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 17]--The Lord’s Supper: Fellowship With Jesus

Luke 22:14-16

Yesterday we mentioned that the Lord’s Supper is supposed to be celebratory, and today’s devotional dovetails on that. Yes, it commemorates a sacrifice, what our Savior had to undergo in order to redeem us. But we need to remember that it’s also fellowship with him.

Remember what we said about the presence of God at the end of Exodus? God is omnipresent, and he completely fills the universe. Technically, there’s nowhere on earth where he’s more “present” than anywhere else. So what happened in Exodus 40, when God’s presence “filled” the tabernacle in a way that that it didn’t five minutes before? What happens in worship today? Again, the concept of radio/TV waves is pretty helpful. They surround us and go through us constantly, 24-7. But most of the time we’re completely unaware of them, until. . . when? When we turn on a device that captures those waves and translates them into something we can see and hear. God’s presence is like that: He’s all around us and in us, and worship “tunes us into” him.

Why do I bring up worship in the context of the Lord’s Supper? Well, another name for it is “Communion,” and there’s a good reason for that. When we take the elements alongside other believers, it "tunes" us into his presence like few other things, or maybe like nothing else. That’s why I was a little reluctant to use the word “symbol” when describing it. There’s nothing magical about the elements, but there’s nothing like this experience in helping us focus on him and bask in him.

On a related note, there’s a little bit of Greek that gives us real insight into Jesus’ emotions. The NIV translates the first part of vs. 15 as “I have eagerly desired. . .” and that’s as good a rendering as any. The Greek word is epithumia (where we get the word “pathos” and related words like "pathetic") and literally the text quotes Jesus as saying “With desire I have desired. . .” What’s interesting is that this is the same word used for “lust” several times in Scripture, like in Matt. 5:27-28. The word “lust” almost always has a bad connotation in English, but the same Greek word is used both for the illicit passions of an adulterer and Jesus’ desire to have this final moment of fellowship with his disciples. I think that he still has that desire today, to relate to us and enjoy us and have us enjoy him.

In fact, he might be speaking to you right now. Can you hear him?

Lord Jesus, I’m listening. I’m sorry for letting other things distract me. Please help me to focus on you, even if it’s just for a few moments.

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