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 13]--Peace, Peace

            One of my favorite Bible teachers of all time is R.C. Sproul. I can’t say that I agree with every word that he says, but his insight into the Scriptures has been invaluable to me over the years. I remember distinctly remember him saying what portion of Scripture frightens him the most. He knows he’s saved, but there's one passage in Scripture which particularly fills him with fear and trepidation: "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly."
            This is a theme which I’ll probably address multiple times over the next few months as we examine Jeremiah and the other prophets—God holds people in spiritual leadership to a higher standard than he does regarding the ones led. The Lord holds you accountable for you; one day you’ll have to answer to him as to how you’ve lived as a believer. If I’m your teacher--which I guess I am if you’re reading this blog and get spiritual instruction from it—then the Lord holds me accountable for me and for you.
            As you read the book of Jeremiah, which I certainly recommend, then you might notice how often he condemns false prophets. He gives the people a word straight from God’s throne, and they contradict him. In particular he tells them how angry the Lord is with their conduct, and how close they are to judgment as a nation, and they stand against his message.
            And what’s their message? What are they telling their listeners? “Peace, peace!” In other words, everything is going to be fine. God smiles on your conduct. He’s fine with how you’re behaving. He loves and is pleased with your worship. And he’s going to continue to bless your nation, just as he has up until now, for a long long time.
            A pretty pleasant message, isn’t it? People who preach this message are always going to have plenty of listeners. They’re going always have a ready audience. But there’s just one problem: There is no peace. All that they were preaching wasn’t from God. It was from their own imaginations, with some inspiration no doubt from the Evil One.
            Why would they do this? What was their motivation? Well, today’s passage gives one motivation, and it’s one of the oldest. A popular message can bring in some good money. And although the Bible doesn’t say it, I’d venture to guess that some of them had, to some degree, good intentions regarding the people. Maybe it wasn’t all greed all the time.
            It doesn’t really matter in the end. Even if they had the best of intentions, you know where that road leads.  They were leading people on the road to destruction.
            That’s where I and every other Bible teacher/preacher come in. It’s easy to teach and preach what other people want to hear. God’s fine with homosexuality, for example. Or he has no problem with greed or lust or pride. Aborting an unborn baby is just another “choice.” And my personal favorite message from the zeitgeist: A person doesn’t really have to believe in Jesus in order to be right with God and make it to Heaven. As long as they’re “sincere,” that’s good enough.
            But I can’t do it. That’s not what the Bible teaches. If someone doesn’t accept what the Scriptures teach, then that’s between them and God. I can’t change anyone else’s mind. But I have a duty to discharge. I can’t say “peace, peace” when God says there is no peace. How would we view a doctor who knew that his patient has cancer, and didn’t tell him? What if this doctor “[dressed] the wound as though it were not serious”?
            I can’t, and I won’t.

Father God, I hear the Enemy’s whisperings, and it resonates with a part of me. Please deafen my ears, and focus my spiritual eyes, so that I hear nothing and see nothing except what you place in front of me. And when a friend wounds me in love, please let me see it as a precious gift from you. 

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