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.

[Feb 01]--Value of a Bad Example

Psalm 52

One of the biggest best sellers of the last few years was The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. His main thesis, which I agree wholeheartedly with, is that God has a purpose for you. He has a plan for every person who’s ever been born. Parents might jokingly refer to a new addition to the family as an “accident,” but as far as the Bible is concerned there are no such people. We know God’s general purpose for everyone; for example, his desire is that everyone be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.

Beyond that, his specific purpose for everyone is a bit murkier at times. I believe that he’s called me into a life of international missions, while he’s called someone else into another field. But sometimes it’s difficult to figure out.

But what about someone who doesn’t even acknowledge him, who even sets himself against God’s kingdom? Well, there’s one man whose life can answer that question. Pharaoh was an extremely evil man, responsible for holding millions of innocent people in slavery, and he flagrantly rejected any summons to submit himself to God’s instructions. But the Lord had a purpose for Pharaoh, and used him to further the divine plan: “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

But even when God hasn’t revealed a specific purpose about someone by divine revelation, we can still see a use for them in the human mosaic of history. If nothing else, they can serve as a negative example. In today’s reading, David called upon righteous people to look upon what will happen to this evildoer, and fear. We’re supposed to look at them and say “I wouldn’t want to end up like that guy!”

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating. It’s always good to learn from your bad experience, but it’s far better to learn from other people’s bad experience. That would seem to me to be a lot wiser, no? In fact, Paul expressly recommends that we get to know very well the history of Israel for this very reason: “Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: ‘The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.’ We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.”

This is an ironclad law of human affairs. There has never been a single person in human history who did things God’s way who regretted it in the end. And the converse is also true: There’s never been a person in history who didn’t do things God’s way who didn’t end up regretting it. If you can learn from other peoples’ bad decisions instead of making your own, I promise you that you’ll avoid a lot of unnecessary heartache. Don’t you want that?

Father, your ways are so much higher than mine, as the heaven are above the earth. Let’s do things your way, shall we?

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