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 29]--Free Sacrifices

1 Chron. 21

Today’s reading (and the parallel account in 2 Samuel) recounts an interesting story about David, mostly presenting him in a positive light. He started off badly, giving in to Satan’s influence and, despite the objections of his advisor Joab, initiating a census to count all the nation’s men of fighting age. The problem was not in the census itself: God himself had Moses do two of them, and this is the reason why the fourth book of the Bible is called “Numbers.” The problem was that this showed that David wanted to trust in his military resources instead of relying on the Lord’s protection.

The Lord was going to punish Israel and David, and gave him a choice as to how to go about it. He refused to make the choice, but asked that he fall into the hands of the Lord, not men. He knew from personal experience that you can rely on the Lord to be merciful even in the midst of judgment, but not so much with human beings. And so the plague began.

From this point forward, David’s better aspects of his character shone through. After watching the suffering of his people, he pled with God to have the punishment fall upon himself instead of the nation. The Lord, moved by his own compassion, decided to stay the death angel’s hand, and the plague ended at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

As he was instructed by the Lord, David approached the threshing floor and offered to buy it in order to build an altar. Araunah offered not only to give the king his property, but also to provide oxen, wood, and grain for the offerings. David’s response is good model for all of us: “I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

Let me be completely frank here. David’s attitude and actions in this story shame me. My idea of sacrifice usually means getting up early on Sunday morning, when I’d rather sleep in. Paying my tithe on time. Reading my Bible, and praying.

According to this passage, it’s only sacrifice if it actually costs me something. Something dear to me. Of course, everything I am and have belongs to him. I’m not my own, I’ve been bought at a price. I just wish that I lived like it.

Lord Jesus, whatever you ask for, it’s yours. Everything I am, it’s yours. Whatever I own, it’s yours. It belongs to you, twice over.

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