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 12]--Surprising Sources of Truth

Numbers 23:1-12

When I was in college (a Baptist University), I was introduced to this interesting proverb: “All truth is God’s truth.” Since this came from biblical teachers whom I respected and trusted, I wanted to test out this theory. It’s obviously not a direct quote from the Bible, but is it true? And if so, what does it mean?

What people usually mean when they say this is that while God’s word is completely trustworthy, it doesn’t contain all truth. Mathematical equations are not in the Bible, nor are chemical formulas. The truth that Abraham Lincoln was the sixteenth President is not in the Bible, and that’s true as well. When it comes to what we need to know about God and people, however, the Bible is 100% accurate and it's all that's necessary for us to know as far as how to believe and behave.

What about other sources of truth, like philosophy? They can’t add to God’s truth found in Scripture, but they might add to our understanding of what God has already said. Naturally, everything they say is fallible and needs to be tested against God’s word, but does that mean we should just abandon it? Does this mean that reading great works of literature is a waste of time?

What about the phrase “Consider the source”? When people say this, they usually mean that if you can discredit the source of something, you automatically discredit what that source is saying. Shakespeare had very insightful things to say about humanity, but his personal life was far from perfect.

I think that this passage, among many others, can give us perspective on this issue. The book of Numbers introduces us to a strange character named Balaam. I won’t go into much detail about his background, but it is worth noting that every time he’s mentioned in Scripture, he’s condemned, usually as a false teacher who will say anything for money. So we definitely don’t want to follow his example, but what about what he said? Apparently when he was hired by Balak, the Holy Spirit took over Balaam's mouth and inspired Scripture from it! In fact, in vss. 15-17 of the next chapter he provided a prophecy about the Messiah!

One of the sermons I preached in class at Seminary was on Acts 17:22-34, Paul’s evangelistic speech to pagan philosophers in Athens, who neither knew nor cared about Moses’ writings. We’ll examine that passage in greater detail at another time, but for now it’s worth noticing that Paul quotes approvingly from pagan philosophers and poets in vs.28. Does this mean that Paul believed that the poets and philosophers were inspired? Absolutely not! But it does mean that Paul recognized that there was enough truth in some of what they said in order to make it worth his time to be familiar with them, especially in the pursuit of bringing lost people to a saving knowledge of Christ.

In summary, my suggested applications are this: 1) Know your Bible backwards and forwards, 2) Be very careful about the “truth” you consume and compare it with Scripture, and 3) Be on the lookout for God’s truth “hiding” in the most unlikely of places.

Lord Jesus, you are the Truth incarnate. Help me to see your Truth everywhere around me.

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