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 13]—Run To The Tomb

John 20:1-10

We won’t go into the burial, since I’ve talked about it here. So we get to my favorite part of the whole story. I understand the necessity of the Cross, both in fulfilling God’s plan and for my benefit. It was the only way I could ever be saved. If there were any other way, I assure you, the Father would've done it. Having said all that, I’m always happy to move from talking about the Cross (at least its narrative details) to talking about the Empty Tomb.

I believe that all the accounts of the Resurrection from the various Gospels are true, and they can be reconciled. But they all tell the story in slightly different ways, with slightly different emphases. Luke tells us that Peter ran to the tomb, but he doesn’t mention John there. John almost makes it sound like Mary Magdalene went by herself, but we need to remember an important principle here: Just because a Gospel writer doesn’t mention someone or something, that doesn’t mean he’s contradicting another Gospel. None of the Gospels mention Jesus kissing his mother. Can we then safely assume that Jesus in all his 33 years never kissed his mother?

Another reason to count this as authentic is the strange description of the linens with which Jesus had been wrapped: "The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen." From John’s description, it sounds like the body linens were completely unwrapped, but the piece that had wrapped his head was still intact (at least intact enough to recognize). Why is this so? Why did Jesus unwrap the body linens but somehow intangibly take his head out of its linens? Beats me! But the reason I call attention to it is because this is a sign of an eyewitness narrative.

As C.S. Lewis pointed out, it’s little details in the Gospels which differentiate between a biographical narrative and a mythological story. Ever notice in a TV program or movie how every little detail relates to something later? If someone just casually mentions that they know CPR, that character will be called upon to perform mouth-to-mouth before the end of the story. It’s not that way in the Gospels. Take for example Jesus writing in the sand when confronted with the adulteress. Theologians debate and forth as to why he did it. The Gospel just adds it in without any explanation for it. That’s the sort of thing an eyewitness would include, while somebody making up a story wouldn’t.

I’d like to focus on one more thing before we move on. John, speaking of himself in the third person, contrasts himself with Peter. Verses 8-9 have an interesting take on John’s interpretation of the events. It says that neither of the disciples (and presumably nobody else) “[understood] from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead." But John believed anyway. He didn’t know his Bible as well as he should have. But he'd heard Jesus say—multiple times—that he was going to rise from the dead. And when he saw the empty tomb and what lay therein, he believed that Christ had risen.

This is an important point about getting the right priorities. John had a very incomplete understanding of God’s plan as outlined in his word. It’s there for all to see, at least everything we need to know. But if you don’t understand everything that’s written there, that’s fine. This isn’t to discourage in-depth study. This is to encourage you that if you’re trusting in the plain and simple words of Christ, you’ll end up where you need to be. Certainly it’s true that simple trust in him is better than full understanding with deficient trust.

Father God, I want to understand your word as best as I can, but more than that—MUCH more than that—I want to trust you better.

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