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.

[Feb 07]--Why Was I Saved?

Isaiah 43:22-28

            Have you ever pondered this? If someone asked you this question, what would you answer? Why did God go through all that he did in order to redeem you? Why did he send his only Son? Why did the Son undergo all that he did? What motivated him?
            Well, the most obvious answer is something like “love,” or “mercy” or “compassion.” And that’s not a bad or wrong answer. After all, the most famous verse of the Bible tells us that the reason why God sent his only Son was because of his love for us. His word tells us that he doesn’t want anyone to perish, but for all to come to repentance. Why? Because he knows exactly how bad Hell really will be.
            But I think there’s another answer to that question which most believers never consider.
            It’s the natural bent of mankind, and especially in this me-centered culture, to either tacitly or explicitly act as if “it’s all about me.” We live in a free market system which caters to our every need or desire, and that’s not a terrible thing in itself. But I really believe we need some correction on this.
            It’s not all about me. Or you.
            I try to be open to different methods of sharing the Good News with people who need Jesus. The Prodigal Son in Jesus’ story didn’t come back to his father out of some high-minded motives. He came back because he was hungry. And I don’t think it’s wrong to appeal to people’s self-interest in presenting their need for Christ.
            But as we mature, spiritually and in other ways, we learn that it’s not all about me. Yes, God loves me and doesn’t want me to spend eternity in Hell. But is that the only—or even primary—reason why he saved me?
            Look at verse 25 in today’s passage. Why exactly does he say here that he’s going to save Israel? Because of their innate goodness? Because they deserve it? Oh please. Or maybe it was because he was feeling sorry for them and didn’t want to see them suffer, as well-deserving as they were? There are other passages in which he talks about that motivation, but not here.
            No, he said that he was going to blot out their transgression and forgive them for his own sake. What does that mean? Well, that means that it was for his own benefit in some form or fashion. What could he gain from our salvation? Our benefit is pretty obvious, but what does he get out of it?
            In a word: Glory. Or here’s two: Honor. When we get up to Heaven, each one of us will be an everlasting “trophy,” an eternal testimony to how powerful and gracious and merciful and patient and loving he is. We'll sing about his wonderful and wondrous salvation, but our entire being will be a forever song to add to the choir that surrounds his throne.
            He didn’t have to, you know. He'll also get glory from his judgment. If he wants to, he'll be able to point to every person in Hell and say “THAT’S how much I hate sin. THAT shows how holy and righteous I am.” But he's also chosen to glorify his Name by redeeming lost sinners. He'll be able to point to me and say “THAT”S how merciful and full of grace I am.”
            So how does this affect me in the here and now? Well, first and foremost we need a reminder every now and again (or maybe oftener) about whom this is really all about. I wasn't saved primarily for my own sake. All honor and glory and praise and thanksgiving belongs to him.

Father, what else can I say? I think I’ll imitate Job for a while.

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