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 07]--Stubborn Stupidity

1 Sam. 5:1-12

I really think that the two words in our title go together quite beautifully, especially when it comes to our relationship with our Lord. You have to be very foolish when it comes to being stubborn and rebellious against Almighty God.

The Philistines certainly displayed this when they “captured” the Ark of the Covenant. As if the Lord of the universe is going to be held hostage! First off, he’s not contained in that Box. I know a lot of Christians believe that God can actually be contained in a box, but it’s not so. Second, he’s omnipotent (meaning he can do anything he pleases), and they’re not.

But the real foolishness came out when they presented the Ark to their god Dagon. The next morning they came into the temple and Dagon had fallen on his face before the Ark. Friend, if you need to pick up your god after he falls on his face, you need to trade up.

So they try again, and the next morning, they not only see Dagon kissing the floor before the Lord, his hands and head had been broken off. His head represented understanding, and his hands reflected his power. How much more plain could the Lord be: “Your god has no understanding and no power. You need to need to worship me, the one true God!”

So what did they do? They made up a rule that from now on they wouldn’t touch the threshold of the temple. What????!!!!! How’s about thinking long and hard about giving up this block of stone and finding something better? Nope. I know that it's popular sometimes to think of idol worship as people reaching out to the one true God, and there's some truth to that, I suppose. But it's much more true that idol worship is man's way of running away from the Lord. They're not worshiping idols just because they haven't been exposed to Someone better. They're worshiping their idols because don't want to turn away from their sin.

Then they started noticing that people around them were getting sick and dying. And they eventually noticed a pattern: “We stole the Ark of the Covenant from the Hebrews, and people started getting sick. Coincidence maybe?”

We might have good laugh at the antics of these stupid Philistines. But do you think we’re much better? Well, not if you think that God is contained within a building. Do you think that the church building we meet at on Sunday morning is actually “God’s house”? Or does your Savior have any rivals in your heart for your loyalty and devotion? Remember the lesson we learned from Joshua? If you aren’t worshipping the God of the Bible, then it doesn’t matter what you worship. Dagon might be a bit more inconvenient to carry around than other idols, like the love of money, but he’s no worse or better. If you don’t let the Lord do some housecleaning, then the laugh might be on you.

Father, you are worthy of all my devotion and worship. Whatever idols are taking up residence in your temple, please show no mercy to them. Please be ruthless.

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