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 8]--What’s God Like, And What Does It Matter, Part Two

Prov. 5:21; 15:3; 15:11; 21:12

If there’s one thing I want all of us to take away from Proverbs, it’s this central thesis: Wisdom is not learning a set of facts so much as it’s developing a relationship with the Source of all wisdom. The very first words of the Bible—“In the beginning, God. . .” tells us who’s the central star of this story. So I submit that it would help us to examine what the book of Proverbs tells us about our Creator, the one who makes both rich and poor alike (as we saw yesterday). I promise you, Solomon doesn’t waste words. If he wants to highlight something about God, there’s a practical reason.

Today’s verses remind us about another aspect of him that we know but don’t think about too often: his omniscience. He knows everything about everyone, past present and future. He knows how many atoms make up the universe, and he keeps track of each and every one of them.

But again, Solomon’s a practical teacher, so this is supposed to affect how we think and how we act. Notice that he doesn’t just say that God knows everything, which would be true. No, he wants us to think about it in a personal way: Our ways are in full view of him, and he examines all our paths. His eyes are everywhere, keeping watch on each individual person. The teacher argues from the greater to the lesser—the Lord knows and understands all the grand mysteries of existence, like life and death and heaven and hell and all the aspects of the afterlife about which we have no clue. Since he knows all that, don’t you think he understands what’s going on in your heart?

So what does it matter? Well, it means that my sins are no secret from him. He knows every little nasty thought I’ve ever entertained. He knows about what you stole. He knows about what web sites you’ve been visiting. He knows about the shady business deal that wouldn’t stand scrutiny in the harsh light of day. You might have thought that you got away with it, but I assure you, you got away with nothing.

But the fact that he knows your heart can be comforting as well. No one knows your heart like he does, and that includes the heartache as well. Your heart is open to him just as much as “death” and “destruction,” and he knows the pain. You can tell others about it, but they haven’t experienced it with you. He has. And he cares.

And please keep in mind the personal and intimate nature of this 24-7 examination. He doesn’t know about you like a set of facts on a computer screen. He knows you. The real you that no one knows. Beneath all the masks and facades, beneath all the P.R., beneath all the fake smiles and keeping up the right image, he knows. Not even your spouse knows you like he does.

If while you’re reading this, his Spirit brings up a specific sin that needs to be dealt with, then here’s another great verse out of Proverbs: “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” I expect we’ll return to that verse multiple times in the next few weeks, because my need for mercy never seems to end. How about you?

Father, you know me inside and out. And you love me anyway. Whatever it is that’s keeping me and you separated, please let’s deal with it.

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