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 09]--Does Jesus Need Me?

John 2:18-25

Jesus’ cleansing of the temple was probably applauded by a lot of people who knew that he was doing the right thing, but it also provoked a confrontation with the religious leaders who were making money off the system. They demanded a religious sign to show he had the authority to do this.

His response is very instructive. He could've easily performed a public miracle in front of everyone which would've convinced even the most skeptical critics, but he didn’t. What did he claim was the “miraculous sign” which would proclaim his authority? His resurrection from the dead. This would be the Father’s official “stamp of approval” on everything he'd accomplished. This is why after he was raised, he told his disciples that “all heaven and earth has been given to me.” Through it, God declared that Jesus was his Son, who naturally has the right to do anything he darn well pleases.

But then we come to some verses that might have us scratching our heads. What do vss. 23-25 mean? In a very real sense, the Lord “entrusts” himself to us everyday. We’re his representatives in the world, and he's purposefully and permanently linked his reputation with ours. We’re his body, his hands and his feet, and we’re his main instruments for accomplishing his purposes.

But in another sense he doesn’t entrust his purposes to fallen human beings. He knows quite well how fickle, how flaky, how shallow and how sinful we really are. If Christians are ever rightfully accused of being na├»ve about humanity, it’s because we’re not following the example of our Master. He didn’t entrust himself to men because he was utterly realistic about human nature.

So how do we reconcile these passages and these truths? What’s the difference between Jesus trusting the men of his day and trusting us? Two words: Holy Spirit. It’s not so much a matter of him trusting fallen men to accomplish his work, as it is him working through us to do it. When we receive Christ, he moves into us through the Person of his Spirit, and he equips us and empowers us.

So what’s the point here? Why is this important? Because in and of ourselves we aren’t trustworthy. He'd have to be crazy to entrust his plan to people like us, if it weren't for the Holy Spirit who lives inside us. And if I try to do anything in Jesus’ name without Jesus’ power, I’ll accomplish nothing at best, and probably do a lot of damage to his cause. Please let’s not do that, shall we?

Lord Jesus, you spoke very truly when you said that outside of you I can do nothing, at least nothing good or worthwhile. Please give me the strength to do what you want me to do, and the wisdom to see when I’m trying to do it with my own resources.

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