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 20]—Meeting The Real Jesus: The Word Made Flesh

John 1:14

I know we read this verse yesterday, but I want to focus on it alone for a day, because there’s more than enough here to keep us occupied. As I once read in a Bible Study about the Gospel, John’s writings are shallow enough for a child to swim in and deep enough for an elephant to drown in, and this verse is a prime example.

If you’re already familiar with what I’m about to say, then I apologize. John was a Jew, and his Gospel has a lot of Jewish and Old Testament allusions. The first three words of his Gospel evoke the first three words of the Torah. But he also had a Greek audience in mind as he wrote this. The key here in his prologue (which is verses one through eighteen) is the word "word" (sorry that I couldn’t phrase that better). The Greek word is Logos, and it has a breadth and depth of meaning. It can mean "word" like apple, and it can be used in the sense of “message” or “concept.” The suffix “–ology” which we attach to mean the study of something (like entomology) shows something about it. The Greeks (supposedly) believed in the Pantheon with Zeus and Apollo, but the philosophers believed in a concept they called Logos. Nothing John says about the Logos in vss. 1-5 would be that out of the mainstream of Greek thought. For example, when he says that everything was created through the Logos and it's from eternity past. “In the beginning. . .” means that there was nothing before it (actually him, as we’ll see).

They saw the Logos as the principle that oversaw the order of the universe. Now granted, they didn’t see it as a person with personality. But they were familiar with the term.

But verse 14 is where John says something about the Logos that would make them sit up and take notice: "The Logos became flesh and dwelt among us." Literally it says that he “pitched his tent among us.” Again, this uses verbiage which would be familiar with both Greeks and Jews.

“Became flesh” isn’t just in the sense of skin. The word is sarx, which is the crudest possible word the Greeks used for the human body. The term meant humanity and carried the connotation of all our frailties and stinkiness and bodily functions which we don’t talk about in polite company.

This would've horrified and scandalized the Greeks. They saw the body as something to escape from. They saw spirituality as the higher form of everything. Their dream and goal was to rise above human flesh and become more spiritual. That’s why some of the heresies of the 2nd and 3rd centuries tried to deny that Jesus was really human. He only “seemed” human, like the angels who visited Abraham. That’s not what John says. In fact, it’s quite the opposite of what John says. The term he picked means Jesus sweated. He burped. He did. . . the stuff in the bathroom that we don’t talk about in mixed company. If you think I’m being crude just for shock value, or that I’m being disrespectful to the Lord Jesus, take it up with John. His word is actually a lot more shocking than it sounds in English.

But don’t worry. John’s an equal opportunity offender, and he proves it with the other part of the phrase translated as “made his dwelling among us.” The “tent” referred to here is talking about the Tent of meeting. Remember Moses and his meetings with God? He met with God “face to face” in a tent called the tabernacle. That was where man and God talked together and fellowshipped together.

That’s what happened in the Incarnation. And John specifically used a term which would evoke that image of the Tabernacle, which would provoke either worship or violent anger from Jews.

The Word became flesh—with all its frailties and indignities and crudities--and set up his Tabernacle with us. The Logos that was in the beginning and made everything seen and unseen came down and lived with us. And “we have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Wow.

Lord Jesus, what words can I possibly add to that? I think I’ll follow Job’s example, and put my hand over my mouth for a while.

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