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.

[Aug 03]--Song Inspiration

Luke 1:67-80

Jesus pronounced that among those born of women there was no one greater than John, and today’s passage adds to the support of that. Once John was born, his father, inspired by the Holy Spirit, composed a poem/song about him which made it into Scripture. How many newborns can have that said about them? So what does this passage say about John, and what can we learn from it?

Zechariah’s song starts out with praise to the Lord, for now the man knew that God was initiating his plan to redeem his people. To be fair, there’s nothing explicit about the Lord’s agenda to ultimately redeem all the nations. But Zechariah knew that Israel needed to be redeemed, which literally means to “buy back” something. The Messiah was about to arrive, and everything would be made right at that point. God’s promises made to Abraham and the patriarchs were about to be fulfilled.

And again we see a recurring theme about John’s purpose: “to prepare the way for him.” How was he going to do this? By giving them a knowledge of sin, of promised forgiveness, and thus bring people back into a right relationship with the Lord. I love the beautiful imagery he used to describe the Messiah: “the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” Even when revealing information about his boy, Zechariah still focused his attention on the Messiah. Everything revolved around him, even one so great as John the Baptist. We’ll develop that theme over the next few days.

So how can we apply this? Well, what was John’s appointed task? To prepare people for the coming of the Messiah. He’s come once, but he’s due to return anytime now. So what’s our appointed task? Much the same. We need to tell people--who are “living in darkness and in the shadow of death”--that there's a judgment to come, that forgiveness is available, and we can do our best to lead them “into the path of peace.” Where does the path of peace lead? Right to the foot of the cross.

Father God, there are people like this all around me. I cross their path for a reason, and you've appointed me to be your representative to them, to lead them out of darkness into your glorious light. Please show me how to do that, and give me the strength to do it.

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