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 28]--God’s Solution, Part One

Isaiah 53:1-6

Let me introduce you to another theological/philosophical term: theodicy. Webster’s defines it as “defense of God's goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil.” Atheists and nonbelievers have long tried to discredit belief in God with this logical thought process:

1. God is good.
2. God is omnipotent.
3. There is unjustified evil and suffering in the world.

According to them, one of these points has to be untrue. The attempt to answer this old argument is called theodicy.

So what's God’s ultimate solution to all the evil and unjustified suffering in the world? Let’s start out, as before, by thinking logically and biblically at the same time. Think about the sun, the ultimate source of heat for us. As we get further from the sun, what’s the natural result? Cold, which really is not a thing in itself but is really just the absence of heat. What is the immediate consequence of sin? Separation from God. Our first parents sinned and immediately experienced emotional and relational separation. If all life flows from God, then what’s the final consequence of being separated from him? Obviously death. This is why the Bible tells us that all sin leads to death. Spiritual death leads to physical death and all the other suffering we see in the world.

So our ultimate problem isn't physical suffering like cancer or natural disasters like earthquakes, and it’s not the “natural” process of aging and physical deterioration that goes along with it. Our # 1 problem is sin and its attendant separation from God. All the other problems are just symptoms, not the disease.

That’s why Jesus came. His ultimate purpose was not to deal with physical suffering or sickness. In fact, I would conjecture that many of the people he physically healed are in hell right now. He came to deal with the root of all our problems.

And he did. Other religions can come up with elaborate explanations as to why the Almighty doesn’t deal directly with evil and suffering. In stark contrast, the God of the Bible did not stand aloof from us. The Father sent his own Son into this dark, nasty, sin-infected world to be rejected, betrayed, tortured, and murdered. When someone comes forward and asks “Where was God when this terrible thing happened?” we can respond “He was on his throne, the same place he was as he watched his Son nailed to a cross.” He took all this world’s evil upon himself and bore it on his back, for you and me.

Lord Jesus, I don’t know what to say, except “Thank you” and “I belong to you.”

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