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 19]--The Best News They’ve Never Heard! Part Two: What?

Well, today's Good Friday. I don't have a posting of original material on Good Friday as such, but today's devotional is sort of relevant, since it talks about what exactly the Good News is. If you'd like a posting that talks about the subject of what we're commemorating today, I have one here.

1 Cor. 15:3-8

            So we talked about why we should the Good News about Jesus with others. But what should we share? What exactly is the Good News?
            Before we get to that, perhaps I should explain some terminology I’ve been using. You’ll notice I don’t use the term gospel in referring to what we tell lost people in order to lead them to Christ, as in "We need to share the gospel of Jesus Christ." There’s a reason for that. The term gospel literally means “good news,” and so I thought it’d be clearer to use “good news” or “message.” When I do use the term “Gospel,” I use it to refer to the four inspired biographies of Jesus which we have: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I use the term “good news” or “message” about Jesus because that’s what it is: good news. It's telling people about a series of events and asking them to take part in it, to appropriate this news for themselves. Is this terminology something I’d fight and die for? Of course not. I just thought you might be wondering why I don’t use the same words that others use.
            So what is the message that we should be proclaiming? I’d submit that today’s passage provides a good start for us. Paul told the Corinthians that the most important thing he proclaimed to them, what he considered “of first importance,” was pretty simple: Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures. He was buried, and he rose again three days later, according to the Scriptures. I think if you don’t have these things down, you’ve missed it.
            Of course, in order for us to appropriate the good news, we have to take in the bad news first. A doctor can’t prescribe a good treatment unless and until he’s come up with a good diagnosis. I’ve talked about this before: Paul spends the 1st three chapters of Romans telling us the bad news. In a nutshell, we’re sinners before a holy and righteous God. All of us. And he must punish sin. And ultimately there’s only one punishment he has available. You can put it in different ways, but we can’t sugarcoat the truth.
            As to the solution, that’s listed in today’s passage, as we noted before. Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again.
            As to how exactly to appropriate this good news, I’ve spoken about that before as well. Simply put, you put your trust in Christ and submit to his leadership in your life.
            Now, what about the fine particulars of theology? Does someone need to believe in, say, the Trinity? Well, John wrote a letter to Christians so that they could test themselves to see if they were truly saved. Among the tests he submitted was whether or not one believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who came in the flesh. Now, does someone need to really know and believe these things in order to be saved? Heck, I don’t fully understand the ins and outs of the Incarnation and the Trinity. So I wouldn’t say that someone necessarily needs to know about those things in order to come to Christ, to come in through “the front door,” so to speak. But over time, a true child of God will come to a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the Savior who rescued them, and if they don’t, something’s wrong. John’s point seems to be that especially if someone denies these things, their salvation is suspect at best.
            My overall point here is this. When Paul was talking about what was “of first importance,” he didn’t talk about the End Times or baptism or Gifts of the Spirit. In his mind, the main things were 1) Christ died for our sins, 2) was buried, and 3) rose again.  That’s the main thing. When talking to someone who doesn’t know Christ, it’s best to stick to what’s essential. What will bring them into Heaven, and what will keep them out?

Father God, so often I let myself get distracted by things which are NOT important when it comes to the Good News. When I present the Message of Jesus, let it be simply that, not my opinions or thoughts or anything else. By your grace. 

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