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 10]--Only One Solution

            You’re familiar with “Murphy’s Law,” right? “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” I’ve definitely discovered that’s true regarding stains on my shirt. If I’m eating chili dogs or chocolate ice cream, I have to be extra careful, because I guarantee you that otherwise I’ll end up with some on my shirt.
            Today’s title has a double meaning. We have a problem: There’s a stain on our souls. It’s been there since our first Parents made one very bad decision. They chose to disobey the Lord’s instruction, and that one bad choice has had repercussions on all their children ever since. I don’t exactly know why, since the Bible never really lays out the ins and outs, but somehow they passed a sinful nature down to us. I don't for one moment believe that we’re punished for the sin of Adam. But we’re affected by it. We have within us a desire to turn away from God and do things our way instead of his way.
            And that leaves a stain, just like my bad decision to be careless results in a stained shirt. But the consequences of this are a bit more dire than a stern look from my wife. God cannot let sin into his presence without punishing it.  God and sin are mortal enemies of each other. If there’s a stain of sin on your soul, then that has to be cleaned off before you can stand before him, which we all will someday. That stain has got to come out somehow.
            So how can we get it out? How do you cleanse a soul? Well, people have all types of solutions (both in the problem sense and in the laundry sense). They try to make up for it with good deeds. But the problem is that the prophet Isaiah tells us that our righteous acts are like filthy rags before him, literally they are menstrual cloths. If that’s how God sees your good deeds, then how can your good deeds make up for the really bad stuff?
            Others try religious rituals. They pray five times a day, or they give to the church, or they make sacrifices. But that’s described in today’s verse. It’s people trying to cleanse themselves. They use all types of “soap” and “cleansing powder.” And when they’re done, they see (if they’re honest) that the stain remains.
            But the Bible tells us that there is a way to cleanse the soul, to get rid of the stain. But it’s the only one. There’s only one solution, both to our problem and to get the stain out.
            The Bible tells us that the blood of Jesus the Son can cleanse us from every sin. Every type of sin, and every sin in our lives. Is it the physical blood that Jesus shed 2000 years ago that does the trick? No, that blood didn’t have any mystical or magical properties. If you had a time machine and went back to the cross and saved some of the blood and put it under a microscope, you wouldn’t see anything unusual.
            No, when the Bible is referring to the “blood” of Jesus, it’s a way of referring to the violent death he experienced on the cross. We talk about it this way even today: If we say that “blood will be spilled,” we’re talking about someone killing someone else. It doesn’t mean that I cut myself.
            But that’s the sense in which his blood cleanses us. He paid the debt we owed. He redeemed us (bought us back) by his blood. When we place our faith in him and receive him as our Boss and Savior, his blood cleanses us. The stain is lifted—for all time—and we’re clean before God. Now and for all time.
            If this is something you’ve already known and experienced, then take a moment to thank him for what he’s done for you. If you haven’t, here’s some more reading on the subject Don’t wait, please.

Lord Jesus, nothing can wash away my sin, only your blood. Nothing can make me whole again, nothing but your blood. How precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow!

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