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Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional for March 26

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"You can't see the forest for the trees." Ah, yes. Those pithy sayings that carry the weight of the knowledge of generations. The one I just shared with you is one that is applicable for someone who just simply doesn't seem to see the obvious. Notice, we usually apply this to someone other than ourselves. After all, we see all things clearly. At least I do.

Consider the father who observes three teenaged sons with multiple piercings and colored hair and more tatoos than skin to hold them. One is his, one is a friend's, one belongs to who knows who. The unknown one is out of control, the friend's is needing a little discipline, while his is trying to find himself. Many times missing the obvious is as much a matter of point of perception as it is point of fact. (see the end of the first paragraph)

Such things as the statement with all the "f's" in it that people are asked to count, the picture of the brown and white horses standing in front of the brown and white rocks which folks are asked to see all the horses, simply help to illustrate the fact that the average person sees what he or she is conditioned to see by their knowledge and situation. This came home to me just recently as I had a discussion concerning baptism and whether or not it was necessary for salvation.

The person had heard that I was very strong on baptism's place in salvation. I told him that I was only strong on the Bible and the Bible makes the application, not me. He went into a discourse on the place of faith in salvation and finalized his statements with the conclusion that baptism was so non-essential that it was not even needed because it was a work. I asked him what he did then with Matthew 3:13-17. The baptism of Jesus. His response was, "Jesus was just supporting John's ministry."

Three items of note concerning Jesus' baptism. [1] We have no record of Jesus' ministry before His baptism; [2] Jesus proclaimed that if He was not baptized He would not fulfill all righteousness (v. 15); [3] Jesus pointed out that His baptism was John's work (vv. 14, 15). If for no other reason than the fact that the Son of God, God incarnate, refused to begin His earthly ministry without baptism, it should be essential. However, Jesus also linked righteousness to baptism and placed the "work" of baptism at the feet of the baptizer, not the one being baptized. Have you missed the obvious to support what you believe?

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