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.

[Oct 13]--Nighttime Visitor Part Four

John 3:19-21

For several years after I got serious in my faith, I was heavily involved in apologetics. In case you’re not familiar with the term, it has nothing to do with apologizing for anything. Instead, it’s a reasoned defense of the faith before nonbelievers. I devoured books like Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell, and Who Moved The Stone? by Frank Morrison, along with other works which attempted to present evidence in favor of biblical Christianity.

I still believe that there’s a place for apologetics. After all Peter commands us to “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” There’s nothing wrong with it in itself, and there are people whom God has called to use their gifts to present the best possible logical arguments in the Kingdom’s cause (like my hero C. S. Lewis).

You can sense the “but. . .” coming, cant’ you? Today’s passage presents to us a perfect balance, especially to people like me who are tempted to try to reason people into the Kingdom. Please read it again. When people are presented with an accurate portrayal of the Good News about Christ, and they reject it, why do they do that? Is it because the presenter didn’t make his case well enough? Can the honest seeker, after taking a close look at Jesus, reject him in all sincerity?

I wouldn't claim to be an expert on the human heart or soul. I don’t even know myself as well as I should, much less another human being, whose mind I can’t read. But Jesus could, and did, and does know all of us down to the core, and he knows (as we read a couple of days ago) exactly what lies in the hearts of men. And according to him, from reading this passage, the problem is not a lack of information or evidence. The main problem is “Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” They love their sin, and they don’t want to let go of it. They love their independence, and they don’t want anyone telling them what to do. That’s the issue.

So what does this mean for us? For believers, this has two main applications. First, this takes a lot of pressure off you as the person presenting the claims of Christ to the lost people around you. You don’t have to come up with the perfect presentation or be able to answer every single objection. Just submit the truth as you know it, and relax a bit.

The other application for me is to notice the spiritual aspect of what we’re doing when we’re witnessing to people. You actually could come up with airtight arguments, but the person will never receive Christ as Savior until the Holy Spirit turns his heart of stone into a heart of flesh. That’s what you have to pray for: That the Spirit will penetrate that person’s heart and lead him to a saving knowledge, to know how much he needs Jesus and how much Jesus loves him. Only the Spirit can do that.

Father God, please forgive me for trying to be an amateur Holy Spirit. Please give me the courage and wisdom to speak the truth in love.

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