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 22]--Testimony

John 5:31-47

            In Jesus’ conversation with the religious leaders, one word keeps coming up: testimony. This is a really important word, not just in its definition but the context behind it. Moses commanded that no one could be accused except on the basis on two or three witnesses, so this formed the background that other claims (other than legal accusations) had to have two/three witnesses as well. Anyone could claim anything, so they would need witnesses to add credibility.

            Jesus had (implicitly) claimed God as his Father (see the discussion a couple of days ago), and the religious leaders wanted proof. Again, anyone could claim anything. You also need to keep in mind how radical this assertion was. Eastern religions tend to be pretty liberal with linking humanity with divinity: “You are god, I am god, this rock is god, everything is god.” But these were Jews, and to them God is unique and separated from his creation. Of all the ancient people, these folks would be the least likely to confuse the Creator with creation. So if someone claimed to be God incarnate, this would be blasphemy of the basest kind (unless, of course, it was true).

            So what proof did he offer? Who else pointed to Jesus was divine? First, there was the Father’s testimony, offered at Jesus’ baptism. This was public, in fact one of his first public appearances. Second, there was the testimony of John the Baptist. He'd repeatedly asserted that Jesus was God’s Son. I spent over a week in August focusing on the Baptist, and his whole raison d'etre was to point others towards Jesus as Savior and Lord. Third there were his works/miracles/signs. As I mentioned before, these were greater than the miracles that Moses and the prophets performed, both in scale and in purpose. Elijah resuscitated a boy who'd been dead for a few hours, while Jesus raised a man who'd been in the grave for four days.  Elisha provided food for a hundred men from 20 loaves of bread, while Jesus fed over 5,000 men with less. But it was more than the scale involved. These signs, I’m convinced, pointed to Christ’s divinity because he was doing what his Father was doing all the time (as we discussed a couple of days ago on the 20th).

            The final witness which Jesus submitted was the word of God itself, which would of course be what we call the Old Testament, particularly the books of Moses. If you ever needed a reason to study the Old Testament, this is it. If you read the Prophets, he’s there. If you read the Historical books like Joshua and Judges, he’s there. Yes, even Moses wrote about him. It’s important to note that, of all Jesus’ confrontational claims and condemnations, this last one would be the most shocking. The religious leaders put their hopes in Moses. He was considered the greatest prophet, the greatest link between man and God that there ever was. But according to Jesus, Moses’ main purpose was to point to Jesus.

            So what does this mean to me? I’m a believer; I’ve placed my trust in Christ. I don’t need to be convinced that he’s God, since I know it already. I guess the main application I can see here is that I need to regain this sense of the authority of Jesus. He’s God’s Son. The Father, John the Baptist, his works, and the Scriptures all testify as one on this issue. I can trust him, and I need to obey him. If you wanted a practical application, there it is.

Lord Jesus, you're so deserving of all my praise, my trust, my obedience, and my worship. I believe that you’re God in my theology, but I don’t demonstrate that belief very well. Please help me to change that.

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