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 11]—Love For a Mother, and One Word That Saved Us All

            What can be said about the crucifixion that you haven’t heard before? Most of it’s familiar to us: The multiple attempts by Pilate to let Jesus go, the dogged determination on the part of his enemies to kill him, and the cruel mockery and torture by the Roman soldiers.
            But there are just two things I’d like to point out from today’s passage. First, we see how Jesus, even in the midst of such suffering and pain, both in the physical realm and in the spiritual, takes time out to take care of his own. Yes, he was the Son of God, sent from the Father to save us from our sins. Yes, he’s the Almighty One before whom every knee will bow and who'll one day be universally acknowledged as Lord. But he’s still the son of Mary. She raised him, and she always had a special place in his heart. I know that the Roman Catholic Church, because of its unbiblical veneration of  Mary, loves to focus on her. And we react against that, perhaps to the extreme of downplaying her place in redemptive history. He certainly could’ve been excused if his mind was on other things. But he loved her, and he wanted to ensure that after he was gone, his mother was taken care of. He never misses the smallest details when it comes to taking care of his own.
            But now we’re going to the second part of today’s title. What could this one word be that saves us? In English it’s three, but in the Greek it’s only one.
            That word is Tetelestai. It’s translated as “It is finished” in English, but this one Greek word has such a depth of meaning for us.
            There’s nothing wrong with translating it as “It is finished.” The work that Jesus had been sent for was completed. The Father had sent him to complete a task, and it was done. This is why the author of Hebrews says that Jesus “learned obedience from what he suffered.” Not that Jesus was ever dis-obedient, but he completed and manifested his obedience in dying on the cross. When he said “It is finished” and bowed his head and died, that was it.  
            But there’s another meaning to the Greek word which John decided to use to translate what Jesus said on the cross. When you were making payments on a loan and made the last one, the creditor stamped your receipt “Tetelestai.” When a prisoner finished his jail sentence, his release papers were marked “Tetelestai.” So the word could just as easily be translated as “Paid in full.”
            The debt of our sins is completely paid in full. The sentence has been carried out.
            Are you familiar with the concept of “double jeopardy”? It’s something forbidden in our judicial system, enshrined in our Constitution. It means that you can’t be tried twice for the same crime. Once you’ve been found not guilty by a court, the state can’t try you ever again for the same thing.
            God hates sin and must punish it. He can’t let it go. He hates it with a passion for a multitude of reasons. But he won’t punish both Jesus and me for my sins.
            And it also means that, since our sins are for paid for “in full,” he’ll never bring them up again. He’s all-knowing: he knows how many atoms make up the universe, and his all-seeing eye is everything at all times. There are no secrets before him. But he promises that when we receive Christ and are covered by his Son’s blood, “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
            I never have to worry about whether or not that sin of mine is covered. It is.
            Aren’t you glad?

Father God, I never want to presume on your grace, but you go out of your way to tell us that all of my sins are forever gone, forever covered, forever forgotten. Thank you. I’m yours. 

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