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 27]--A Love Affair

Psalm 119:9-16

So today we’re going to briefly look at the second discipline of the four, namely reading God’s word. Hopefully by now you’ve grasped that I really love the Bible. But I’ve got nothing on the writer of Psalm 119! This 176 verse chapter (the longest one in the Bible) is one long love-poem to Scripture, since the word of God leads him into the presence of the God of the word.

Before we get to that, let’s address a side-issue. A common question that people ask is “Does God still speak today?” My answer would be “Of course he does, primarily through his word.” But then they follow up with “But what about an audible voice or a voice you actually hear in your head?” I wouldn’t completely rule it out, in the sense of guidance from the Spirit. But usually what the Spirit is telling me is just an application of what he's already told me in the pages. It might be the Spirit, or it might be those leftover tacos from last night. If you want to the Lord to speak to you, the only 100% reliable source is from the Bible. Anything else is questionable at best. And quite frankly, instead of worrying about getting a “fresh” message from the Almighty, how’s about we concentrate on what we know he’s told us already?

One more note before we delve into the passage itself. Keep in mind that when the psalmist wrote this, what was he mainly referring to when he was going on and on about how much he loved the Scriptures? The Torah. The books of Moses. Not just the exciting stories about Noah and Abraham and the Plagues. No, he loved the laws about mold in homes and the rules concerning priests. This was pretty much all he had: No stories about Jesus or the apostles, no epistles by Paul or Peter, not even the prophets. Just wanted to point that out.

So how are we to respond to the Scriptures?

• We're to live according to his word. This is how we keep our lives pure.

• We're to seek the Lord through his word. The writer wasn’t talking about some mystical and mysterious experience on a mountaintop somewhere. He was talking about finding God through diligent study of the Scriptures.

• We're to hide his word in our heart so that we won’t sin against him. Yep, that’s talking about memorization.

• We're to recount his word, both to others and to ourselves. That means sharing his word with others, and it means reminding ourselves of it by speaking it out loud.

• We're to rejoice in it and treasure it. If you had a family heirloom that had been in your family for generations, would you take care of it? Would you value it? If you had a car worth one million dollars, would you value it, or just let it go to pot?

• We're to meditate on it. This is truly a lost art among modern American Christians. Biblical meditation is not emptying your mind, except insofar as it makes room for God’s truth. Tape up a verse in your bathroom mirror. Listen to Scripture readings in your car. Chew on it over and over like a cow chews its cud.

• And finally, delight in it. Celebrate the truths you find there. Incorporate them into your prayers.

On the sidebar of the blog I've two plans for reading the Bible through from cover-to-cover, one in two years and one in three. I'd urge you to pick one, or maybe a year-long one from someone else (there are plenty to pick from). Whatever plan you use, I earnestly plead with you to commit yourself to reading the Bible through from cover to cover. If you want God to speak to you, you need to go to the main source, and camp out there.

Father, I confess that I don’t love your word nearly as much as I should. Please place that spirit of that psalmist within me. May his love become mine. Because as I search your word, I’ll find you there.

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