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.

[April 14]--Original Sin, Part Two

Prov. 13:7; 18:2, 11, 19; 25:14

Since pride is such a deadly problem, how can we recognize it? We mentioned yesterday that it’s the most insidious of sins, and the most destructive. Lewis (I know you’re sick of hearing about him) gave one pretty good test. He asks (again, paraphrasing) “If someone gets more attention than me, does that bother me? Or how’s about if I get snubbed, or insulted? How quick does that get a reaction from me?”

That’s a good test, but Solomon has some even better tests than that. In fact, they’re Divinely inspired. Pride has many faces, and can show up in some surprising ways:

Do you have a desire to make people think you’re better off than you really are? This can be in the financial realm, when people go into debt in order to put on an ostentatious lifestyle. Why do they do that? Because of pride. I remember hearing stories about Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart and the richest man in the world. Reportedly he brought a sack-lunch to work, drove a middle-class truck, and waited in line at Wal-Mart like any customer. That’s the classic example of the second half of the verse, and a great modern display of humility.

How important is it that everyone agrees with your opinions? I’m not talking about God’s immutable and indisputable truth, but about things that aren’t eternally important. This is something I desperately need to work on, since I’m a lot better at talking than at listening.

Do you trust in your wealth, or other resources? Do you think that they will shelter you when trouble comes? Do you actually think that your wealth is an “wall too high to scale”? If so, Solomon says that you’re deceiving yourself: That perfect security is only in your imagination.

Are you still holding onto an old grievance? Someone offended you a long time ago, and you’re still holding onto it. Emotionally you’re like a “citadel,” and even though that person has tried to reconcile with you, you’ve barred them out. How many relationships, from marriages to friendships, have this on their tombstone: “I knew I was right!”?

All of us make commitments, and sometimes they’re rash. In a later book, Solomon tells us it’s better not to vow something before God than to vow it and not follow-through. You might want to look better than your fellow believers, but your pride is going to cause major problems down the road. And I promise you, the Lord’s not impressed. In fact, this is the reason why Annanias and Saphira dropped dead, remember?

So how’s the checkup looking? Has the Holy Spirit pointed out anything in particular that needs confession and repentance? Same here.

Lord Jesus, please root out the pride. Whatever it takes, I’m ready. Empty me of myself, and fill me with you.

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