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 19]--The Lord’s Supper: Salvation Present

John 6:53-59

As we said yesterday, the Lord’s Supper presents us a picture of our salvation past, present and future.

So in what sense are we saved in the present tense, and what does Communion have to do with it? Here’s a simple summary of it. We were saved from the penalty of sin, which was justification. We are saved every day from the power of sin, which is sanctification. And we will one day be saved from the presence of sin, which will be glorification. Today, day by day, moment by moment, our Master offers us freedom from the power of sin.

How do we acquire this, and what does it have to do with us "[eating his] flesh and [drinking his] blood”? Of course, the Roman Catholic Church loves this passage, since they claim it teaches transubstantiation, the belief that when the elements are blessed, they literally become the body and blood of the Lord. The interesting thing about this is that the Jews who had been following him up to this point interpreted this literally as well, and most of them abandoned him because of it. But in the context of the chapter, Jesus makes it clear that the way we “eat and drink” him is by believing in him, not through any physical action like taking Communion, which didn’t even exist as an ordinance when the Lord was speaking these words.

So if we “eat and drink” him by believing in him at the beginning, does this have anything to do with our life with him after we’ve received him? Of course it does: That’s why he mentions that those who eat his flesh and drink his blood “remain” in him, and he in us (vs. 56). This is the whole idea of the present aspect of salvation in the Lord’s Supper—he doesn’t just save us, pat us on the back and say “Good luck with that!” He sustains us day by day, moment by moment. He “feeds” us and sustains us. His life becomes ours.

Per usual, C.S. Lewis has a wonderful way of illustrating this point. In his poem (you didn't know he wrote poetry, did you?) "On A Theme From Nicolas Cusa," he writes

When soul and body feed, one sees
Their different physiologies.
Firmness of apple, fluted shape
Of celery, or tight-skinned grape
I grind and mangle when I eat,
Then in dark, salt, internal heat,
Annihilate their natures by
The very act that makes them I.

But when the soul partakes of good
Or truth, which are her savoury food,
By some far subtler chemistry
It is not they that change, but she,
Who feels them enter with the state
Of conquerors her opened gate,
Or, mirror-like, digests their ray
By turning luminous as they.

So have you “fed” upon him today? Are you feeding upon his word, basking in his Presence, listening to his voice? What makes you think you can make it without that?

And as a special treat, here's Rich Mullins's "Peace (A Communion Blessing From St. Joseph's Square)":

Lord Jesus, you sustain me with your life, and you’re in the process of changing me into your likeness. Any way I can cooperate with that, please show me and give me the strength to do it.

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