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 28]--Come Together

Ps 122:1-2; Heb. 3:13; Ps 141:5; Acts 2:42-47

So now we come to the third Christian discipline on the list, namely Fellowship. You might have heard of the Greek word for this: Koinonia. It’s translated as “fellowship,” but there’s so much more to the Biblical concept. A lot of what I’m about to say you might've already heard, since this is something I harp on so frequently. If so, just consider this a refresher course.

First off, we need to drop some of the baggage of being a modern Westerner concerning our faith. I believe in individual rights before the government, and I understand peoples’ desire not to have the state interfere in their private affairs. This nation started out by saying to the Mother Country “Stay out of our affairs!” But we can easily slip from a concern for the individual into individualism, especially with our relationship with Christ. You were not designed to be a follower of Christ on your own. You are part of the Body of Christ, and that means two things: 1) You need the Body, and 2) The Body needs you.

So what do I mean by fellowship? I see at least four different aspects:

• First and foremost, there’s worship. Yes, you need private worship time, where you read the Bible, pray, and sing on your own or with your family. But worship in Scripture is just as often portrayed as a corporate activity. David expressed his excitement of going to worship with other believers.

• Second there’s encouragement. The Hebrews verse is the classic statement on this. If you see a fellow believer struggling in their faith, then you need to step in. When you feel that urge to wrap your arms around them and whisper in their ear that it’s going to be all right, that’s likely the Spirit speaking to you. He’s telling you “I want you to be my arms and my mouth right now. Will you do that?”

• Third I see a strong element of accountability in this concept. David had the exact right attitude in this Psalm. When someone hits you (either literally, or in this case figuratively), it’s not fun. Your first instinct wouldn't be to thank someone for that “favor.” But when it came to a righteous man “striking” him, David saw it as a blessing. Our sins are like car headlights: The other person's seem much more glaring than your own. All of us have “blind spots” which need someone else to point them out to us. Of course, we always need to be careful to speak the truth in love.

• And finally there’s helping each other. Luke puts a strong emphasis on everyone helping each other whenever someone was in need. Now let’s be clear. Just handing money to someone who’s financially irresponsible is not showing them love; in fact, Paul forbids us from doing that. But it does mean that whatever the needs of the believer in front of us, we try to meet them as best we can.

I don’t think I can overemphasize just how important this is. Quite frankly, I have introverted tendencies that need work. He’s in the process of pulling me out of myself in order to be a full part of the Body. How’s about you?

Lord Jesus, thank you for your Body. It feeds me, and gives me a purpose I can’t find anywhere else. That Body is you in action on earth. Help me to treasure it like you do. 

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