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 30]—Meeting the Real Jesus: Inheritance

John 17:6; Ps. 2:7-12; 1 Cor. 15:20-28

How does God view you? Have you ever thought about that? Some people have real problems with seeing themselves as fully forgiven and adopted children of the Almighty. Others think waaaaaaay too highly of themselves (actually I think this is a more common problem than the first), and they’re encouraged to see themselves as doing the Almighty a favor by accepting Jesus as their Savior.

I’d like to introduce a new word into this study on Jesus’ exaltation after he ascended back to the Father, a word which can give us perspective on ourselves: Inheritance. Let’s take a look at what the three passages above have to say about this.

In a sense, you belonged to God before the first moment of time. Now, how you interpret such things as “predestination” and “election,” will affect how you interpret the sense in which we “belonged” to God in eternity past. But however you want to try to unravel such mysteries, the Bible clearly teaches it. Before the first moment when God said “Let there be. . .” and no longer was the only Being in the universe, he knew you and loved you and (in some sense) chose you.

And at the right time, the Father “gave” you to his Son. You were a gift to Jesus. And he claimed you as his own. There are lots of terms for this claiming: Salvation, adoption, redemption, etc. But he did.

But the inheritance didn’t stop there. According to the second Psalm, God the Father has promised a much larger inheritance to the Son. What’s this inheritance? Everything seen and unseen. As Abraham Kuyper put it, "There is not an inch of any sphere of life over which Jesus Christ does not say, 'Mine.'"

That includes all the nations of the world. It includes all the “people groups” within those nations, the sub-groups which you can distinguish by language, culture, etc. It includes all organizations, businesses, clubs, and households. Every person on this planet is claimed—in some sense—by Jesus Christ. That’s what the great spiritual war is all about, of course. As Lewis put it, every square inch of the universe is claimed by the Son and counterclaimed by the Enemy.

And it’s ongoing, every moment of every day. Right now, in some sense, Jesus is already ruling from Heaven over all creation.  But saying all creation belongs to him isn’t the same as taking possession of it, which is why the Father said to him “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” This turning of Jesus' enemies into footstools is not instantaneous, at least in some sense. It happened officially the moment Jesus sat back down on his throne after the Ascension, but large parts of creation are still in rebellion.

What do you think is happening when someone receives Christ as Savior and Boss? Why do you think the Enemy so viciously works against true evangelism? That’s where you and I step into the picture, onto the grand and glorious stage. There’s a civil war going on, and unfortunately we live in territory occupied by the rebels. And when we share the Good News about Jesus with someone and that person turns to Christ, we're invading Enemy territory and planting the flag of the Lord Jesus in the ground. That’s less territory that the Enemy owns. Talk about whacking the hornet's nest!

And it won’t stop until the end of human history. One day the Lord Jesus will physically return in power and glory, have one last struggle with the Great Dragon, and possess what he’s inherited. Once he’s won the last great battle, all creation will bow before him and acknowledge him as Lord over all.

And what will he do then? Hand it all back to his Father. That includes us.

In fact, we’re his most precious treasure. We’re the brightest jewels in his crown. We’re his most valued possession, his beloved children, bought and paid for by his blood. If you count value by what someone’s willing to pay for something, then we’re of infinite value. But let us not forget, we belong to him, not to ourselves. Please, let’s not forget.

Lord Jesus, once again I feel like imitating Job for a while. Words seem so inadequate sometimes. Thank you. I’m yours.

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