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.

[June 30]--Parting the Veil

Luke 9:28-36

My Savior is pretty amazing. Apart from the obvious, I mean. He’s God in the flesh, sent to save us, completely submissive to the Father’s will, etc. But there’s one thing I keep noticing in the Gospels which is an attribute we don’t talk much about: He always gives his followers/friends exactly what they need at exactly the right time. When they need some simple instructions, he provides it. When they need to get a break from the smothering crowds, he calls for a retreat. When it’s time to get back to work, he lets them know. When they need a kick in the seat of the pants, well, guess what?

Today’s passage is a perfect example of that. If you read the verses just prior to that, you can guess what type of mood the disciples would be in after a little “pep talk” he gave. You can read it here, but I’ll summarize it: I’m about to die, and life for you is not going to be much better. If you’re going to follow me, you’ll have to resign yourself to being a dead man walking. When this is all over, it’ll be great: I’ll come down with the angels in power and glory, and knowing me will be the best thing that ever happened to you. But for now, it’s nothing but hardship and (likely) an early grave.

Like I said, not exactly a “pick me up” type of speech. Just remember, though, that our Lord always tells us what we need to hear, not what we want to hear. But after laying it all out for them, he saw that they needed some balance.

Often he went alone to “recharge his batteries” by spending time with the Father, but not this time. He took his “chosen three” with him and gave them the morale booster to end all morale boosters. I guess he figured that once he did this for the top three, they'd encourage the rest.

During 99.99999999% of his earthly life, the glory of the Lord Jesus was veiled. Most of the time, you could pass him on the street and not take a second look. His own brothers didn’t believe in him, nor did the people in his hometown. This was part of the deal regarding the Incarnation: He laid aside his glory in heaven and became “nothing. . .taking the very nature of a servant.”

But for a brief moment on that mountain, the veil was parted. The same glory that caused Moses’ face to shine like the sun was now in front of the disciples. And they didn’t know whether to be overcome with joy or terror. On top of the transformation of Jesus, they see him talking with Moses and Elijah, the great Law-giver and one of the greatest prophets.

Once again, I love how brutally honest the Bible is about its heroes. If I was making this stuff up, I'd definitely put better dialogue in Peter’s mouth, or just present him as being wisely silent in worship. I love Luke’s little aside: Poor Peter was just babbling and didn’t know what was coming out of his mouth, like a lot of people who are emotionally overwhelmed.

Some commentators speak poorly about Peter’s statement on a theological basis. He was very wrong in equating the Lord Jesus with Moses and Elijah in worship. But come on, let’s cut the guy some slack, shall we? Do you think you’d be thinking clearly in those circumstances?

Then the voice of the Father interrupted Peter’s incredible wisdom with some correction. Moses and Elijah were prominent servants, but that’s all they were. In contrast, this is my Son, and the best thing you can do--instead of talking so much—is to listen to him. Which, of course, is the best advice anyone ever gave to anyone else.

Naturally that’s a good application for me. Also we need to be extremely grateful for mountaintop experiences like this. Your days seem to be getting harder and harder. God seems so far away at times. He promised that in life you’ll have trouble, and he’s certainly keeping that promise! But then, all of a sudden, he calls you aside and gives you a big morale booster. He parts his veil, just for a moment, and lets you see a smidgeon of his glory. And that’s enough to keep you going. He always gives you just what you need, doesn’t he?

Yes, Lord, that’s absolutely a bedrock truth. Thank you.

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