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.

[Apr 02]--Diamonds On Velvet

Ruth 2:1-4

I think that every word in Scripture is there for a reason: God's very efficient, and as my pastor once said, he’s incapable of small talk. The first verse of Ruth told us that this is set during the times of the Judges, which was certainly not a spiritual highpoint for Israel. The last five chapters of Judges are particularly depressing, and you might get the impression from reading it that the entire nation was caught up in the general spiritual decay and apostasy. While it might be true that the general situation was grim, this didn’t mean that there were no faithful people during this time.

Today’s passage illustrates this beautifully. Boaz is presented as a godly and friendly man, greeting his employees with a hearty “The LORD be with you!” and his workers welcome him to the fields in a similar way. Apparently he was kind and just in his dealings with them, since this exchange hints at a warm relationship.

But what's very striking about Boaz is his obedience to God’s law. Remember how the Lord told his people to provide for the poor? During this time of general disobedience, it would have been easy for Boaz to simply look at his “bottom line” and say “You know, my neighbor set up an idol in his front yard. Compared to him, I’m a saint! Surely God won’t care if I follow that inconvenient gleaning law.” When everyone is looking for new ways to flout the Lord's standards, it’s really tempting to compare ourselves with the average sinner and act like he grades on a curve. He doesn’t.

I'm well aware that America is nowhere near where she should be when it comes to faithfulness to the Lord and his word. I don’t expect Non-Christians to be obedient any more than I expect a dead man to walk around; I do, however, expect Christians to act different from our lost friends. Unfortunately, there are lots of alleged believers who ought to know better who're adding to the problem instead of being salt and light. The divorce rates of both Christians and non-Christians are waaaaaaay too similar, the mere word of a Christian in the business world means nothing in terms of honesty, and faithfulness to God’s standards is a rarity.

If you let this get you down, then let this encourage you: Even in the worst of times, when it looks like people who are trying to follow God are nowhere to be found, the Lord still has his faithful ones. I know that you’re a sinner just like me, but if you’re attempting to be pleasing and obedient to Jesus, I promise you that you’re not alone. In God’s eyes, you’re like a diamond on velvet. Read Hebrews 6:10, and let your Father speak to you.

Lord Jesus, I want to be the salt and light you want me to be. Way too often, I’m part of the problem instead of the solution. Please change me.

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