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.
[Dec 04]--So What About The Jews? Part Nine: Wow
Today we’re wrapping up the study on how the Church relates to national Israel, sort of. Quite frankly, yesterday I said all I mean to say directly on the subject, at least for now. But since Paul’s great discourse on this sensitive topic (Romans chapters 9-11) ends with this passage, I’m going to use that as an excuse to look at these verses.
You see, these verses don’t just wrap up his discussion on God’s plan for the Jews. They wrap up everything that precedes the passage. If you’re familiar with the book of Romans, you might know that the first eleven chapters are mostly theological in nature. Chapters 12-16 get intensely practical, following Paul’s classic pattern of thinking: X is true, therefore the Christian ought to do Y.
Chapters 1-11 deal with God’s plan of salvation for the world. To put it briefly, he explains our problem (1-3), God’s solution (4), our proper response (6-7), and some ramifications of all this (8).
At the end of all this theological discussion, he ends on what’s commonly called his doxology, or hymn of praise. This is an outburst of praise for the Being who put all this together and has carried it out. It’s as if he’s saying “OK, I’ll get to how you’re supposed to live in a minute. But before we do, we need to bask just for a moment in the God who did all this.”
Let me make just a quick point before we get into the actual passage. Good theology ought to produce praise. Yes, it undergirds our lifestyle, but before it does that, it should generate hearts full of praise, people who just can’t contain themselves. If you’re listening to someone talk theology and you’re bored, then something’s incredibly wrong with either you or the teacher.
So what does these verses tell us about him? Well, instead of using poetic questions, I’m going to just state some things.
• We should meditate on both the knowledge and wisdom of God. Both were necessary to bring about our salvation. He had to have omniscience in order to know all the different factors that went into play, and wisdom to put all the pieces together in perfect lockstep. Everything from earthly kings and spiritual forces (good and bad) down to little molecules had to be dancing to his tune down to the last step in order for this to work.
• His judgments are unsearchable, his paths beyond tracing out. What does this mean? Well, think about this. People often complain about God’s providence: “Why did he allow this to happen?” If the Almighty actually sat down with that person and set out to explain why X happened, before that he would have to explain why W, which was the event that led to X. Then he would have to go into why event V occurred. And of course I’m vastly simplifying things for this complainer: One event is not the result of A, but the result of A, B, F, G, H, I, Q, and countless other factors happening. Are you starting to see why he doesn’t take the time to explain things to us? He’d never get anything else done!
Simply put, we’re never going to figure out what he’s doing. We might get little glimpses of his workings years after it comes about. As the old saying goes, however, “If I could understand him, I'd be him.”
• No one knows what he’s thinking, and he doesn’t need advice from anyone. No, he really doesn’t. Guys, you think figuring out how a woman thinks is tough? And let me tell you, if the Almighty actually showed up and said “Keith, I really need to bounce some ideas off you for your approval,” you might as well pack it in at that point. Humanity is doomed.
• I guess I really need to say this, since a lot of people seem to be confused on this point: God doesn’t owe you anything. You owe him everything. If the Lord allowed Satan to do to me what he did to Job, he wouldn't be taking anything from me that wasn’t already his. Remember, that was Job’s attitude: God gave all this to me, so it’s his prerogative to take it all back. If Jesus called upon me to sell all my possessions and give it to the poor, he wouldn’t be demanding anything outside his rights.
• All things are from him. All things are through him. All things are for him. You know what I think of when I read this one verse? Everything revolves around the Lord. He’s the center of it all. He created everything from the smallest atom to the largest supernova. And everything passes by under his watchful care. And everything is for his glory, for his renown, for the worship of him.
I’m sorry I couldn’t come up with a better title for this blog entry, but I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate. Could you?
Father God, truly you are the center of everything. I want my entire being, everything I am, to please you and honor you and thank you and worship you and glorify you. Please.