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.

[June 25]--Is There Anything Wrong With Money?

Prov. 30:7-9

Anyone who claims that the Bible isn’t a practical book ought to note how often it talks about money. As someone pointed out to me a long time ago, Jesus talked more about money than he did about heaven and hell combined. It’s a subject that a lot of pastors like to avoid, especially when it comes to tithing, since they would hate to offend anyone. But since we've been studying hardship and affliction, I thought it might be useful to talk a bit about this.

I’ve mentioned yesterday that people tend to go to extremes on this subject. A lot of preachers on TV openly teach that God’s will is for everyone to be wealthy in this life, and if someone's not, then there’s something wrong with their faith. Others teach that wealth is bad, and God’s plan for Christians is for them to have just enough to meet their basic physical needs: food, clothing, and shelter.

What does the Bible say? As you might expect, it doesn’t side with either group, and provides a perfect corrective to both. To the second group, it lists several godly men and women who were very wealthy, and God not only didn't condemn them, he openly commended their devotion to him. Abraham, Isaac, David, Joseph of Arimathea, and of course Job were all very wealthy men who also were righteous and God-centered in their outlook. Nowhere is it recorded that the Lord commanded them to give all their money away to the poor.

On the other hand, the Bible gives multiple warnings about wealth. If I could summarize the Bible’s stance on money, I'd say God’s word doesn't classify it as bad but as very dangerous. Today’s passage is just one such warning. Jesus warned about it (for example here), as did Paul. The main issue seems to be our devotion to and trust in our Lord, in opposition to our tendency to fix our attention on the blessings instead of the Blesser. When you’re poor and are living a hand-to-mouth existence, you trust in the Lord because you have little other choice. But when you accumulate wealth, it’s a lot easier to forget who brought you to this point and to abandon him. It’s not necessarily what will happen (the men listed in the above paragraph prove this), but it’s common enough that Scripture feels the need to warn us about it repeatedly.

So what about me? Is there any way for me to convince the Lord that I can handle more wealth? Well, there might be a way. Read Luke 16:10-12 and ask yourself: “How do I handle what I’ve been given so far? Do I put more trust in my own resources than in my Provider? Do I faithfully give back to God’s work through the church? This is no guarantee that he's going to give you more wealth, but it does raise an uncomfortable question: If I can’t handle a five-digit income, why should God trust me with anything more?”

Father God, everything I have, everything I am, is yours. You've not only created me, you've redeemed me so I’m yours twice over. Every possession I have is on loan, and you'll demand an accounting someday for how I handle it. Please renew my heart and mind, change my attitude. I desperately need it at times.

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