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 25]--Crucifixion

Matt. 27:32-44

This is probably one of the hardest devotionals I’ve had to write. The main reason for this is because I feel so inadequate. Poets, preachers, and theologians have all expounded on his Passion, and they can do it with much more eloquence than I could ever muster. But here are a few points to consider for all of us:

A) The horror and brutality of the physical pain was unimaginable to us. I find it interesting, however, that there really isn’t that much of a description of the actual crucifixion itself. The Gospel writers give some detail about the torture and other hardships he underwent before the main event: mockery, being spat upon, being hit with fists, the crown of thorns, and the actual flogging by the Roman whip (remember, complete with a piece of bone in every single strap). But when it comes to the cross, they simply say “And they crucified him.” or words to that effect. The reason for this omission of detail? For the first century audience, there was no need: They knew full well what a crucifixion looked like. But there might be another reason. Perhaps they didn’t give details on this not because they regarded it as unimportant, but as so poignant and meaningful that no human words could capture it. It was too “close” for them to examine.

B) But the thing we need to keep in mind here is why he did it. He died a vicarious death, and everything he went through was for our sake. Why was he falsely accused? So that we can be declared “not guilty” in God’s court. Why was he beaten? Because “by his wounds we are healed.” Why was a crown of thorns placed upon his head? So that one day we could receive a crown of glory. Why did he die? So that we could live forevermore.

C) And what should our reaction should be to this, when we realize that it is my sin and your sin that nailed him to that tree? Let’s be clear here: It should not be guilt. That's not the purpose here, or at least not at the end. It should promote hatred of sin, since that’s what killed him. And it should provide a constant well-spring of thankfulness that leads to obedience.

Now for your viewing, I present what I believe is the best music video of all time, "Secret Ambition" by Michael W. Smith:

Lord Jesus, thank you. Those words seem so inadequate, but I don’t know what else to say. Except, “I’m yours, to do with as you please.”

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