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 14]--Jonathan: Unsung Hero

1 Sam. 18:1-4

Another person I’d like to add to my list of unsung heroes is Saul’s son, Jonathan. This passage is but one of many which I could note as showing us the true character of this man. Let’s go through some of his attributes and see what we can learn from him as an example to follow.

First, this young man trusted in his Lord, and he displayed it in some of the most courageous acts recorded in Scripture. He was introduced in chapter 14, when Saul was on his personal vendetta against “[his] enemies” (discussed yesterday). All of Israel was demoralized and panicky about the upcoming battle, mainly due to their lack of equipment and proper weapons. Jonathan and his armor-bearer decided to take the battle to the enemy, and climbed up a cliff to them. Believing that the God of the universe was surely strong enough to give their enemies into their hands, they killed twenty soldiers by themselves and unintentionally started a rally among the Israelites and a wholesale panic among the Philistines. Thus the Lord gave them a huge victory that day.

Second, this man was loyal, both to his friend and to his father. Today's passage describes beautifully how he and David became the closest of friends, symbolized by giving him his clothes and sword. When his father and his best friend had a falling out, there’s no hint that he conspired or plotted against his father. Instead, he did his best to reconcile the two, defending each one before the other. Even when his father pointed out the obvious, namely that Jonathan would NEVER become king as long as David lived, he never wavered in his love for his friend.

Third, he was extremely humble. When it became obvious to everyone (eventually including Saul himself) that David was going to be the next king, there is absolutely positively no trace of resentment or bitterness recorded. He was perfectly willing to step aside, expressing a hope that he could be second-in-command when his friend finally achieved the throne. This word of encouragement was extremely helpful to David as he was living as a fugitive from Saul.

Regrettably, this hope was not to be. Ever loyal, even to those who didn’t deserve it, he died while fighting alongside his father. Even after all Saul had done, Jonathan respected his father’s office and put the needs of Israel above his personal feelings. This respect for Saul’s position (without respecting the man personally) mirrored David’s actions as well.

This message is for people working “in the shadows.” Maybe you’re working hard for the Lord, and you’re not getting the attention you deserve. Maybe someone else is in the spotlight, and you’re discouraged because no one is noticing that you’re stepping aside for the good of God’s work. You might think this, but you’re dead wrong. Someone IS noticing. He sees when you’re willing to be in “second place” for the good of others. Please read Hebrews 6:10 again, and be encouraged.

Lord Jesus, yours is the only applause I need or even should want. Please change me, I really need it.

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