In no particular order, I think about…
- Word count. Since starting 35 days ago, I’ve managed to keep it consistently under 500 words. Most days it’s 499 words. Really. I write, and then trim, trim, trim.
- Scriptural variety. In the course of the year I am spending on this series, I plan to use at least one verse or passage from each of the Bible’s 66 books. This will give a reader a broad exposure to the Bible over the course of the year.
- Scriptural balance. As part of the variety, I try to alternate, at least every few days, between Old Testament and New Testament.
- Scriptural length. I try to vary the length of the passage I’m quoting. Sometimes it’s just one verse; sometimes it’s several. I don’t decide the length arbitrarily; rather, I try to let the idea being conveyed take as many, or as few, verses as is necessary.
- Focus. Although everything I write is based on the Bible, my focus is not the Bible. My focus is Jesus Christ. He is the focus of the Bible so He is the focus of what I write.
- Balance between the “Scripture” section and the “Meditation” section that follows. This goes back to the word count I mentioned at the beginning. Since I feel the need to keep the length consistent (so that you can better build a timed devotional routine into your life), I adjust the length of the “Meditation” based on the length of the “Scripture” quoted – making the “Meditation” shorter or longer as required. (The word count includes everything from the word “Scripture” at the top to the word “Posts” at the bottom; I have not, by the way, restricted myself to 500 words in this post.)
- I try to write each post as if it is the first, only, and last thing anyone will ever read from me. That said, I also try to build each post on ideas from previous posts. Obviously, this can be difficult to balance. When I can’t do both, I favor the former goal because I never know whether a given reader might be reading me for the first time…or the last. People sometimes search the Internet for names of people they haven’t seen in a long time. If anyone ever searches my name, I want them to see a 500-word arrow pointing directly to Christ. (“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” – Philippians 1:21 and “I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” – Acts 20:24.) I don’t want to be remembered on earth; I want Him to be remembered on earth.
- Therefore, if a person reads one of my posts, I point him to Christ. If he reads me every day for a year, I point him to Christ at least 365 times. (“To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.” – Philippians 3:1) This sort of repetition nourishes my soul as much as it does anyone else’s. The Bible always seems fresh to me; its energy is inexhaustible. This is because it is the word of God. This word comes to us through men, but it is from God. That’s why the words can be fresh, even though familiar.
- Remember: what this series is all about is your…daily…devotion…to…Jesus Christ. The world is forgetting Him…and you want help remembering Him. That’s why I’m here. The word of God on a page or a screen is like seed in a package – inert, dormant. Planted in your heart, and watered with your attention, it will grow into something beautiful in the sight of God.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
– Isaiah 55:8-11 NASB