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.
[June 16]--You Can’t HANDLE the Proof!
Since we ended Mark’s Gospel yesterday on the angel’s announcement of the Resurrection (duh!), I thought this would be a great time to take a short interlude. For the next few days I’m going to present some evidence that the Resurrection actually happened. I apologize for the bad pun off the famous line from A Few Good Men, but I couldn’t come up with anything better (titles aren’t my strong suit).
Before we get to the evidence, let me present some thoughts on why this is important. That’s the job of a practical theologian: To always ask “So what?” For me, the primary reason why this is so vital is because it backs up the claims of Christ in a unique way. You can visit the tomb and view the bodies of Confucius, Buddha, etc. Every other religious leader out there died and stayed dead. And quite frankly, it doesn’t really make that much a difference whether they’re alive or not. Their claims to ultimate truth don’t depend on their being alive.
Not so with Christ. If we found the body of Jesus, if we found so much as a finger bone, then the entire faith falls apart. The main representative of our faith after Pentecost, the one who literally wrote half the New Testament, said “[If] Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have [died] in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” In other words, our entire belief system stands or falls on the Resurrection.
I mentioned before the book Who Moved the Stone? by Frank Morison. He was a world-class scientist who set out to disprove the Resurrection. He looked at the evidence from a historical viewpoint, and you can guess the result. The first chapter is “The Book That Refused to Be Written.” The main piece that he couldn’t get over? It’s found in the title of the book itself.
This is one of the great ironies found in God’s word. The religious leaders knew that Jesus had claimed that he would rise from the dead (something that his own disciples had trouble remembering), and they wanted to prevent his followers from stealing his body and then claiming he had risen. So they went to Pilate and asked for guards for the tomb.
Please keep in mind that these are Roman soldiers. They were trained to fulfill their duty or die trying. The seal that’s mentioned here? That’s referring to the seal of the Roman Empire, and that meant death for anyone to break it.
I don’t want to mock anyone, I really don’t. That’s not my purpose. But for someone to deny the Resurrection, they have to claim that the disciples--some untrained fishermen and an ex-tax collector--snuck up on these guards, overpowered them, removed the stone, and stole the body. And quite frankly, it's a funny picture to imagine.
That’s where the grand irony comes in. The religious leaders wanted to stifle any claims that this “deceiver” rose from the dead. What they ended up doing was providing some of the best evidence that he did rise from the dead.
This has got to be one of the best examples I’ve ever encountered of God’s sovereignty in action. Our Lord does not accomplish his purposes in spite of the Enemy’s best efforts, but because of them. The Father wanted to make sure that his Son’s resurrection was attested to by the best evidence. Why? He wants us to place our faith in his Son and submit to him. That’s what this whole thing is about, right?
Father God, I praise you that you turn our Enemy’s best plans into your best triumphs. You are sovereign almighty God, and there is no other.