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 4] Some Thoughts On Guidance

Prov. 2:1-10

I know, I know. We read this yesterday. Once again, I had another major point to make regarding this passage, and I was running out of room. Since we’re going to be studying a book on wisdom, I thought it might behoove us to take a moment to look at the issue of guidance in our decisions.

We talked a bit about this a year ago, so I’ll briefly summarize the fourfold process. First and foremost is God’s word. I don’t mean a verse or two, but a systematic method of reading the entire Bible through from cover to cover. Second is prayer, specifically asking for wisdom and guidance. James promises us that if we ask, he’ll give us what we need to know. Third is good counsel from godly sources, especially from believers who are more mature and knowledgeable than you. And fourth--although this might sound crazy coming from me—do what you want!

Considering how much I harp on how easy it is to deceive yourself, how can I possibly say this? Based on what I’ve seen from Scripture, God can actually work through our desires. But it’s based on two major conditions which must must must be met! First, you need to consult all the other sources. We’re assuming that it’s completely in line with what his word clearly says, that you’ve honestly sought for his guidance through prayer, and that godly mature believers affirm the direction you’re inclined to go.

The second is mentioned in today’s passage. Verses 6-8 hold a glorious promise for us, but it’s conditional on our behavior. He promises to give us the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that we need. But he promises to guard our course and protect our way, and he'll grant us victory and will be our shield. But what do we need to do? Our part is to be “upright,” “blameless,” “just,” and “faithful.” Just to clarify, this is not talking about sinlessness. If is was, there'd be no point, since none of us would qualify. But what’s the general direction of your life? Are you “keeping short accounts” with God? By this I mean the process of A) Asking him to point out any unconfessed sin, B) Confessing it, and C) Taking steps to deal with it. Also, are there no unresolved issues between you and another human being, specifically some way in which you’ve wronged them and failed to make it right?

If you have done these things on a regular basis, then I'd say that you qualify for being called “blameless,” “upright,” etc. Now, let’s think about it for a minute. If you're following Christ on a consistent basis and keeping short accounts, then what happens if you made a wrong choice? What if you made a completely innocent mistake about God’s will? Then he’ll change your course for you! That’s what happened to David, remember? David was planning on building a temple, and told Nathan the prophet about his plans. The next day Nathan came back to him and said, in effect, “This is what God says: You had a great idea, but I’m changing your plans. You won’t build the temple, but your son will.” And the king happily changed his plans to fit his Lord's.

So to boil it down, just concentrate on doing what you know you ought to be doing, and let him take care of the rest. If you happen to make an honest mistake, he’ll change your course. Now, doesn’t that take the pressure off a bit?

Father, so often it’s not that I don’t know what to do. Most of the time it’s that I don’t want to do it. Please forgive me, and give me the grace I need.

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