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.
[Oct 03]--Two Kinds of Birth
John’s Gospel begins with some of the most exalted descriptions of Jesus Christ in Scripture (all fully deserved), but here we come to a sad irony. He made the world and everything in it, and then in humility took on humanity in order to reach out to us. And what was the result? The world didn’t recognize him, and even his own people didn’t receive him for who he was. Of course, this just refers the majority of Jewish people in his day, not every single one of them. He had probably a few hundred people who would've called themselves his followers, and even fewer who were truly dedicated.
But I really want to focus on the huge contrast we see at the end of today’s passage. Remember, John loved to study contrasts, and this one is very important. It’s very common today to refer to everyone as children of God. Is this true? Well, he has given all of us life and provides for our physical needs, but that doesn’t make us his children. Scripture never teaches that all of us are his children in the spiritual sense. In fact, it teaches us quite the opposite: Since Adam’s fall, all of us are the spiritual progeny of the Enemy, and something has to happen to us to change that. It’s not something that we’re physically born into. All of us were born the physical way: We have parents who. . . you know, and we’re the result of that. That’s what the passage means when it mentions “human decision or a husband’s will.”
So what is this other birth referring to? Well, it’s certainly more than reforming one’s life or changing one’s thought processes. It’s not like changing a political party. It’s a new birth, and it radically transforms us. What we have as Christians is a new nature, one totally different from the one we got from physical birth.
You might be saying, “I know all of this, so what’s your point?” Ok, let’s see if we can apply this. First, this means that we need to stand up to the nonsense that all people are children of God. It’s not so, and we shouldn’t let people believe it. Second, all believers are children of God, and we need to recognize that we have a family connection with every other believer on earth, which transcends skin color, national origin, or economic background. Third, how’s about we stop for a moment of gratitude for the One who's brought us into his family? We really are his children now, and we have this right bought and paid for by the precious blood of our Savior.
Father, I thank you so much for the right to be your child. I know what it cost you, and I so desperately need to show more of a family resemblance. Please help me.