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 6]--Body Check

Prov. 4:20-27

I’ve recently become a fan of Ice Hockey, and after years of being completely ignorant of sports, I’ve had to learn a whole new vocabulary. I kept hearing them use the term “body checking,” and I was really confused. Finally, I had to look it up. “Oh. . . so they’re talking about slamming someone against the wall! It has nothing to do with examining anything.” Anyway, with that poor segue. . .

Today’s passage is the last one we’ll examine about the benefits of wisdom, and Solomon calls for us to keep an eye on our “body.” The first and foremost thing he tells us in this passage is to “guard your heart.” The term is referring to the “seat” of the person: your thought life, including your emotions, your will, and your decisions. As other translations have rendered it, it's the “wellspring of life.” Your thought life affects everything about you, including the aspects noted in the following verses.

Second he wants us to guard our speech. He tells us later in the book that “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Our Lord himself told us that “by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Specifically we’re supposed to avoid “perversity” and “corrupt talk,” something that a lot of us struggle with, especially when we’re around nonbelievers in the workplace. It’s really hard sometimes not to join in the “dirty joke” or office gossip, isn’t it?

Third, he counsels us to “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” What does that mean? Well, it seems to me that it’s telling us to avoid distractions. These distractions could be sinful temptations, or they could just be things that draw our attention away from what God wants us to be doing. I always visualize a horse with blinders on when I see this verse: All he’s supposed to care about is what’s in front of him, not every little detail that’s happening to the side.

Finally we’re commanded to “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” Watch where you’re going! If you’re obeying the last verse, this will be a lot easier. Sometimes it might seem like our Lord’s leading us on dangerous pathways and it’d be safer to pick our own way. Don’t be fooled! Someone once told me that “No matter how it looks, the safest place in the universe is in the middle of God’s will.” Just like Bilbo in The Hobbit, our troubles always start when we get off of God’s pathway.

So why are these benefits of wisdom? Because if our hearts (meaning our thought life) is where it needs to be, if our mouths reflect Christ’s purity, if our attention is focused on God’s plan and we don’t get distracted, then what do we need to worry about? We’ll avoid a lot of unnecessary heartache and pain in life, and the rewards--both in this life and the next—will make it more than worth it.

Lord Jesus, I’m trying to follow you, I really am. It’s so easy to get distracted, and not even by sin. It’s the little things that pull my eyes off of you. Help me. Please.

No comments:

Post a Comment