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.

[Sept 10]--What Was Wrong With The Pharisees? Part Five

Matt. 23:29-36

Have you ever been to a funeral of a person of questionable character? I'd imagine it’s pretty amusing in a way. No matter what the person did while alive, no one brings up the uncomfortable truth while at the gravesite. We always want to avoid speaking ill of the dead.

This is understandable, but that’s not what Jesus was condemning here. Apparently the Pharisees preferred dead saints to live ones. While they were alive, most prophets were not revered. Instead they faced ridicule, outright persecution, and even murder. If you were looking to be popular, being a true prophet of God was not the way to do it.

But along came the Pharisees, who built tombs and memorials to honor these men of God. But Jesus claimed that these teachers were not the spiritual heirs of the prophets, but of their murderers. Why would he do this? Aside from knowing their hearts, did he actually have any evidence for this?

Yes. The One the prophets testified about was standing right in front of them, and they firmly rejected him. This was the main point of the prophets: to prepare God’s people for the Messiah. The Pharisees would give great speeches about how wonderful these messengers of the Lord were, and then turned their backs on the fulfillment of everything the prophets worked for.

By rejecting Jesus, they were aligning themselves with the ones who slew the prophets. They always venerated the prophets, but only the dead ones. During the time of Moses, who was a true man of God to them? Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but not Moses—he must be stoned. During the time of Samuel, whom would they proclaim as a messenger from God? Moses, but not Samuel—don’t listen to him. They continued to pledge respect for the dead saints from long ago, but the One who was calling them back to God right now, standing in front of them, was not worth listening to.

Do we do the same thing? Well, there are denominations right now who claim to be heirs of spiritual giants (like John Knox, Martin Luther, and John Wesley) but--I have to be brutally frank here--who completely ignore what those men stood for during their lives. Those men stood for integrity in following God’s word, but some of the churches who follow in their name, not so much.

What about us? Some of us might be guilty of this. When we claim to reverence the Bible and have it in a prominent place in our home but make no effort to read, study, and obey it, that’s serious. If you claim that Jesus is your Lord, he has a piercing question for you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to put my heart under the Surgeon’s scalpel once again.

Holy Father, your standard is so high, and I fall so far short. Thank you for your grace which not only forgives me, but also changes me. Whatever I need to do to cooperate, please give me the strength to do it.

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