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.

[Feb 14]--Valuing God’s Pattern

Exodus 20:8-11

The issue of how we need to follow the fourth commandment has caused a little controversy in the past few years, but it seems that it’s mostly died down. There was a time in which “Blue Laws” (making it illegal to conduct business on Sunday) were quite common, but they seem to have gone the way of the dinosaur in most communities. There was a time in which most conservative Christians would never dream of going to a store or (heaven forbid) participating in some form of “worldly” entertainment (like TV or movies) on Sunday. Times have certainly changed, and outside of conservative Jewish circles this commandment seems to have been largely abandoned.

Of course, there are some reasons for this. First, there's no Scriptural basis for changing the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. The closest we can find to it in the New Testament is Revelation 1:10, which refers to the “Lord’s day,” which probably was a reference to Sunday, but that doesn't change my main point. The only other argument is tradition, because the early church began worshipping on Sunday very early in its history (for obvious reasons). But as far as a direct command to treat Sunday as a day in which you're forbidden to do anything but worship the Lord, you won’t find it in Scripture. Furthermore, Paul told us “[Do] not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” In other words, the Sabbath points us towards Christ, but we shouldn’t consider ourselves legalistically bound to it. Another point to consider is that it's the only one of the Ten Commandments which is never repeated in the N.T.

Does this mean that we can simply ignore this commandment, then? I don’t think so. This is the only commandment in which we’re told that the reason to obey is in order to follow God’s example at the beginning of creation. In other words, this commandment is woven into the very fabric of creation itself. The pattern of work, then rest, is not something God made up just for humanity’s benefit; it’s carried out all around us. Most of the animal world and most of the plant world follows this pattern, so it’s part of the whole rhythm of everything. When we abandon this pattern by going without rest (or work!), we’ll find ourselves running like a car with sugar in its gas tank. I don’t believe we're obligated not to do anything on Sunday, but it would definitely be a good idea to take at least one day off a week to “recharge” and refocus our attention on what’s really important in life, especially our relationship with our Savior.

Lord Jesus, like Paul said you are my Sabbath Rest. In you I find rest from my work, both here and in eternity.

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