacrifice, a way to cover his sin. In David’s day, in his pre-N.T. understanding, all he offered to God was “a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart.” And Paul used the 32nd Psalm to make us grasp that even under the Old Covenant, that was what God was really looking for. When someone really confessed and repented, the Lord forgave.
            What was the result of David’s confession and repentance? What was his testimony which he offers to us today? Let’s review:

  • Our transgressions are forgiven.
  • Our sins are covered.
  • The Lord will never count our sin against us.
Remember, the book of Romans is the most complete presentation of the Good News about Jesus.
Once we place our faith in Christ, once we receive him as our Boss and Savior, we too can testify to this blessedness. David’s sweet song is ours.

Truly Lord Jesus, how blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered, and the one against whom you’ll never count his sins. How blessed am I.

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