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.

[July 09]--Galilee?

Matt. 4:12-17

There’s a reason why God gave us four Gospels instead of just one. While I do believe that each of the Gospels is accurate and can be harmonized with each other, they all have different emphases. Mark presents Jesus as the Ultimate Servant who at the same time displays awesome authority and power. Luke presents him as the Son of Man, and since it was written by a Gentile (the only Gentile writer in the Bible, by the way), he loves to focus on the universality of the gospel. John’s portrait of Jesus is the Son of God who “made his dwelling with us.”

Matthew’s intended audience apparently was Jewish, since he emphasizes Jesus as the King of the Jews who fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy. He’s the New Israel, the One who'll accomplish what the old Israel was supposed to do but failed miserably. You’ll notice in today’s passage a phrase often repeated in this Gospel: “to fulfill what was said through the prophet. . .” or some variant.

But the interesting thing here is that in the midst of all this “Jewishness” comes something unexpected. What was Matthew’s point? Jesus spent most of his life in Galilee, and what did Isaiah call it? “Galilee of the Gentiles.” Each of the areas listed in the quote were well-known not only as Jewish-Gentile mixture but was also infamous as being of low reputation morally. This is the area in which Jesus grew up, and it’s the area he chose to live in after his ministry started.

So even in this “Jewish” Gospel, you have evidence of God reaching out to Gentiles. Of course, this climaxes in the last couple of verses of the Gospel, famously known as the “Great Commission.”

So what’s my point here? Just another reminder that as Americans there are segments of the world which we tend to “write off” as being unreachable. There is a whole one-sixth of the population, namely Muslims, which we might think of as not worth the effort. And even if we can’t (or won’t) go to their lands, through the Lord’s providence they’re coming here. Do we see this as just a threat to our way of life, or do we see it as a golden opportunity? Seeing where he chose to live, how do you think our Savior sees it?

Lord Jesus, please open my eyes to the opportunities you’ve put all around me. And when I see them, give me the courage to grab a hold. Please make my heart like yours.

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