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 10]--Veracity of Scripture

1 Sam. 11:1-14

If you ever venture outside the “bubble” of Evangelical Christianity (or as I like to define it, “Christianity which actually takes the Bible seriously”), you’ll find a lot of biblical “scholars” who refuse to let the Bible speak for itself. It claims to record the stories of God’s encounters with real people, and it claims that these people actually lived, just like Abraham Lincoln lived. It claims that these stories actually, literally happened, like the Battle of Gettysburg, on land that can be stood upon today. It is not a bunch of made-up stories to teach us a lesson.

Why is this important? Why does it matter if Moses actually talked with God, or even if there was even such a person as Moses? Because this is what the Bible claims. If we don’t ascribe any credibility to its narratives, then why should we ascribe any credibility to its teaching portions? Why should we pay any more attention to its counsel on marriage than to, say, Dear Abby? It doesn’t matter that much if Buddha never really lived, because his teachings are independent of his historicity. He taught that the physical world is an illusion anyway, so what difference does it make? But the Bible claims to be a true record of the God of the universe “invading” history. If he didn’t, then the Bible is just good advice, and I can pick and choose what I want to believe and follow. So then the standard isn't really the Bible at all; the ultimate standard is me.

Having said that, I’d like to present one strong piece of evidence of the veracity of the Bible. This chapter describes the beginning of Saul’s leadership, and in this chapter he performed spectacularly. He showed incredible courage, skills in persuasion, military tactics, and great humility and forgiveness in dealing with the people who initially doubted him. If this chapter was all you knew about Saul, then you'd predict a bright future for this guy. Of course, assuming you’ve read the rest of 1 Samuel, you know how he ended up, and it wasn’t pretty.

Here's the point: If the writer was not under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, why would he include this? By the time of its writing, Saul would have been long dead and David’s kingdom would've been everyone’s standard of comparison. Why would the writer include good things about Saul and bad things about David (which 2 Samuel certainly does), if he just wanted to make up some stories? This is one of the best evidences I've seen of the trustworthiness of Scripture. Its record, virtually unique in ancient history, show severely flawed heroes.

The Bible is the record of real people who really lived and who really encountered God in real time and in real places. He's not unconnected with history, not knowing or caring about what happens with us. And the same God who invaded human history and spoke to Moses and who walked this planet for 33 years wants to invade your story as well.  The Savior God we serve is concerned about our real problems in today’s world. He's here, right now, and he’s talking to you. Are you listening?

Yes, Lord, I’m listening. What do you want to tell me?

No comments:

Post a Comment