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.

[May 10]—Judah

Amos 2:4-5

            If you’ve been paying attention at all, then today’s reading looks a little different. What were the crimes of the pagan nations again? Total warfare, cruelty against civilians, slaughtering pregnant women, raiding communities and selling them into slavery, and showing contempt and disrespect by desecrating a corpse of one’s enemy.
            But in this passage, Amos’s condemnation is different: “they have rejected the law of the Lord and have not kept his decrees, because they have been led astray by false gods, the gods their ancestors followed.”
            You see, both Judah and Israel were special. They were chosen. But they were chosen not just for special blessing but for special responsibility. Unique among nations, they had the Torah, the law of the Lord. They had his decrees. They had the voice of God himself, the Creator of the universe, speaking to them from a mountain.
            I hate to repeat myself, but this is a good time to review the difference between general revelation and special revelation. General revelation—like the name says—is available to everyone. Romans chapters one and two talk about two different types of general revelation, witnesses the Lord has provided to pretty much everyone: What we might call external and internal. External refers to the physical creation. It’s astounding to me that someone can look at this world with all its beauty and majesty and intricacy and say “All this is just a happy accident.” No, someone created all this.
But the part that I believe Amos is addressing is the internal. Paul says that to some degree, Gentiles (who don’t have the Torah) have the law “written on their hearts.” They have some concept of right and wrong. There’s never been a society that didn’t have this. Read C. S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man, and he succinctly outlines how different cultures and societies--with no access to a Bible--still have rules against wanton killing, taking just any woman for yourself, stealing, etc. They might have different definitions of what actually constitutes unjustified killing, but they still know that unjustified killing in itself is wrong.
That’s why the Lord through Amos could condemn the pagan nations. They knew better than this. They wouldn’t want these sorts of things done to them, so in their hearts they should've known that what they did was wrong.
But with Judah, ah, that’s a different story. They had special revelation, something that none of us would have unless the Lord specifically intervened in human history and spoke directly to us.
This would've been an unmitigated blessing—if they had obeyed. But obviously they didn’t. Heck, the Lord wasn’t even done giving the Law to Moses before they broke it; while he was on top of the mountain, they were on the bottom committing idolatry and starting orgies. And their record wasn’t much better since then.
So what’s the difference here between people who’ve been exposed to his word and those who haven’t? Well, neither group was obedient to what God told them, either from Mount Sinai or through the human conscience. And getting back to Paul, he says, just as Amos did, that “All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.” But if anything, having more revelation could be a bad thing if you’re disobedient, since the Law-Giver will hold you more accountable. As our Lord said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
Is this a little scary? It should be. R. C. Sproul says that that Luke verse I quoted above is the scariest verse in the Bible to him. To those of us who’ve had God’s word taught and preached to us, we have so much less an excuse than someone who’s had little to no access to it.
If you’ll excuse me, I think it’s time for a little Spirit-examination.

Lord Jesus, your word is so precious to me, but even more so is your blood which you shed to cover my sin. Please search out my heart, point out any areas of sin and rebellion, and let your word do its work. 

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