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 17]--Weed Control

Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43

Do you know what the definition of a weed is? It’s any plant that you don’t like in your garden or yard. My wife is a gardener, and there are plants that seemingly sprout up from nowhere to get her blood boiling.

Jesus told a parable about weeds, and this story has the honor of changing the course of a colony before our nation was founded, and it ended up influencing the course of this entire country.

How could this be? If you’ve been raised in Baptist circles as I have, and have taken a course in Baptist history, then here’s a name you would recognize: Roger Williams. He was a minister who tried to live and work among the Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Puritans had left England because they were being persecuted, but they didn’t seem to get the lesson. This is the sad irony: Christians who'd been persecuted for their beliefs turned right around and persecuted others for their beliefs.

Along came Roger Williams, and he never quite got along with the Puritans, and one of the bones of contention was the concept of religious liberty. He believed and taught that the state has no business dictating to people what they should or shouldn't believe when it came to religion. He believed that each one of us will be held accountable to God for our faith and practice, and no one else, especially not the government, has the right to interfere in that. He was eventually cast out of Massachusetts, and went and founded the colony of Rhode Island, the first such colony (or any governing body) which legally practiced complete religious freedom. There were no laws telling you which church to attend (if any) or any beliefs which you had to hold. It was his idea which eventually flowered into the religious liberty which we hold so dear today.

And to what Scripture did he point to argue for this insane new concept? The passage you just read. Removing disbelievers from the world (which is the field) is the Lord's job, not ours. When we try to do God’s job for him, when we try to root out the weeds ourselves, we end up tearing out the “wheat” as well.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we don’t need to oppose evil and wrong beliefs. It just means that the weapons which we use are spiritual, not of this world. The world tries to solve its problems with bullets or ballots. Our weapons are infinitely more powerful: prayer, the truth of God’s word, Christian love and unity. If we try to fight this battle on the Enemy’s terms, we’ll lose every time.

Lord Jesus, when I look at the political situation around me, I get so frustrated. But that only means that I’m looking at things with my eyes instead of yours. Please help me to trust you, to do things your way instead of mine.

No comments:

Post a Comment