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.
[Sept 12]--On Angels and Seekers
In a way, the events in Acts 10 shouldn’t have happened. I’ve already mentioned before that I really believe that the early church was being disobedient to the Great Commission by focusing all their attention on the Jews and in Jerusalem. It was perfectly understandable, and I certainly can’t claim total innocence in this regard, but we have to call a spade a spade.
If the church had been obedient to her instructions left by her Savior, then Cornelius likely wouldn't have needed an angel to direct him to a Christian. I’m glad Cornelius got saved, but the fact that God had to supernaturally intervene with angels in order to bring him into contact with the Good News is not a good sign. I really hope we’re doing better than that.
Let’s talk for a moment about angels, because I think this is a very important point to consider. When the angel appeared, the only thing he told Cornelius was where to go to hear the Message: “Go to this guy on this street and ask for Peter. He’ll tell you what you need to know.” I find that fascinating.
Right now, there are legions upon legions upon legions around the Throne in Heaven. Each one of these angels are incredibly more powerful than you or I could ever hope to be in this life. Almost every time you see an angel appear to someone, the first words out of the angel’s mouth are “Don’t be afraid!” They're luminescent with God’s glory. The stone-cold killing machines known as Roman soldiers fainted dead away at the sight of one. One angel—yes, one angel—killed 185,000 soldiers overnight.
And every one of these angels delights to obey and bring glory to their Creator. Let’s do a thought experiment: If the Lord on his throne said “I’d like to spread the news about my Son to this tribe of nomads in this area. Do I have any volunteers?” My friend, all the angels present would trip all over themselves in rushing forward to volunteer. And if one of them showed up to tell people about Jesus, I think they’d get a lot of attention, don’t you? It’d be hard to dismiss the word of a being like this!
But no. The Lord Almighty, in his wisdom, has chosen to bypass all those volunteers and has chosen. . . you. And he’s chosen me. Can I be frank here? An angel’s not going to chicken out of telling people. He’s not going to mess up the message. He’s not going to get caught doing something that undermines his witness. To my limited understanding, he’d make a much better evangelist and missionary than you or I would be. But God hasn’t chosen any angel. He’s picked us to be his ambassadors and representatives to a lost and dying world. Wow.
So what do we mean when we talk about a seeker? It seems pretty obvious: It’s someone who’s seeking God. Cornelius seems to be the perfect example of one. But we need to be careful here. Paul makes it abundantly clear: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.” So is all the talk about “seekers” just baloney? No. But we need to get our definition right. On our own initiative, we'll never seek God. Like Lewis put it, talking about man’s search for God is like talking about a mouse’s search for a cat.
But behind the scenes, God can, through the Holy Spirit, be preparing someone’s heart to hear the Good News. Maybe a death in the family or problems in their marriage or a bad doctor’s report can be the catalyst. We have people in our church who were never interested in anything concerning God until they had children. That woke them up. Whatever it is, the Spirit can do his supernatural work (which only he can do) to soften someone’s heart. That’s a seeker.
So what does this mean? It means we need to pray for the Spirit to work in the hearts of the lost. And we need to be on the lookout for signs that the Lord is doing things in someone’s life. And we need a sense of wonder that the Lord of the universe has chosen me to be his representative. I have to say it again. Wow.
Father, to say I feel totally inadequate for this task is a real understatement. But you've passed by all those angels and picked me to be your messenger. OK, who’s ready? Whom do you want me to approach today? How can I be your hands, your mouth today?