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.

[Dec 09]--All I'm Saying. . .

John 14:27, 16:33; Phil 4:6-7

The word “peace.” Along with “love,” I vote for that word to be the misused term in modern times. People used to sing about it and wear a symbol for it on their shirts, and they claim to be “for peace” and “peace activists.” Of course, whether we wear the symbol or not, most of us aren't against peace, but that's another story. . .

The problem, once again, is that people get their definitions from the world and not the Scriptures. Our Lord actually addressed this in his last intimate talk with his disciples before the Passion. In the two verses from John’s Gospel, he tells us something about the world’s “peace,” and contrasts it with what he offers.

He promises us peace as what he’s leaving us, and he says it’s not “as the world gives.” What type of peace does the world offer? It’s transitory. Countries that used to be as friendly as two nations can be with other are at each other’s throats at a moment’s notice. And it’s often fake even when supposedly we have it. The world calls something “peace” when really it’s just a cease-fire or the absence of all-out conflict. Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of a certain Person.

That’s why one of his titles is the Prince of Peace. When he’s in charge, we have peace. The Hebrew term for peace, Shalom, has a lot of insight for us here. It means that everything is in its proper place. Where’s there’s disorder and chaos, you don’t have true peace.

So what does bring peace? Well, Jesus said that he told us these things so that we’ll have peace. But even when we have his peace, that doesn’t mean there’s no conflict. On the contrary, in this world we will have trouble. But we can take heart, because even though we have trouble in this world, it’s a conquered enemy. Our Lord has overcome it, so there’s nothing to fear.

I think that’s the key. Peace and fear are incompatible with each other. That leads us to the last passage for today. Paul presents a stark contrast for us: Fear and Peace. What’s the difference between the two? How do we move from fear and anxiety into peace? What’s the source of peace? The Presence of our Savior!

When you’re feeling anxious or worried or fearful, take it to your Shepherd. You bring it before his Throne. But there’s another thing to keep in mind which I think really helps us keep perspective. You bring your petitions to him with thanksgiving. Before I ask anything from him, I like to acknowledge his goodness and what he’s done for us so far, along with a glorious truth which he’s revealed to us that relates to the situation. For instance, if I’m praying for someone to recover from sickness, I start with “I thank you Father, because I know that all healing comes from you. You are Yahweh Rapha, the God who heals us.”

And as we submit our requests and thanksgiving to him, his peace will guard us. Specifically it’ll guard our hearts and minds, so that anxieties and worries have no hold on us.

I want this for myself. Do you?

Lord Jesus, you truly are the Prince of Peace. As I submit to you, all fear goes. I repent of all worry and anxiety, and ask you to forgive me. Please help me to trust.

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