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 10]--Undivided Heart

Psalm 86

Before we get to the subject of today’s title, I’d like to point out some very note-worthy verses. Vs. 8 asserts that there is no God like the Lord. Well, of course he’s not like the gods that the pagans worship; to start off, he actually exists, so there’s one main distinction right there! But even if there were “gods” out there, none of them would be worthy of trust, praise, and worship like the one true God. That’s why David is coming to him in his time of trouble, which is the main point of the Psalm. But then he makes a wonderful promise, inspired by the Holy Spirit. Read vss. 9-10, slowly. Note the universality: Not some, not most, but all the nations which the Lord has made will one day come before him and bow down in worship and bring glory to his name. Why? Two reasons. (1) Because of what he's done (great and marvelous deeds) and (2) Because of who he is (the only God). Despite the best efforts of the Enemy (or maybe even because of them), we'll eventually see this come to pass.

Why did I bring this up? Didn’t we just study Psalm 67, which talks about God’s plan to reclaim the nations? Yes we did, but I just thought that this would be a great spring board for some research my wife and I did a few years ago. We read all through the Psalms and took note of every time there’s a mention of the “nations” (or Gentiles, same word) worshiping the one true Lord alongside Israel. We counted each time this was predicted or in which the Psalmist expressed a desire to see it happen. By our count, we found 19 Psalms that fit this criteria, with 43 verses in these Psalms which at least mention or strongly hint about God’s desire to redeem the nations. As John Piper put it, missions exist because worship doesn't. In a very real sense, every missionary and every evangelist (and every believer obedient to the Great Commission) is a worship recruiter.

But let’s move on to the main subject for today. Whenever I read a passage like vs. 11, I always think of my favorite quote by Kierkegaard, the Lutheran theologian. He defined purity of heart (which our Lord blessed) as desiring one thing out of life. That was David’s prayer, that the Lord would give him an undivided heart, so that he (David) could fear his name. I certainly can’t claim that I’m anywhere close to that. In fact, the closer I get to Christ, the clearer I see how far I fall short.

But the good news is that he lives within me, and he isn’t finished with me yet. He is continually purifying me, and even the desire to have a pure heart comes ultimately from him. But this prayer so captures what I want to see in my life. I want to love him with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. And it starts out with crying out to him, asking for him to fill me. Do you want that too?

Lord Jesus, I’m nowhere near where I need to be, but by your grace I want to be. This is the cry of my heart: an undivided heart, so that I may fear your name.

No comments:

Post a Comment