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Matthew 3:11-4:1

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

T hen Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.

And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

A very interesting passage, beginning with the promise from John to the people of Israel that they would be baptized by the Holy Spirit with the coming of the Christ. A new concept that the Spirit would baptize the people. In fact, where did the ritual of baptism come from?

Not too much supporting evidence 1) The Essene sect is reported to have used it in the inter-testimonial period. 2) A guess that it may have begun with the cleansing the priests went through in preparation for entering the inner parts of the Temple. In other words, not much except... The Lord Jesus accepted it as coming from the Holy Spirit and was therefore to be accepted as valid. Let me emphasis the importance of this last statement. A member of the Godhead accepted baptism as a direction from another member of the Godhead. That is a Seal of Approval.

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Reading

Morning Psalm 7, Noon Psalm 119:57-64, Evening Psalm 88, If you follow this regimen, you will pray through the Psalms every 47 days or just under 8 times per year.

An alternate Reading Plan is based on 7 chapters/day from 7 sections of the Scriptures. My groupings are: Genesis-Joshua, Judges to Esther, Job to Song of Solomon, Psalms breaking 119 into convenient sets, Isaiah to Malachi, Matthew to Acts, Romans to Revelation. This plan, over a several year period will result in an average reading of the entire Bible in slightly over twice per year. I've been following this plan since 1989 and still find the mixture of Scriptures presented each day to be a delightful way to end my day. The NLB app has a scheduling tool that assists greatly in keeping track of the reading list.

Or set your own reading schedule up in convenient groupings as fits your study habits. But a daily time in the Word of the LORD is an absolute.

Suggested Supplementary Reading

Our Dance With Grace, Spending the Day With God, by Rev. Gerald Skillicorn, Kindle Press. Jerry’s writing, as is characteristic with his life, bubbles over with his joy of being in the presence of the LORD, God, the Almighty.

John Nunnikhoven

John Nunnikhoven is a member of The Fellowship of Ailbe and has begun working toward what, Lord willing, will become a re-awakening of the Church as a body directed into living the Kingdom in the here and now as it awaits the yet to come.
Books by John Nunnikhoven

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