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.

[July 07]--Open Your Eyes!

Luke 12:54-59

I remember a story told to me in American History class back in high school. My teacher was talking about the time just prior to the fall of the stock market and the coming of the Great Depression in 1929. She told us a story (possibly apocryphal) about Rockefeller who was having his shoes shined. The incredibly wealthy businessman overheard the shoe-shiner bragging about some stocks he was investing in. Rockefeller immediately realized that the market was getting overextended if a shoe-shiner was able to buy stocks, and quickly liquidated his stock holdings in order to prepare for the coming downturn. By doing this he saved most of his money and weathered the approaching economic storm.

I thought about that story today as I read the passage above. Why was Jesus condemning his listeners? How should we respond? Should we be on the lookout for the “End Times” and stock up on food, guns, and ammo for the coming Apocalypse?

Our Lord was rebuking them for not seeing the obvious signs around them. Their weather prediction was pretty rudimentary, but they knew some of the basics just because of observation. They knew that if X happens, then likely Y is about to occur. They might not know why this was true, but they knew that it was true.

What were they seeing? Every day they were seeing miracles up to their armpits. They saw blind people receiving their sight again. They saw deaf people hearing again. They saw the crippled standing up and jumping for joy. They saw 5,000 men being fed with a few loaves and fish. They likely heard about the raising of the dead.

More than this, they saw peoples’ lives being changed. They saw tax collectors leaving behind their booths with money piled up in order to follow this Teacher. They saw people controlled by demons released from bondage. They saw former “ladies of the evening” abandoning their lifestyle in favor of sexual purity. They even saw some measure of reconciliation and unity within the ranks of the apostles: Among the Twelve were a former tax collector (a collaborator) and a former Zealot (who outside of this settings would've gladly knifed him in a heartbeat).

With all these signs around them, with most people it was like talking to them with headphones on. Have you ever done that? You’re talking to someone and they smile and nod. That’s what most of these people did. They weren’t really opposed to Jesus, but they weren’t about to give up their lifestyle in order to follow him.

In this context, vss. 58-59 make a little more sense. Right now is the time for reconciliation. Not with your brother-in-law whom you can’t stand, but your Creator. You’ve been given all the signs you need in order to recognize that you need to submit to the Savior. Right now, you and he are still talking, so to speak. But a court date is approaching, and the outcome of that is sure. You’ve already been condemned and judged guilty, and once you step into the courtroom it’s too late to “hash it out” beforehand.

So is this a call to be on the lookout for the End Times? Is it time to stock up and bunker down? I don’t think so. What is it? It’s a perfect time to do one of two things. If you haven’t received Christ, then now’s the only time you can do it. Yesterday’s gone. Tomorrow will be here, but maybe you won’t be here to see it. If you haven't received Christ yet--or if you're not sure if you have or not--please go here.

And if you are a follower of Christ, then make sure that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. John gives us some really good counsel: “And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.” Whether he comes in a thousand years or within the next minute, that’s good advice.

Lord Jesus, please open my eyes to what you want to show me. Am I missing opportunities or warnings you’ve placed in front of me? Is there something more I should be doing?

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