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.

[Oct 07]--Party Time!

John 2:1-11

As I mentioned on the first, there are seven miracles, or "signs" in John's Gospel, and this is the first one. There's debates among scholars about whether John meant that this was Jesus' absolutely first miracle, or just his first one in Cana. But whichever the case, we can definitely learn from it.

The very background for this passage actually gives us some insight into our Lord’s personality. Apparently he was the type of person to be invited to, and attend, weddings. He was, in general, a person with whom people liked to hang around! If you’ve ever been to a traditional Jewish wedding, you know that despite being a solemn occasion, it’s much more of a celebration than we’re probably used to, bordering on the raucous. For some reason, Jesus’ mother was in charge of the logistics, and a terrible thing happened. By some oversight, the servers had run out of wine.

To us modern Americans, this doesn't seem like a big deal, but to first century Middle Easterners, this would be disastrous. Mary went to her Son and asked for help, and depsite some initial reluctance he gave in to her request.

And for anyone reading this who has a Catholic background, I’d like to point something out. I heard this several years ago from a friend who was discussing the Church’s view on Mary with some Catholics, and this summarized what he said to them: “I thoroughly believe in obeying every command that Mary gives us from Scripture.” This is the only recorded command from Mary, and what does she tell us to do? “Do whatever he tells you.” Sounds good to me!

The servants obeyed Jesus, and thus were the instruments of a great miracle. I always find the master of the banquet’s remark to be really funny: “You’re supposed to break out the good stuff at the beginning of the party, not the end!”

So if this is a “sign,” then what does it tell us about our Savior? First, when he does work, it's never second-best or "good enough." It's always the best of the best of the best. This convicts me of the quality of my work at times. Second, he always saves the best for last. Six was a symbol of something that was less than complete (as contrasted with seven). Many people have noted that the jars were there for ceremonial washing, so they see them as being illustrative of our efforts (through the Law) to cleanse ourselves, and how futile that really is. Our Lord then comes along, and turns the plain water of our dull experience into the sweet wine of a full relationship with him, a never-ending celebration of our new life in him.

Have you experienced this new life? If you are saved, have you been living life to the fullest? Are you really living up to all that Christ has for you? If not, what’s holding you back?

Lord Jesus, everything you have for me, I desire. I refuse to settle for anything less than your best. I’m going to follow the example of those servants: Whatever you tell me to do, I’ll do it.

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