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.

[Mar 09]--Downward Spiral

Jer. 2:19

            Life is full of small decisions which add up to big consequences. I’m diabetic, and every day I have to make choices about what I eat and how much insulin to take with my food. One cookie in itself is not that big a deal, but over time they add up—literally around my waist and elsewhere.
            I’m not advocating that you become a paranoid legalist, but we need to be mindful of this prospect. Take the issue of marriage: Most failed marriages are not like a tire blowing out suddenly while you’re on the road. Most of them are like slow leaks which weren't dealt with when we first notice the problem.
            Take today’s reading, which is just one verse. Notice first of all that the Lord is warning his unfaithful people that their own sins would punish them. Their own behavior, that of “backsliding” would come back to bite them on the rear. Forget about what the Lord himself would do: Sin itself brings its own judgment and punishment.
            What is backsliding? Can a true believer do it? I think he can. This isn't dealing with the issue of eternal security, which I thoroughly believe in. But I also thoroughly believe that it’s entirely possible for a believer to fall away in his commitment to the Lord. Maybe you don’t read your Bible as faithfully as you once did. Your prayers are just rote, and you might as well be talking to the wall for all the good it does you. If you're still attending church, it’s nothing more than something you do on Sunday mornings.
            I repeat—It is possible for a believer to fall into this trap! Your love for your Savior has gone lukewarm, and I want to tell you that your Savior finds it disgusting.
            But where does it all start? Once again, I don’t think it’s a blowout so often as it’s a slow leak. And I think the clue is found in the last part of the God’s indictment in the verse:
            You have no awe of me. The fear of me within you is gone.
            The God who saved you. The God who sent his Son to die in your place, who took your sins upon his back. The One who has showered you with you grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. Who’s provided for all your needs.
            It didn’t start with open rebellion. It rarely does. It starts with losing sight of who he is. Then it leads to forsaking him, turning away from following him like you used to. Then it leads to other, more flagrant sins.
            If you have true awe of him, you won’t sin. The proper fear of the Lord will keep you from it.
            Yes, I believe in the eternal security of the believer. I don’t think you can lose your salvation. You don’t do anything to lose salvation any more than you did anything to gain it. But you can lose your awe of him, which leads to forsaking your relationship with him, at least for a short time. And if this continues, he'll make you regret it. He doesn’t let his children stray for too long before he makes life really difficult for them. The ones he loves, he disciplines.
            I’m pointing the finger at me as much as at any of you. Do I revere my Father? Do I show proper awe of him?

Father God, I am so very sorry for the times I lose sight of who you are and who I am. Please, through your Spirit, fill me with a proper fear of you, a respectful awe of who you are. 

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