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 24]--Telling the Truth

Matt. 7:13-14

Today’s passage is a striking warning for all of us, and it needs some attention. Here are some of my thoughts on this:

Jesus Christ, the most loving and compassionate man who ever walked the earth, the incarnation of Love himself, spoke quite frequently about Hell. In fact, he spoke more about Hell than about Heaven. The common word for hell, gehenna, was a trash-heap outside of Jerusalem at which garbage was dumped, set on fire, and perpetually burned. Twelve times this word is found in the N.T., and eleven of those times they come from Jesus’ lips. Why would he speak about this? Because he was loving and compassionate! If a doctor had a patient with cancer but withheld this fact from him, what would you think of that physician? What would be the loving and compassionate thing to do?

We must imitate our Master in this. This doesn’t mean that every Christian is called to be a preacher, but we must all be honest with our friends and relatives who are without the Savior. We’re called to be messengers of the Good News, but the Good News has to start with the Bad News.

We don’t need to be concerned if the way we’re following isn’t the most popular. In fact, the exact opposite is true. If the path we’re on seems to be the way that everyone else is using, that would be a cause for worry. Christ’s true followers have never been the majority, and the Good News will never be as popular as the latest religious fad. If the world calls us narrow-minded and bigoted, that’s probably a compliment. In fact, if someone called me narrow-minded, I would point them to this very passage and say “You’re absolutely right. I certainly am ‘narrow-minded’ because that’s what Jesus was talking about here.”

Again, the perfect balance is found in Eph. 4:15Speak the truth in love. Most Christians find it easier to do one without the other. Some Christians are really good at speaking the truth, but they almost sound as if they're perfectly fine with people heading into destruction. I'd contend, however, that most believers (including myself) fall into the opposite trap. We're around lost people every day, and don’t want to speak the truth in fear of offending someone. Quite frankly, that’s not showing love either.

BTW, if you're reading this and wondering what I'm talking about, check out my summary of the Bible in one verse (which I've borrowed from others) here.

Lord Jesus, as I point the fingers to others, I find myself convicted by this as well. Am I showing real love to the lost people around me? Please give me the words to speak, and may they see your love reflected in everything I do and say.

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