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.

[Nov 08]--False Accusations

Acts 21:27-36

It’s such a sure thing that you can usually set your clocks by it. If you’re effective in reaching people with the Good News and in furthering God’s Kingdom, you can expect that the Enemy will give you his attention. And one of his favorite means of working against the Church has always been that of false accusations. During the early years of the Church—after the Apostles’ era—Christians were routinely accused of fomenting sedition against the Roman government, of cannibalism, and of incest. Of course none of these were true. Our foremost author of the New Testament told us to submit to governing authorities. The charge of cannibalism came from the fact that during the Lord’s Supper we recited verses in which we mentioned “eating his body” and “drinking his blood.” And the reason we were suspected of incest is because men and women referred to each other as “brother” and “sister”; even husbands and wives did so.

So when Paul’s enemies were on the lookout for anything with which to accuse him, they finally found something. They saw him with some men, and they'd earlier seen him with a Gentile walking through the city streets. So they accused him of bringing a Gentile into the temple area. But notice the first accusation, the one they hoped would really stir up murderous passions. Supposedly Paul had somehow taught “against” the Jewish people and law and temple. This was the real justification for rioting and murder!

But of course none of this was legitimate. True, Paul had taught that we’re justified by faith in Christ, not by observing the Law. And he taught that Gentiles were accepted before God on the same basis as Jews. But the real unspoken issue--the elephant in the room, so to speak--was the nature of Jesus. Was he a charlatan and a false teacher and a false Messiah? If so, then the religious leadership was perfectly right in rejecting and condemning him. But if he was who he said he was, then that changes things! The issue of contention always was, and always shall be, who Jesus is.

Please keep in this mind. Why was Paul at the temple in the first place? He was there to help some observant Jewish brothers keep to Jewish religious tradition. He himself was a practicing Jew, except in the matter of witnessing to Gentiles. He thoroughly believed in the inspiration of the Torah. He completely accepted the divine authority of the Prophets. His custom was to worship among fellow Jews whenever he could. So this accusation that he was counseling fellow Jews to abandon their heritage was pure nonsense.

Is there anything completely new for us here? Not really. I just thought we all needed a couple of reminders:

• If you’re falsely accused, then don’t be surprised. You might think from some peoples’ reactions that our Lord didn’t forewarn us about this. He did. Repeatedly. Here’s just one sample: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” I mean, they did it to our Savior at his trial, and we certainly can’t expect that a servant is going to be treated better than his master, can we?

• If you’re accused, please let it be a false accusation. Just like in Daniel's case, Paul’s enemies had to make something up against him. When our enemies attack us, I hope that they have to resort to the same tactics. I for one am getting really tired of God’s name being blasphemed among nonbelievers because of something a Christian actually did, aren’t you?

So how about you? If you actually got accused of some gross misconduct, would it be a false accusation, or would they have a legitimate point?

Father God, for all the times that my actual conduct brings shame to your name, I’m so sorry. Please help me to change, and please may everything I do and say point them straight to you.

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