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 3] How Much Do You Want It?

Prov. 2:1-10

Imagine for a moment that I came to you with a little secret. Suppose I told you that before you bought your home, the previous owners hid a stash of gold pieces in their backyard, and it’s still out there. You don’t know exactly where, but you know that it’s buried somewhere in your yard. We both know that you'd break out the shovel and pick and immediately tear up your yard until you find it, right?

Yesterday we talked about the negative consequences of not seeking wisdom. But there are a lot of benefits to it as well. We’ll talk about some of those in the next few days, but for today I’d like to talk about the image in this passage. I’m reminded of two of Jesus’ parables, found in Matt. 13:44-46. He told about a man who had found a treasure out in a field and emptied out his life savings in order to buy it. The other short story told of a merchant who found a rare and valuable pearl. Once again, the man gave up everything he had in order to obtain his prize.

I know I’m repeating myself here, but it’s important: I believe that we’re saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. So what's the Lord trying to tell us through these images? Not that we’re saved by giving up our possessions, but that no matter what we do give up for the Kingdom, it’ll be more than worth it. God will—in the end—be the debtor of no man.

So what's the Lord offering to us here, and how do we get it? We noted on the 1st that wisdom is not learning a new set of facts as much as it's getting to know a Person, deepening your relationship with him. As we spend more time with him and become more like him, we’ll grow in wisdom, which will include the benefits we talked about a couple of days ago (knowledge, prudence, insight, etc.).

So what is Solomon calling for here? What type of effort is described? Let’s get a quick summary of what’s involved:

• “Store up my commands”—memorize Scripture
• “Turning your ear to wisdom”—Listening to God’s word as it's being taught
• “Call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding”—Pleading with God for it like your life depends on it
• “Look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure”—Studying God’s word in depth, not giving up until you’ve got all he has for you

Do you get the impression that he’s calling for more than five minutes a day in reading a couple of verses? A little more than praying over your meal? Again, if I told you about that sack of gold pieces in your yard, how much effort would you put into it?

Father, your word is so precious to me. . . or is it? May my schedule and everything else about me show just how much I value listening to you first above everything else. 

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