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.

[Mar 04]--Dishonest Scales

Lev.19:35-36

I know that there are some Christians out there who balk at the use of a study Bible: “You have God’s word and the Holy Spirit, so what else do you need?” I understand the reasoning behind this, but I can’t agree with it. Over the last 2,000 years, most Christians haven't had access to a study Bible, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore something that God has given to us to understand his word better. Keeping in mind that anything outside Scripture itself is not inspired, if we deny ourselves resources like these we're basically saying that interpreting the Bible started with us. We don’t need to listen to any of the thousands of years of accumulated wisdom by Christians who've gone before us and done most of the “heavy lifting.” I personally recommend the NIV Study Bible, available at any Christian bookstore.

Today’s passage is a good illustration of the need for a study Bible with good notes; without one, most modern readers would be either puzzled or bored. In the ancient Middle East (as well as in some parts of the world today), there were no absolute standards for weights and measures. If you approached a merchant and ordered, say, a half-pound of bread, the merchant would place some bread on a scale, and use some weights on the other side in order to measure off the quantity you ordered. If the merchant was buying some bread from a supplier, he would repeat the process. Unfortunately, the weights he used to buy and the weights he used to sell were commonly not the same. He would use a “light” weight when selling and a “heavy” weight when buying in order to cheat others. God apparently took this kind of theft very seriously: Proverbs 11:1 even claims that “The Lord detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him."

What does this have to do with us? I don’t own a grocery store, so how could I be guilty of this? I think the point behind commands such this is that God wants us to be honest and not have double standards when dealing with others. Naturally the most obvious application is in my business and work ethics. Lots of us tend to interpret the rules to suit us, and none of us can claim that we’re completely honest with everyone with whom we do business. Just to remind you, God hates that.

There are examples outside the business world which can apply as well. For example, I tend to get angry when someone in front of me doesn’t pay attention at a red light and doesn’t immediately go forward when the light turns green. Of course, there are times when I let my mind wander at a red light and do the exact same thing. Or how about taking forever at an ATM when I’m waiting behind them? Obviously my business with the ATM is so much more important than what they’re doing! See what I mean about double standards?

I don’t know about you, but I am suddenly very glad that the blood of Jesus covers my sin. However, that doesn’t excuse the “dishonest scales” in my life.

Lord Jesus, you are Truth incarnate, and you expect your followers to reflect this. Please help me.

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