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.

[May 04]--Unsung Hero: Queen of Sheba

1 Kings 10:1-9

You might be a bit surprised by my choice of this hero for us to study and emulate, but I have some good reasons. Let me ask you this: If Jesus took the time to praise someone, do you think it’s maybe worth it to examine that person and find out what impressed him? Well, we don’t normally think about it, but in this case he did. Read here.

So what do we know about this woman? As the NIV Study notes, “Sheba” probably refers to a mercantile kingdom that flourished in southwest Arabia. We’re not exactly sure where it was, but it was probably in modern-day Yemen. The queen of a this rich and powerful kingdom had heard of Solomon’s wisdom and wealth, and decided to visit him in order to see if the hype lived up to the reality. And apparently it did: “Indeed, not even half was told me!”

So why did I list her among my “unsung heroes”? Well, why did Jesus commend her? When the teachers of the law came to Jesus and demanded a sign, he dismissed this request as a smokescreen: They didn’t want to believe in him as Messiah, so no amount of miracles would ever satisfy them. Then he brought up two counterexamples, two stories to hopefully wake them out of their stupor: the people of Ninevah and the “Queen of the South” (referring to the Queen of Sheba).

The point I want to make about the Queen is this: She was unwilling to merely accept things at face value. She'd heard of this guy Solomon, and instead of merely dismissing the rumors about him, she wanted to find out for herself. She traveled “from the ends of the earth” to hear him, so apparently this was a lot of time and effort on her part. When she met the king and examined his wisdom, she was humble enough to recognize his greatness. She praised him and recognized that she needed to learn from him.

And according to Jesus, this woman will one day stand at the Judgment and condemn certain people. So what was Jesus’ point? In the Matthew passage above, he's arguing from the lesser to the greater. If the Queen of Sheba responded positively to the wisdom of Solomon, how much more should Jesus’ audience (and we) respond to the One who gave that wisdom to Solomon in the first place? In fact, he's the Wisdom of God incarnate. For as great as Solomon was, there's One greater than him.

So here are some questions for you and me. If this woman put in so much effort--traveling so far--to hear from Solomon, how much effort am I putting into listening to the God of Solomon? If she recognized that she didn’t have all the answers, and needed to ask someone for help in understanding, then how much more should I be spending time in prayer and in the word? When she stands to condemn that generation who failed to listen, will I be included?

Lord Jesus, you are my wisdom, my righteousness, my holiness, my strength, and I claim no other. When you are speaking, please help me to be quiet and listen.

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