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 29]--Famous Last Words

Matt. 28:16-20

These last words in Matthew are Jesus’ final instructions to us before he went back to the Father. They’re famously called “The Great Commission,” and they have quite a bit of meaning, much more than my poor resources can really handle, but here goes. . .

Our Lord starts off with an incredible claim, one which is both a comfort and a challenge for us. Not some, not most, not almost all, but all authority in heaven and on earth has been placed under Jesus’ feet by the Father. This should be a comfort to us, since the One in charge is our beloved Brother, he who showed his love for us by bleeding and dying for us. This is who’s in charge: Not kings, not presidents, not dictators, and certainly not chance. But it’s also a challenge, because it leads into explicit instructions for us.

As someone once famously put it, every time you read a “therefore” in Scripture, you should notice what it’s “there for.” All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus, and therefore. .  . what? This should lead to what action on our part? We're given three things to do. The first is to go and make disciples. This might come as a shock to some folks, but showing a good example of Christlikeness and waiting for them to come to you and ask you “Why are you so different from other people” is not mentioned here in God’s evangelism program. Not that our lifestyle isn’t important, but we have to go to them. Interestingly, sharing the Good News with them is implied in the “making disciples” part. Obviously you can’t make disciples without making converts, but just getting people saved isn't the ultimate purpose. The purpose is to make obedient followers of Christ.

The second step is baptism, which is a public commitment for the disciple to make. It’s a public announcement that he's now a follower of Jesus, showing that the old life is gone and the new one is here now.

Finally, we're to teach them to obey what our Lord commanded us. Did you notice the final goal here, what we're working towards with all this? Obedience.

And then we end on another word of encouragement, giving a kind of parenthesis that goes with his word of authority he started with. He's in complete charge of everything, and he's with us. Bringing all nations into submission to Christ seems to be a pretty daunting task, but we aren’t alone. While we’re working, he’s working with us and through us and before us. He’s here, right now. What part is he calling you to play in all this?

Lord Jesus, when I look at the state of the world we’re in, it looks like we have so far to go. I’m really glad that you’re in charge of all this, and that you’re with us. Whatever part you want me to play in it, wherever you’re sending me, the answer’s “yes.”

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