PSN Devotions Season 3 (2022)

    • Wandering Toward A Lineage, September 17, 2022. How do we know who we are if we don’t know our own story? If we don’t know who we are, then how do we know where we are going in life? That’s the importance of lineage – an essential part of our identity, but something that many people lack in our transitory, rootless humanity of the 21st century. But God, of course, has a solution. He has a lineage for every one of us, if we are willing to embrace it.
    • Cartoon Villains, September 10, 2022. Do we laugh at caricatures of evil because we don’t believe anyone could really be that bad, or because we don’t want anyone to see the evil we recognize in ourselves?
    • Divine Lapse of Judgment? September 3, 2022. On top of all the other hard questions about why things are as they are, how about this: if God knew that it wasn’t good for human beings to be alone, but He also knew that getting two or more humans together would inevitably result in conflict, was He setting us up for failure from the beginning?
    • Chili Pepper Protocol, August 27, 2022. Chili peppers make food interesting. Aficionados of extremely spicy food have developed an ability to tolerate the hottest of peppers because of the enjoyment they bring. Building that tolerance requires time, effort, dedication, and the ability to withstand considerable discomfort and pain – kind of like what we need to get along with other people.
    • Even Without Bread, August 20, 2022. One question we don’t like to ask is, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Maybe we don’t like to ask it because we don’t want to know the answer.
    • Because I Said So, August 13, 2022. The Bible says faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of realities not seen. Does “seen” also mean “understood”? If so, then maybe faith includes trusting that God understands the things that still baffle us. That may be the supreme act of faith, because it means humbly conceding that we don’t have all the right answers, yet trusting that He does – especially when His answers are different from ours.
    • A Corner on the Beach, August 6, 2022. We all want to reach the Promised Land of the Messianic Age, when all is made right and there really is peace in the world. Or so we say. Since that blessed age is not here yet, we still have room to pretend to yearn for it while we rearrange our own little kingdoms in the ways we find most agreeable.
    • Responsible Unfairness, July 30, 2022. Why do people continue to hold the Bible up as the definitive authority for life if it is rooted in ancient patriarchy and is inherently unfair to women? That’s a valid question. The answer is just as valid, although it may not be what we expect, or what we want to hear.
    • A Form for That, July 23, 2022. Why would anyone ever submit to all the restrictions and oversight that comes with military service? It’s just not right to the sensibilities of people who appreciate self-esteem and individualism. But then, individualism can mean isolation from others. It’s very hard to live in community when we’re isolated – and if we’re not in community, how do we learn to love our neighbors as ourselves?
    • Settling for Division, July 16, 2022. We are bred for conflict, or so it seems. Even in the games we play, are objective is to win at the expense of others. Is that how our Creator designed us? Maybe, but it’s more likely that in His eternal perspective, the winners are the ones who enter the Kingdom together with those they have helped along the way.
    • Sprinkling the Dogs, July 9, 2022. We love our dogs, but because they are dogs, sometimes they get into things that make them repulsive to us. That’s when they need some loving intervention in the form of a thorough scrubbing to make them acceptable in our presence. Isn’t that exactly what our Creator does for us?
    • Divine Expectation Management, July 2, 2022. Life is an endless series of negotiations. Children and parents negotiate their relationships and boundaries, business partners negotiate contracts, social organizations negotiate bylaws, and nations negotiate treaties. It’s really a matter of reaching agreement about what each party contributes and what each will receive. We know by experience the problems that arise when one or both parties fail to live up to their obligations, but what happens if one of those parties is our Creator?
    • How God Sorts Out His Own, June 25, 2022. It’s easy – too easy – to write people off as lost causes when it seems that God is judging them. If it is judgment, then it may be such people are simply suffering the natural consequences of poor choices. But what if the people suffering the most are not the ones who made those choices? And what if those natural consequences doom them to make those same choices and perpetuate the cycle? Do we let them perish, or do we break into their suffering somehow, at least to ease their pain, even if they never find the path to redemption?
    • Quail Jerky and the Illusion of Abundance, June 18, 2022. How much do we trust God? We say we trust in Him, but how much trust do we really have when adversity comes? Maybe a better question would be, do we trust Him more than we trust in ourselves to provide the things we want when we want them? That leads to a more uncomfortable question: if God doesn’t provide in the way we expect, is He still the God we want to follow?
    • Coping with Unfair, June 11, 2022. It is inevitable that we encounter undeserved adversity. That’s been part of human existence for as long as anyone can remember. We can’t eradicate unfairness, which means we have a choice: we can complain and make ourselves more miserable, or we can bear it as best we can while finding a way to grow through it
    • A House for the Lonely, June 4, 2022. A family should exhibit some degree of cohesion. Family members should look out for one another, encourage each other, and love one another through the endless trials of this life. But if we have trouble doing that in our own flesh-and-blood families, how can we hope to do better as the family of God?
    • A Map and A Guide, May 28, 2022. There may be a broad consensus in the world today that humanity has lost it’s way. There is no consensus, however, when we consider where we lost our way, and where we thought we were going in the first place. These are questions our Creator answers quite plainly, but we usually don’t recognize His answers because we’re too busy shouting answers of our own imagination.
    • Awaiting the Great Cosmic Reset, May 21, 2022. We hear often these days about a “Great Reset” that is needed to correct the economic and other imbalances in our world. That’s not a new idea. God established His covenants with humanity on the basis of a Greater Reset that would restore order in His Creation. In fact, Creation testifies about that in the cycles and patterns all around us.
    • A Bride’s Journey, May 14, 2022. If marriage is a picture of our collective relationship with our Messiah, then we might want to pay more attention to how that relationship is portrayed in every wedding story we hear.
    • Unfouling the Well, May 7, 2022. Our Messiah promises that those who trust Him will receive in their hearts wells of living water springing up to eternal life. He keeps His promise, of course, but then we have the responsibility of keeping the well clean so that what springs up from our hearts carries life to those around us. That’s one way to understand what God means when He says we are to be holy as He is holy.
    • Confessions of a Scapegoat, April 30, 2022. We think of a scapegoat as someone who takes the blame for someone else. That’s the opposite of what we see in scripture about scapegoats. They’re actually the ones who go free after another goat is sacrificed in their place. Or do they really go free? Considering the burdens they bear, one wonders which of the two goats is truly the free one.
    • The Pain and Joy of the Fragments, April 23, 2022. Being in the world and not of it is an easy game to play as long as the world system allows us to mimic the Kingdom of Heaven. The façade inevitably wears away, though, and we have to make a choice. That’s when those who opt to run after the Kingdom of Heaven become the outcasts of society, while the rest continue to run after whatever new normal brings a new illusion of peace and safety. Everyone experiences pain in this process, but some will have joy in the end.
    • Joined by the Blood, April 16, 2022. So much of this walk with our Creator involves our identity. If we know Whose we are, then we can know who we are – and then maybe we wont’ be so threatened by those who share that same identity, but express it differently.
    • In the Valley of the Lepers, April 9, 2022. The reason we don’t reach out more to undesirable people is because they are, well, undesirable. But how much of that undesirableness is because they are actually toxic to us, and how much is a description we have assigned based on our own preferences? This is why it’s uncomfortable to read that our Messiah made a habit of reaching out to the undesirables. It gets even more uncomfortable when we realize we ourselves are undesirable, but He reached out to us anyway.
    • Staying On The Field, March 26, 2022. Sometimes it helps to think of life as a game. There are many things out of our control in games, but we do have some control over how long we stay in the game, and whether we play well with others.
    • A Kingdom of Priests, March 19, 2022. Our contemporary concept of priesthood probably hasn’t changed much since the dawn of civilization. It seems that we humans are quite happy to outsource our interaction with the Creator to those who seem more inclined to stand before Him on our behalf. That is, at best, a temporary solution seeing that our Creator has always desired to connect with each of us directly. With that in mind, maybe we should give some thought to what He means when He says He has called us into His Kingdom of Priests.
    • The Garment of A Jew, March 16, 2022. Did you ever consider that human beings are simultaneously the oppressed and the oppressors, the beloved and the reprobate, the Creator’s handiwork and the Adversary’s tools? This paradox of our existence has inserted a tension in the universe that our Creator is resolving through a massive role reversal story called redemption.
    • Burned Up or Burned Out? March 12, 2022. Does our Creator delight in the fact that the pace of this modern world leave us overstretched and exhausted? Of course not. He does expect us to be overstretched and exhausted, but His delight is in seeing us pour ourselves out to Him so He can fill us anew day by day.
    • The Reconstruction of Ourselves, March 5, 2022. God knew what He was doing when He established a single standard for good and instructed our first ancestors to abide by it. All the world’s problems originated in their decision to ignore those instructions and set up their own standards. That’s why we really don’t have a unified understanding of what good means. All we have is hope that our Creator will fix the problem in us as He fixes the problems we have cause.
    • A Heart Prepared, February 26, 2022. It’s difficult enough to comprehend the transformative process our Redeemer works within us as individuals. It’s even more difficult to comprehend this process in a nation – particularly if it is the kingdom of priests our Redeemer has been assembling for millennia, and into which He calls all the Redeemed. The preparation of individual hearts is what, over time, brings about the transformation of the national heart that will glorify our King and Bridegroom for all eternity.
    • Never Disowned, February 19, 2022. God make a promise never to leave us or forsake us. That’s stunning since we humans have always had a tendency to leave and forsake Him. The Bible says God does this because He loves the world. So how does that work when no person and no nation consistently love Him back?
    • Growing Into The Robes, February 12, 2022. Do we really get to wear robes in the Kingdom of Heaven? How do we get them? What do we do in those robes? And is there anything we should be doing now to make sure our robes get to that heavenly standard of cleanliness?
    • Holy Dogs, February 5, 2022. “Holy” is a word we throw around in spiritual talk, but do we know what it means? If we don’t know what it means, then how can we expect to live holy live, or explain to anyone why such a thing might be something they would want to do?
    • Half-Cocked Spirituality, January 29, 2022. A person may become an adult in the eyes of the law by reaching a certain age, but that doesn’t mean he or she is an adult in fact. We could make the case that adult-aged people who continue to act irresponsibly and immaturely are still children in many respects. We can see how that works out in a person’s emotions, financial management, employment, and social interaction, but do we see it also in the spiritual realm?
    • Yakety Yak and Blah, Blah, Blah, January 22, 2022. Obviously we don’t get into the Kingdom of Heaven simply by doing good works, or do we? We rightly claim that salvation is by God’s grace and mercy, but then we look down on those who stray into legalism, as we call it, by trying to do what the Bible says. Somewhere there’s a balance between saying we’re saved and not living like it, and living like we’re save, but having no peace. Maybe we find that balance by learning who we are, and Whose we are.
    • Faith Without Hats, January 15, 2022. What is our real motivation for following God? Do we really want to be His people, or is there some hidden motive – a motive we even hide from ourselves?
    • Becoming Little Donkeys, January 8, 2022. Human beings made in the image of our Creator are supposed to resemble our Creator in the way we think and act, but more often than not we tend to think and act like beasts. There is hope, though: our Creator makes a way for the redemption of beasts.
    • Pawns of Redemption, January 1, 2022. Is humanity nothing more than so many pawns in a cosmic game of chess between the powers of good and evil? Yes, and no. It’s true that we are the instruments of either good or evil (or both), and that we are the prizes sought by our Creator and our Adversary, but there is a key difference: unlike the pawns in our chess matches, we actually have a choice about which roles we play.
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