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 29]--Questions About Authority

Matt. 21:23-27

We’ve mentioned it before, but it is one of the sad ironies of the Gospels that Jesus’ worst opponents were not the flagrant sinners, nor the Roman authorities, but the religious leaders. I guess it shouldn’t be that surprising, however, since that’s often the case today.

They came to him and brought up a bone of contention that had been bothering them since he had first made his appearance. Who did he claim to be? Who did he think he was, anyway? They all prized religious education, especially by the more prominent teachers (Paul cited his teacher when giving his testimony), and Jesus had none of these credentials. If you could quote so-and-so when you were teaching, that would add more weight, but Jesus never quoted anyone except the Old Testament. It was almost as if he considered himself higher than--and superior to--any of the religious teachers of their day.

So they asked him this obvious question, and as he commonly did, he answered back with a question. In fact, he promised to tell them where he got his authority if they just answered him. The passage explains their dilemma pretty well, so I won’t repeat it. They refused to answer his question, so he declined to answer theirs. Their final confrontation over this issue would have to wait until his trial.

So what does this matter to us today? For a very important reason: Many people treat the Bible today like they did John the Baptist back then. What do I mean by this? Well, what was their thought process here? They couldn’t just simply dismiss John’s ministry, nor could they acknowledge its divine origin. Ask a lot of people today: “Is the Bible divine or just a human book?” They’ll hem and haw and dodge and weave, and completely avoid the question. If they’re honest they have to concede that the Bible is the cornerstone of Western civilization and the source of a lot of things they like, such as respect for human life and dignity. They might even admit that it has some good advice. They might say “Of course I respect the Bible,” but really they don’t. If you respect someone, then you take what they say seriously. The Bible doesn’t claim to be a source of good advice. It claims to be the very words of God himself. It's either that, or it's essentially worthless. 

It’s really the same issue with how someone approaches Jesus. They don’t want to dismiss him completely (at least not in public), but they show no respect for him when it comes to his own claims about himself. Either he’s the Lord God in human flesh, or he’s a crazy man, or he’s a very evil man. The one thing he can’t be is a good teacher.

But what about you? You might be a believer, you might even have placed your trust in Christ. But if you aren’t obeying him, if you’re dismissing his word with your lifestyle, then aren’t you making the same sort of mistake? He’s not Dear Abby. He claims to be a lot more, and he has claims on you and me.

Lord Jesus, you are Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Your word is truth, and heaven and earth will pass away before it does. I need to live like that’s true, don’t I?

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