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 30]--Not Ready Yet

John 7:25-36

            We need to read God’s word carefully; otherwise we can make some serious errors. When John uses the term “the Jews,” he’s usually referring to the religious leaders (although sometimes to the Jewish people as a group), but it’s always a neutral connotation at best, and most of the time it’s in a negative context, as in rejection of Jesus.  Of course, it’s ludicrous to suggest, as some have, that the writers of the New Testament were Antisemitic (which would be strange since all but one of the authors in the N.T. were Jewish, all the apostles were Jewish, and the entire first generation of believers were all Jewish). But when it came to the pilgrims who made it to the feast, there was definitely a mixed reaction, which John faithfully recorded for us. It ran the entire gamut, from “He’s a con-artist and a false Messiah” to “When the Messiah comes, will he perform any more miracles than this man?” (Hinting that the speaker was starting to believe in him). The religious leaders didn’t know what to do with him, but ordered the “temple guards” to arrest him (more about them tomorrow). It looks like no one knew exactly what to think of him.

            I’d like to spend just a moment on the last phrase in 27: “when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.” One of the common beliefs about the Messiah was that he'd suddenly appear out of nowhere—no birth, no hometown, no childhood, just “there.” The reason for this is because of a misinterpretation of Malachi 3:1. Obviously the Lord had already plainly predicted to them that he'd be born in Bethlehem, but they hadn’t caught that part. I think that this is a great time to point out that it’s a good idea to know your Bible and be familiar with all of it, not just the parts you happen to like. This one misinterpretation closed them off from accepting their own Messiah.

            His point in vs. 28 seems to be “You know enough about me already. You know me, or at least enough about me to make the right decision.” When he mentioned his Father again, they tried again to arrest him, but “his time had not yet come.” There'd come a time when he'd fall into their hands, and they'd have the chance to vent all that anger that'd been simmering up to that point. He'd be arrested, tried, condemned, tortured, and brutally executed, but not yet. Why? Because they were incompetent, or just weren’t quite devoted enough to his destruction? No! Jesus was on the Father’s timetable, and nothing would happen to him until that point. No one took his life from him—he would lay it down of his own free will, when the Father told him to.

            Another thing to note is the last recorded reaction in today’s passage. Several of my sources found it very likely that John was being ironic, or looking backwards from his perspective years after this took place. The truth is, he did go on to “teach the Greeks” in a fashion, through his representatives. His own people, as a general rule, didn’t accept him, so eventually the Lord removed the “natural” branches and grafted in “wild olive shoots” (that’s us) into the Tree of God’s family.

             Maybe you feel like the Enemy’s had carte blanche in your life, just like with Job. This is a good reminder to all of us: As God’s children, nothing can happen to us which isn’t sifted through his perfect, loving plan. He's claimed us, and we belong to him. Bad things might happen (nothing compared to the Passion, of course), but it’s all woven into the tapestry of his ultimate plan for us. Please trust him.

Father, I do trust in you, but it’s pretty shaky at times. Please help me to see that you’re in charge, and the Enemy’s not.

No comments:

Post a Comment