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 12]--Final Instructions Part 3

Matt. 10:24-36

As we continue in Jesus’ final instructions before he sends them out “on their own,” there are a lot of interesting points to examine. Our Lord gives the exact right amount of “tough love” combined with comforting promises.

The first two verses today ought to give us pause. If we’re popular as individuals or as a church or in the church in America, is that necessarily a bad thing? Should we want to be hated? If we’re being the salt and light we’re supposed to be, doesn’t Jesus say that the natural result of that would be people praising our Father in heaven? Wouldn’t that mean that we'd be somewhat popular, or at least not hated like Nazis?

Like most good questions, the answer can’t be just “yes” or “no.” Like Christ himself, believers cause a division among people. Jesus had very few if any people who met him and walked away as neutral: They tended to either worship him or plot his murder. It’s the same way with us, or it should be. If we’re representing our Savior the way we ought, then most people will either end up joining us or hating us, and Jesus wanted to prepare us for the worst. If we are pretty popular or being left alone by the world, then that might be a danger sign.

If you look at church history, by the way, we’re an anomaly. During most of its 2,000 year history, the church has been commonly persecuted. It’s only within the last 200 years, in this tiny sliver of time and in this nation that we’ve had some relief. I could be wrong, but I think that this period of tolerance will come to an end very shortly. Amazingly enough, the first word out of his mouth after this warning about being treated no better than the Master is “So” or “Therefore” in the NASB. Because of persecution we should not fear them. Why? Because the truth will eventually come out, and God’s children will be vindicated in the end. Along with this, we should remember that fear of man and fear of God are mutually incompatible.

And also we need to keep in mind that our Father is taking care of us. He knows exactly what’s happening to us, and he knows us intimately (of course, some of us have less hair than others for him to keep track of). When we’re being persecuted for our faith, he’s not standing off on the sidelines, watching from a distance. Just like with Job, the Enemy has to get specific permission to touch us, and it all has to be filtered through the Father's perfect, loving plan. Just be faithful, don’t be afraid to acknowledge him, and trust him. Hmmm, trust and obey. That seems to be a pattern, doesn’t it?

Lord Jesus, I don’t want to be looking for persecution, but I can’t expect to be treated any better than you were. When the time comes to make a choice, please give me the strength to make the right one.

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