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.

[Jan 08]--Last Of His Kind

Matt. 11:1-15

Again, I’m going to help you in your next game of “Bible Trivia.” Who was the last O.T. prophet? If you answered “Malachi,” then you need to actually do the Scripture reading before you read my devotional. The answer’s John the Baptist.

I spent several days a couple of years ago studying the life of John, so we’re not going to go too much into that. I just wanted to submit some thoughts on what our Lord says about this man before we move on to some a more systematic study in the book of Isaiah. So what does Jesus say about this man, and how is it relevant to us?

First off, we need to keep in mind that the prophets had an incomplete understanding of what they were talking about. I thoroughly believe--and most commentators I’ve read agree with me--that John’s actions in sending his disciples were for his own benefit, not just for the disciples’. He'd preached and served faithfully for many years, and his reward so far was a dark prison and impending death. My theory of his source of doubt is that he suffered from some of the common misunderstanding of what the Messiah came to do. Of course, he had a vastly greater comprehension of the Messiah’s atoning work than anyone else of his generation. But apparently he was under the impression that the arrival of the Messiah was going to bring about a “regime change” in the world. When Messiah came, he would set up a physical kingdom and would restore Israel to prominence, and would slay all God’s enemies, etc. “And if that’s the case, what the heck am I still doing in prison? If Jesus is about to set up his kingdom, he needs to hurry if my head's going to stay attached to my shoulders.”

The prophets don’t seem to have really mentioned in their writings the fact that the Messiah would be coming twice, not once. We’re going to get into this later, but for now we need to grasp this concept: They tended to blur the two comings into one in their writings.

So what does Jesus have to say about John? We need to keep in mind that Jesus had just (very gently) rebuked John for letting doubts creep into his head. Perhaps the audience gathered from this that Jesus was putting John down or disrespecting him. Absolutely not! Jesus tells us:

• You know the stereotype of the politician who sticks his finger in the wind, sees which way it’s blowing, and then plots his course based on popular opinion? That’s the exact opposite of John. He was serving the Lord as best as he was able, and he couldn’t care less what people thought or about being popular.

• He willingly gave up creature comforts in order to fulfill Gods plan for him.

• He's specifically predicted in Scripture. There are very few men who could point to a prophetic statement in God’s word and say “Yeah, that’s talking about me!" but John could. He was the fulfillment of Malachi 3:1.

• Among those born from women, there was never anyone greater than John. Not Abraham. Not Moses. Not David. Not Solomon. Not Isaiah. Not Jeremiah. None of them was greater than John.

Again, why is this important? Because in spite of all this, the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than him. That applies to you (if you’re a believer) and to me. No matter how insignificant I am or feel, I’m greater than John. Not because of what I’ve done (as if I could ever equal his accomplishments, duh), but because of who I am in Christ.

That’s why I wanted to make this point. Your understanding is so much greater than John’s it’s not even funny. He only had the partial picture. You have all the revelation that humanity’s going to get until Christ returns. He had a pretty decent grasp of what Jesus was going to do. You’ve personally experienced what Jesus did.

You have so much more than John or any other prophet ever did. Aren’t you glad? Aren’t you grateful?

Yes, Lord, I am. Now please let me show that.

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