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.

[April 11]—Putting Yourself Under The Knife

Heb 4:12

            We’ve spent the last few days talking about being accountable and examined by the Lord and fellow believers. Before we get to Daniel, I’d like to share some thoughts about being accountable to his word.
            Now, this next statement might surprise you: There’s no command in Scripture to read the Bible every day. It’s not there. There’s plenty of encouragement and example, but no command. Of course, part of this could be because the vast majority of people in history have been illiterate. I don’t think God could hold people accountable for something they were incapable of doing.
            But if you can read—and since this is a blog, I’d assume you can—then you don’t have an excuse in that department. And if you love the Lord, don’t you want to hear what he has to say to you? Yes, he speaks to us through the Holy Spirit, but not in the concrete, irrefutable way he does through Scripture. Remember, we’re all masters of self-deception, but his word has a way of cutting through the nonsensical excuses we’ve erected, and it’s the Holy Spirit’s main way of speaking to us. If you’re asking for a “word from the Lord” in some mystical experience and haven’t spent time searching the Scriptures, you’re wasting your time.
            So you’ve committed yourself to reading God’s word daily. How can you apply it? Well, if you don’t have anything better, I have a suggestion.
            I can’t take credit for what follows. I don’t know if it was original with them, but I got this pneumonic device from Navigators LifeChange series. When you see a passage of Scripture, ask yourself 5 questions based on the word SPECK.

Is there a SIN I need to avoid? You might read a list of sins in one of the epistles of Paul or others.

Is there a PROMISE I need to claim?  Your Savior has “great and precious promises” for you in his love letter to you. He'll never leave you nor forsake you. He'll take care of all your needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus. He forgives your sins and remembers them no more. He has a home he’s preparing for us, and he’s coming back to take us there.

Is there an EXAMPLE  I need to follow or avoid? As I’ve mentioned before, it seems like the purpose some people have on this planet is to provide a negative example for us to avoid. Even the best of us--apart from Christ--have failures on our record, and the Bible’s excruciatingly blunt about the failures of its heroes. But having said that, there’s plenty in there for us to look at and say “I want to be like that!” Or you might say “Man, I sure don’t want to end up like him!”

Is there a COMMAND I need to obey? Not much more to say about this one. Just in case you’re wondering, God doesn’t give advice or suggestions. He’s not Dear Abby.

How does this passage increase my KNOWLEDGE about him? Quite frankly, I think this gets downplayed way too much among modern Christians. We emphasize so much that each of us needs a personal relationship with Christ, that it’s not enough to know things about him. And there’s a lot of truth in that. James tells us that the demons believe in God. They know very well the relevant facts about him. But they don’t know him personally.
            But along with that, we also need to know certain facts about our Lord. There are certain things which are true about him and other things which are not true, and it’s vitally important that we take extreme care in our thinking about him. Just like good theology, bad theology doesn’t stay by itself for long. Sloppy thinking about God does not honor him.
            Anyway, that’s a nice little device I read some time ago which is a good place to start. If you have a study method that works for you, then more power to you. May his word continually be a scalpel in the Spirit’s surgical hand: Cutting away the parts of us which don’t look like Jesus, and healing where he cuts.

Yes, Holy Spirit, that’s what I want. I don’t want to examine your word so much as I want your word to examine me. Please. 

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