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 15]--Rest

Matt. 11:25-30

Today’s passage is an open invitation, and these five verses are really packed with meaning. Each sentence could be the source of a sermon, but we’ll just pick out a few thoughts which I’ve managed to glean.

First, we have some insight into God’s revelation to humanity. Exactly why some people receive Christ while others reject him is a matter of a centuries-long debate, and it’s a mystery which we’ll never completely solve in this life. However, there's a practical application which we can make from our end. Throughout the Bible and throughout history, God has tended to reveal himself to people who are childlike and humble in their openness to his truth. The proud and arrogant who think they have all the answers close themselves off to his light. As Mary once said, “He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.”

Second, I notice this is a peek “behind the curtain” in the relationship between the first and second Persons of the Trinity. Whatever our view of Jesus, it can’t possibly be high or exalted enough, since the Father has placed all things in his hands (or under his feet). And anyone who attempts to know God without going through Jesus is wasting his time. Christ is the door through which we have to enter in order to get to the Father. There’s no other.

The third thing is the invitation we mentioned before. You know, people used to look forward to peace and solitude, to be alone with their thoughts. Now a modern person would probably look upon that as sheer torture. We punish our worst criminals with solitary confinement. Why? Because we can’t stand to be alone with our thoughts for five minutes. We have no peace. We are, in fact, rest-less. But Jesus offers to step in and provide rest to our souls, just like he stood up in a boat and brought peace to a raging storm with one word.

To his enemies, he's the worst nightmare they'll ever face when they stand before him to be judged. But to his friends, to us who've been forgiven and reconciled, he's gentler than the softest spring breeze. Peter after his failure, Thomas after his doubts, and a host of countless others could testify about the gentleness of Christ.

And what does he ask in return? He wants to come to us as we are, but he will give us a yoke, a burden to carry. Whatever his burden he gives us, however, will be nothing compared to the burden of sin, fears, doubts, and restlessness which we hand over to him. And here’s a quick word to people who still feel burdened after they come to Christ. He promised that his yoke is easy, his burden is light. If the burden you’re carrying seems to be crushing you beneath its weight, it’s not the burden that Jesus has given you. J. C. Ryle said that his yoke is no more a burden to us than feathers are to a bird.

So how about you? Are you enjoying his rest? Do you have the attitude you need to learn from him? Why not?

Lord Jesus, I am so busy running around because I’m carrying my burdens instead of what you’ve given me. Please give me your peace, your rest.

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