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 19]--Grace In The Middle of Judgment

Deut. 29:1-6

I once had the privilege to spend some time with a “Bible virgin.” He'd gotten saved at a later time in life, and he'd had absolutely no background in the Bible. He started reading the Bible through from cover to cover, and I asked him about what he thought. One time, after he finished reading one of the prophets, I asked him about his impressions, and he summed it up like this: “Man, God was really ticked off at them!” (actually that’s the edited version, but you get the idea). I can certainly understand his reading on the Old Testament (especially in contrast with the N.T.), but we need to dig a little deeper.

First off, whenever we read about God’s punishment of someone, we need to immediately ask ourselves, “What did God really owe them?” The answer is always “Nothing except judgment.” Ever since Adam’s fall, all of us are under the death sentence because of sin. If the Lord either puts off our punishment or forgives us, then that’s his prerogative, not something he owes us.

Second, in this case, God displayed his grace and mercy even while they were being judged. All their complaints about Manna were really showing lack of gratitude, especially when you consider that feeding them Manna for forty years was not God’s expressed will at all. If they'd obeyed and trusted him at the border of Canaan in the first place, they would've eaten it for a few months at most. The reason their diet was so restricted for forty years was their fault, not God’s. On top of that, look again at how the Lord provided for and protected them. Over forty years, their clothes and shoes didn’t even wear out. Again and again he showed himself to be “the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness."

Their story is ours. He's so good to us, and we disobey and mistrust him. He reaches out his hand to us, and we try to bite it. He sends his only Son to us, and we crucify him. He forgives, restores, and adopts us as his beloved children, and we forget how good he’s been to us. Thank the Lord, however, over time he changes us into the image of his perfect Son. I’m not what I need to be, but thanks to him I’m not what I used to be, and I’m not what I one day will be.

Father, please give me what you didn’t give Israel--a mind that understands, eyes that see, ears that hear, a changed heart.

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