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 17]--Valuing Marriage

Exodus 20:14

To say that marriage is under assault in our time is a classic understatement. In fact, it seems that it’s under attack from several quarters. Trying to expand the definition to include homosexual unions is just one of the more overt attempts by the Enemy to undermine it. Every divorce in which at least one Christian is involved is a victory for his dark kingdom, but that’s just the end-product of people believing his lies. Watch most TV shows and they tend to present marriage as boring at best, abusive at worst. Adultery is still usually presented as a bad thing, but sex before marriage is presented as the norm, and the idea that someone would actually stick to God’s standard (wait until marriage and then be faithful to your spouse) is apparently unthinkable. Worst of all, they play into the stereotype that marriage is the killjoy of your sex life, while singles are having sex on every day of the week that ends in “Y" (which is a complete lie, by the way).

Less than fifty years ago I could assume that every Bible-believing Christian would know that sex before marriage is wrong, but unfortunately I can’t do that anymore, so here goes. Of course some smart aleck can start by asking, “If I’m single and only have sex with other singles, that’s not adultery, so how's it wrong?” In Mark 10:1-12 when Jesus was asked about divorce, he sent his questioners right back to the first two chapters of Genesis (remember what I said about those wonderful three chapters?). In other words, God’s standard is one man united with one woman for life. Anything other than that (apart from a specific calling from God to singleness) is less than what he has planned for us. In 1 Corinthians Paul warned against several different lifestyles which are unacceptable for God’s people, and he listed both adulterers and the “sexually immoral”--meaning these are two different offenses. The word for “sexual immorality” is porneia from which we get the word “pornography.” It’s a catchall term for any sexual activity outside of the :Lord's plan.

Nevertheless, I want to get past all the “don’ts” of sexual immorality to a positive outlook. As a youth minister told me as a teenager, God is pro-sex, the Bible is pro-sex, and the church ought to be pro-sex. In fact, I thoroughly believe that one of the main reasons why the Lord is so against sexual immorality is because he is so much pro-marriage and wants to see his people in healthy relationships. In order for a husband and wife to truly bond together emotionally and physically, in order for them to even approach the intimacy the Lord desires for them, they need to come into their marital bed with as few “extra” people as possible. Of course, God forgives any sin which is confessed, and none of us (especially guys) can claim that we always hold to Jesus’ standard of "no lust for anyone but your spouse." But it’s also true that the closer we stick to God’s plan, the easier marriage turns out to be.

Father God, I really need to change my thinking on this. Please help me.

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