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.

[Jan 05]--Listening To Lies

Genesis 3:1-8

There are times when I wish the Bible ended with chapter 2, but it doesn’t. Theologians and Bible scholars throughout the ages have debated about what would have happened if Adam and Eve hadn’t listened to the Serpent, but that’s counter-factual speculation. Our job isn't to reason out what might've happened, but to deal with life as it is. Here are some things that have not changed, nor will they ever change:

1) Satan has not changed his tactics. Why should he, when it still works? The dead last thing he wants you to believe is that the Lord means what he says and says what he means. Notice again that his lies are always mixed in with some truth: Experiencing sin does (in a sense) give us “understanding” of good and evil, but not in the long term. Sin deceives us and darkens our understanding, and the more we indulge in it the less we truly understand it. This means that the least naive man who ever walked the planet is the One who resisted sin to the uttermost.

2) We always get in trouble when we don’t listen carefully to God’s word. As far as we know, God had never said anything about touching the fruit (2:17).

3) We also get in trouble when we despise God’s goodness and generosity. We tend to take our eyes off of what our Father has given us and focus on what he hasn't given us. How many trees were in the garden? We don’t know, but we do know that of all the beautiful, delicious, life-sustaining trees there were, there was only one that was forbidden. To our sin-influenced eyes, the one thing that’s forbidden is more important than all the things that God has graciously provided for us.

4) Sin always has bad consequences. Someone once told me that sin will always end up taking you further than you want to go and costing you more than you’re willing to pay. We’ll talk more about the universal results of sin tomorrow, but one thing we see today is the immediate introduction of alienation. The husband and wife “realize” that they’re naked, and try to cover themselves. Why? Whom exactly are they trying to hide something from? The only answer is each other. What “parts” do they suddenly have now that they didn’t have ten minutes ago? Or why would they try to run and hide from God? How dumb do you have to be to try to hide from someone who’s omniscient? The answer to all these questions is this: When our first parents invited sin through the door, it brought in as its companions guilt, fear, secrets, and shame. We’ve been hiding from the Lord and each other ever since.

Lord, please forgive me when I listen to the Enemy’s lies. Help me to listen to your word and believe it. Thank you for being so generous and gracious to me, and forgive me for being ungrateful for your incredible blessings.

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