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.

[Aug 07]--How Did He View Jesus?

John 1:26-34

As we saw yesterday, John was very careful about letting people think more of him than was warranted. He wanted to immediately disillusion anyone entertaining the notion that he was the Messiah.

So how did he view Jesus? Actually, he was the first one to recognize Jesus. After Mary was visited by the angel and the Holy Spirit conceived within her, she went to visit her relative Elizabeth. As soon as Elizabeth heard the sound of Mary’s voice, John leaped within her womb for joy—that’s right, the first person to recognize Jesus was an unborn baby. From that point forward, John was all about pointing others towards Christ.

There’s something you might want to know about concerning religious traditions in those days. It was very common for disciples to do menial tasks for their rabbis: washing their clothes, cleaning their house, serving their food, etc. But there was one task which was forbidden for rabbis to expect from their followers: untying their sandals. This was considered too degrading a task for a teacher to expect from his students, under any circumstances. This was considered slave work. But John said he was unworthy to even untie the sandals of the One who was coming.

What exactly did John know about God’s plan? From today’s passage, apparently more than Jesus’ own disciples did. They never quite captured the notion that our number one problem is sin, not political oppression. But John pointed to Jesus and proclaimed to anyone who'd listen that this was “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” I don’t think that John necessarily had the details worked out, but he at least had the important parts clear. He also knew and announced that Jesus was the Son of God, a very controversial claim for Jews, both in that time and today.

He also knew that Jesus one day was going to judge the world and separate the saved from the lost, and John urged his listeners to prepare themselves by repenting. The only thing he might've gotten wrong was missing the distinctive purposes of his first and second comings. He apparently thought that Jesus was going to accomplish spiritual redemption and eternal judgment all within the same time period, which would explain why he was so downcast about being in prison and not seeing Jesus take charge the way he was expecting (see our discussion on Matt. 11:1-15 two day ago).

The point I’m trying to make is that he basically got it right when a lot of people, including Jesus’ closest followers, got it really wrong. He had his doubts at times, like most of us do, but Jesus was very pleased with him. His whole-hearted devotion, his single-mindedness in pointing others to Christ while deflecting attention from himself is something we all need to work on. Wouldn't you agree?

Lord Jesus, I have so far to go when it comes to things like this. Please give me this kind of single-mindedness, this kind of purity of heart. I need it so badly.

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