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.

[March 11]--God’s Relationship With Mankind, Part Two

Prov. 30:5-6

Continuing our study on how God relates to us, today we’re going to briefly look at the main way he speaks to us, namely his word.

I think it’s a given that we don’t take God’s word to us as seriously as he does. Heaven and earth will one day pass away, but not his words. But I think that today’s passage offers some insight into the subject that we haven’t considered.

First, all of his words are “flawless.” If you check out the other translations on the website I use for Scripture references, you might also see it as “tested,” or “proved true,” or “pure.” The reason for this is that word was used for the process of refining metals. Once something was purified by fire, it was considered “flawless” or “tested.” The Psalmist declared that his word is “like silver refined in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.” In other words, his word has been tested. Over the thousands of years of recorded history, not one of his words has failed to come to pass. Skeptics mock it, dictators burn it, and most American Christians ignore most of it, but it’s been proven time and time again to be “flawless.”

But again, Solomon is a practical man, so when he tells us something about anything, there’s a reason. After telling us that God’s word is flawless, he tells us that our Lord is a “shield to those who take refuge in him.” Why would he say this in the second half of the verse? Because here God “shields” us and we “take refuge in him” in the context of trusting and obeying his word. As we do that, we can rest assured that we’re safe from all real harm.

But the second verse today is a warning to all of us, especially those who teach from his Book. We need to be extra extra extra careful about distinguishing between what God has actually said from our own opinions and thoughts. As someone once told me, our clarity on an issue needs to be in direct proportion to how clear the Bible is on it. Where it’s less than clear, then we need to be charitable to those who disagree.

And if I disobey vs. 6, if I add to his words, then he’ll prove me a liar. I think this is a public rebuke. It’s not totally clear on how he’ll prove me a liar, but I for one don’t want to find out.

So what’s an application here? I think we need to be very careful about using the phrase “God told me. . .” Unless you’re willing to produce a 23rd chapter of Revelation, I'd avoid that wording. If you want to say that “I believe that God is leading me to. . .” I don’t think that’s so much a problem. But he’s got some pretty dire warnings about adding to his word or taking away from it or distorting the meaning of it.

None of us like to be misquoted, and the Lord likes it even less. And keep in mind that the stakes couldn’t be higher. . .

Father, I want to be a clear channel for your truth. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing other than what you’ve said. Nothing else matters.

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