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 24]--Two Types of Bread

John 6:25-33, 41-50

            As I mentioned when introducing this Gospel, John loved to use physical phenomena to illustrate spiritual truths. This chapter’s description of the feeding of 5,000 and the discussion after it is exhibit A of this. Out of his mercy and compassion, he provided food for all these people, and their reaction was to try to make him king by force. This miracle is found in all four Gospels, but the other three don’t have Jesus’ commentary about it, which we see here.

            They came to him, asking how he'd gotten there, since they hadn’t seen him enter any boats (he actually walked on the water, but we’ve already talked about that). As he did with Nicodemus in chapter 3, he completely ignored what someone was saying/asking and instead answered to the needs of the speaker’s heart. He knew that they weren’t even searching for a circus-like miracle anymore, which would be bad enough. No, all they cared about was that he'd provided them with all the food they could eat. As any homeless shelter volunteer can tell you, if you start passing out free food, you’re sure to be popular.

            But here we get to the crux of the matter: Jesus was trying to get them past simply looking at physical food to much more important sustenance. Just like with the woman at the well on the subject of physical water, he was using the physical food to show something about himself. He was offering them bread that wouldn’t spoil, and would completely satisfy once and for all.

            Being raised in a legalistic approach to God, they asked the obvious question: “What does God want us to do to earn this?” What was Jesus’ answer? “Nothing. Just believe in the one whom the Father has sent, namely me.” In order to appropriate this “bread,” all you have to do is trust in me, utterly.

            Here we begin the comparison/contrast with Moses and his work. Moses had promised that God would send Israel a prophet like himself, and they were warned to listen to what he had to say. Now that prophet “like Moses” had come, but they were skeptical. Jesus had only fed about 5,000 men one time, while Moses had fed millions for 40 years.

            Here’s where it’s really important to pay attention. First off, it was through Moses that God had supplied the Manna. Moses was a man; yes, he was a man who was amazingly used by the Lord, but he was just a man. By himself, Moses could've done nothing. Second, as wonderful as the Manna was, it wasn't able to really give life. It could stave off death by starvation, but every one of those Israelites who ate it eventually died.  But if you eat this new bread that he was offering, you'd live forever. Of course, he’s talking about spiritual life, since even believers die physically.

            But that really gets to the heart of the issue, doesn’t it? The Manna certainly didn’t change their hearts or restore their relationship with their Creator, did it? You know how rebellious they were, and how it kept them out of the Promised Land. But this new Bread will change everything. Yes, we’ll still die eventually, but death has lost its sting for us. And we'll live forever. Not just exist forever (everyone’s going to do that), but live forever. We’ll be forever in the immediate presence of Life himself.

            All that, just by believing in him. If you’ve “eaten” this “Bread,” if you have his Life within you, then how about some gratitude?

Lord Jesus, thank you. How can I show my gratitude? I’m sure you can think of something.

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