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.

[Dec 07]—The Real Lord’s Prayer

John 17:6-18

You might have gotten a little confused by a couple of things: A) today’s title, and B) the fact that I’ve skipped over several verses in chapter 16 and the first part of 17. Let me address B first. As I’ve pointed out before, this is a devotional, not a commentary. Also, much of the material that I’ve skipped has been covered in the Blog elsewhere or will be.

As to the second point of confusion, I’m fully aware that Matt. 6:9-13 is commonly referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer.” My (small) problem with that it’s a misnomer: The Lord Jesus could never pray this prayer himself, since he has no sin “debts” from which he needed to be forgiven. John 17 makes up the longest recorded prayer of Jesus, and it’s commonly called the “High Priestly Prayer.” I like calling it “The Real Lord’s Prayer,” for the reasons stated above.

The prayer is split into 3 parts. Vss. 1-5 records Jesus’ prayer about himself, which we’ll examine in a few days when we delve into the nature of Christ. Today’s passage is Jesus’ prayer for his disciples who are with him in his last hours, and in vss. 20-26 (which we’ll look at tomorrow), he prays for all the believers who would come after them. So what can we learn about Jesus’ prayer for his disciples who are listening to him as he prays this?

• Jesus says that he had revealed the Father in vs. 6, but if you notice the footnote, you’ll see something interesting. Literally Jesus says that he revealed the Father’s “name” to his disciples. How had he done this? Obviously our Lord means something more than just revealing a literal name in the sense that we normally use. No, remember that in that culture, the term meant more than what people called you when addressing you. One’s “name” referred to one’s character, one’s reputation, the whole of their being. It’s the same issue as when Jesus told us that whatever we ask in his “name,” he’ll do. I’ve talked about this already.

• They'd been called out of the world by the Father and given to Jesus. He's claimed them, and he has protected them. Now he’s no longer going to be physically with them, so he’s asking the Father to protect them. The means he used to protect them and the means he asks the Father to do so is the same: through his “name.”

• Please notice what else he asks on their behalf: He doesn't ask the Father to take them out of the world, but that he'd protect them from the Evil One. Let me be brutally frank here—a lot of Christians seem to miss Jesus’ stated purpose here, and I myself have to struggle with the tendency. His people have to be involved in the physical world. The cloistered community, both official and nonofficial, is not part of his plan. What we need is not to be taken out of the world, but to be protected from the Evil One. And how we need that protection!

• We're to be set apart by the truth, in this context meaning God’s word. He could've said that the Father’s word is truth-ful, but that’s not what he said. He said it is truth. Just like Jesus himself, the word is truth given to us in physical form.

• And finally in this prayer, we see what he’s aiming for. He was sent by the Father, and now he’s sending us out in the same way.

I see five points above, any of which we can use for application. Take your pick.

Father, I know that my tendency is to protect myself by cloistering around other believers instead of reaching out to those who don’t know you. How’s about I do what you’ve called me to do, and I let you do the protecting?

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