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.

[Sept 16]--The Lord’s Supper: Celebration

Matt. 26:26-30

Since we’ve come to the part of Matthew that narrates the last supper Jesus had with his disciples before he was crucified, commonly called the Lord’s Supper, I’d like to spend the next few days examining it. Each day will focus on another aspect.

First, we need to go ahead and determine what it's not. Despite what Roman Catholics and others might claim, the bread and wine do not become the body and blood during the Lord Supper. When Jesus said that “This is my body,” I interpret that the same way I interpret his words when he claimed to be “the gate” or the “true vine.” He used metaphors all the time, so I believe he meant that the elements symbolized his body and blood. His disciples were all Jews, and the thought of eating real flesh and drinking real blood would've been horrifying to them. On a related note, Jesus was sacrificed once and for all, so the Lord’s Supper isn’t a sacrifice, either.

So if it isn’t literally the body and blood, what is it? Well, among others things, it’s a celebration. A solemn one, to be sure, but we're celebrating something. What are we celebrating? Our sins are forgiven! Isn’t that enough? Dealing with the sin problem opens a door to all sorts of wonderful things. Our relationship with God, long severed, is now restored. He’s adopted us as his children and heirs. All of that's possible because of what the Supper pictures for us.

I think we lose something when we see the Supper as only a memorial service. Yes, we need to focus on what it cost our Lord to effect our forgiveness, but it’s been accomplished. He’s been yearning to bring us back into full fellowship since the Fall, and he did it.

According to some Jewish sources I’ve researched, the “hymn” they sang as they left for the Garden was probably a collection of Psalms 113-118, since this was the Jewish tradition of that time. If you read those Psalms, they aren’t funeral dirges, but instead are joyful and filled with thanksgiving and praise for all God has done.

So the next time you partake in the Lord’s Supper, I urge you to not turn it into a guilt-fest. Yes, you need to meditate on what it cost him to redeem you, but also thank and praise him for doing so, and for accomplishing what he set out to do.

Lord Jesus, you are so good to me. I celebrate and worship you. My sins, which were so many, are now covered, never to be brought up again. Thank you.

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