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 30]--Is Everybody Called To Missions?

Acts 13:1-5; Eph. 4:11-13

As you might've guessed, I’m very missions-minded. The Lord has laid it on my (and wife’s) heart to take part in fulfilling the Great Commission, which is made up of the last three verses of Matthew (which we read yesterday). Jesus commissioned us to go and make disciples of all nations, baptize them, and teach them to obey Jesus’ commands. All four of the Gospels, plus the first chapter of Acts, have some version of this final command, so apparently God considers it pretty important.

But is everybody called to missions? Well, yes and no. I firmly believe, based upon the above, that every Christian is called to be involved in missions. If nothing else, every follower of Christ is called to sacrifice some of his time, talents, and treasure towards accomplishing this.

But is everyone called to be a missionary? No, I don’t think so. Acts 13 is the first instance of the Holy Spirit specifically calling someone to leave behind their current life and lifestyle, and go to an unreached group of people and share the Good News of Christ with them.

The same goes for evangelism. Every Christian is called to be a witness for Christ, to be on the lookout for opportunities to share what Christ has done in their lives. But not everyone is given the spiritual gift of evangelism, as we note in the Eph. 4 reading above.

But before you think that this lets you off the hook, you might want to ask yourself some tough questions. Even if you aren’t called to be an evangelist per se, are you looking (and praying) for ways and opportunities to talk with people about your Savior? Could you explain how someone can be reconciled to God and have their sins forgiven? If not, why not? If you got informed that you just inherited a billion dollars from some rich uncle you never knew, would you share that news with your friends? If a friend was dying of a disease, and you happened to know what the cure was, would you withhold this information? If not, then why do you treat the best news that anyone's ever heard like it’s some terrible scandal? If you'd like to see one way to share the Good News with someone, here's a way.

And while we’re on the subject of missions, how’s your giving to this enterprise? We can always see what our priorities by looking at someone’s bank account records. What would yours reveal?

I certainly don’t claim that I’m entirely innocent on this either. But I think it would be a great start for all of us to invite the Lord to examine our hearts and listen carefully to what he tells us.

Lord Jesus, please forgive my apathy. People are lost, entire groups of people are heading into an eternity without you, and sometimes my actions show how little I care about that. Set off a flame in my heart, and let it burn. May what breaks your heart, break mine.

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