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 23]--“Trial”

Matt. 26:57-68

There's a good reason why the title is in quotes: The “trial” of Jesus was a show-trial, an utter mockery of justice from start to finish, with the verdict never really in doubt. If you do just a bit of research, you’ll find why Jesus’ arrest and trial were completely illegal. Just a few examples: 1) He was arrested and tried at night, and Jewish law only allowed daylight proceedings. 2) The witnesses against him didn’t agree, which completely contradicted Mosaic law. 3) He was required to testify against himself, which was also illegal (which is carried over into our legal system). 4) The charges against him were switched. When he was brought before the Sanhedrin (a religious court), the charge was blasphemy, but when he was brought before Pilate (a secular court), he was accused of claiming to be "King of the Jews," which would mean inciting insurrection.

When they charged him on oath and asked him if he was the Christ, the Son of God, his answer literally is “You have said it,” or as some translations put it, “It is as you said.” This was an idiom meaning “The short answer is ‘Yes,’ but you don’t know the full meaning of the question.” In other words, he answered affirmatively, but made it clear in his answer that they had no idea who the Messiah was supposed to be.

Please notice that our Lord’s last words to the religious leaders of Israel were those of warning. They expected the Messiah to come down from the clouds in power and glory, and he will. This first time he came in humiliation and submission, barely even raising his voice. It won’t be like that the next time he arrives.

There seem to me to be two main applications from this passage. The first is to stop whining. We're so quick to defend ourselves when someone slanders us or misrepresents us to others. We trip all over ourselves to “set the story straight.” Friend, if you claim to be a follower of Christ, then why would you be surprised at this? Earlier Jesus warned us: “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!” On the other side of the coin, we should take heart if we’re lied about and treated with contempt because of false accusation. We’re in the best of company, aren’t we?

Lord Jesus, when I start to complain because someone is talking bad about me, please shut my mouth. When they hurled their insults at you, you didn’t retaliate; when you suffered, you made no threats. Instead, you entrusted yourself to him who judges justly. I want to be like that, please.

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