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 08]--Chasing Followers Away?

John 3:22-30

Yesterday we discussed how John the Baptist viewed Jesus, but today we look at how he viewed his ministry versus Jesus’. John had a lot of disciples who loyally followed him, even after he was put in prison. As I mentioned before, even today, over 2,000 years later, he still has followers in the Middle East.

But his disciples saw a problem developing. We don’t know how an argument about ceremonial washing led to this subject, but for some reason it prompted his acolytes to confront their teacher. They'd seen John baptize Jesus, which would normally mean that John was the spiritual superior in their relationship. They heard that Jesus had set up his own ministry, which included baptism and teaching, just like John’s. But now they saw that Jesus was getting more and more attention, which was naturally drawing it away from their beloved master.

What was John’s reaction? First he started with a general principle, which could be applied to both himself and Jesus: Our assignments are not something we can apply for or complain about; they’re given to us from above. God had given John a certain task, and now the Messiah, according to the Father’s plan, was going to take center stage. John was going to lose more and more followers to Jesus as time went on.

And what was John’s reaction? Overwhelming joy! He compared himself to a friend of the bridegroom, roughly equivalent to our “best man.” In those days, the groom, not the bride, was the central person in a wedding. When the friend of the bridegroom had done his job well, then no one would be thinking about him at all. Total success for the friend of the bridegroom would end in everyone focused on the most important person there.

I'd like to adopt the final verse from today’s passage as the guiding principle for my life, wouldn’t you? Of course, John was referring primarily to their respective ministries, but it applies so well to a host of other areas. I heard a preacher once say that if people walk away from his sermons and said “What a magnificent speaker!” then he'd failed utterly. If they walked away and said “What a magnificent Savior!” then he felt that he'd succeeded.

I don’t believe that becoming more like Christ somehow “dissolves” my personality. But when it comes to my sin and my selfishness, the more people see of Christ--and the less people see of Keith--the better. How about you?

Lord Jesus, you're so wonderful, so magnificent, so gracious and holy. Please change me. I want to think more like you, talk more like you, and act more like you.

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