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 19]--Valuing Reputations

Exodus 20:16

It ought to go without saying that Christians should be characterized by truthfulness, but that’s not strictly what this verse is talking about. Of course, there are other verses which forbid lying in general (such as Ephesians 4:25 and Leviticus 19:11), but this commandment is a bit more specific. God explicitly in this verse forbids us from testifying falsely about our neighbor, especially in a court of law.

Anyone who has seen courts in other nations should be very grateful for the legal system in this country. Little niceties like the presumption of innocence, not being forced to testify against oneself, and the systemic safeguards against police and prosecution abuse are things which we take for granted and which people in other lands would love to have. Of course, any court system other than God’s is going to have some abuse and injustice, but overall it’s one of the best in the world. A lot of that is the product of biblical influence on Western civilization, which filters down into our judicial system.

However, there's one major reform I'd like to put into effect which can be found in Deuteronomy 19:16-21. Read that passage and think about the current penalties for perjury. Just in case you missed it, if you were a false witness in a capital case (in which the accused is subject to the death penalty), then if you're found out you get the penalty he would've gotten if he'd been found guilty. Apparently God takes slandering someone in court much more seriously than we do! Maybe we can’t go as far as this passage would indicate (handing out the death penalty), but I thoroughly believe we need to put some teeth in our perjury laws.

Of course, even outside the courtroom it’s the easiest thing in the world (especially with the internet) to trash someone’s reputation without any repercussions. The book of Proverbs says that “a good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” In other words, all the silver and gold in the world is not worth as much as being known as a person with good character. As any pastor with any experience can testify, gossip rots out the foundation of any church, and every leader in the church must have a “zero-tolerance” policy on it.

Maybe we don’t commit perjury in an earthly court, but God’s “court” is all around us and always in session. Please remember, in any conversation there’s always at least One other listener.

Lord Jesus, you are Truth in the flesh, and my life should reflect that. May the words of my mouth honor, glorify, and please you.

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