John 3:30 - Jesus Must Increase and I Must Decrease.
John 3:30 (NIV) He must become greater; I
must become less.
The request came when I was twenty.
Can you address our church youth group? We
arent talking citywide crusade here. Think more in
terms of a dozen kids around a West Texas
campfire. I was new to the faith, hence new to the
power of the faith. I told my story, and, lo and
behold, they listened! One even approached me
afterward and said something like, That moved me,
Max. My chest lifted, and my feet shifted just a
step in the direction of the spotlight.
God has been nudging me back ever since.
Some of you dont relate. The limelight
never woos you. You and John the Baptist sing the
same tune: He must become greater and greater,
and I must become less and less (John 3:30
NLT). God bless you. You might pray for the rest
of us. We applause-aholics have done it all:
dropped names, sung loudly, dressed up to look
classy, dressed down to look cool, quoted authors
weve never read, spouted Greek weve never
studied. For the life of me, I believe Satan trains
battalions of demons to whisper one question in our
ears: What are people thinking of you?
A deadly query. What they think of us
matters not. What they think of God matters all. God
will not share his glory with another (Isaiah
42:8). Next time you need a nudge away from the
spotlight, remember: You are simply one link in a
chain, an unimportant link at that.
Remember the other messengers God has
A donkey to speak to Balaam (Numbers
A staff-turned-snake to stir Pharaoh
He used stubborn oxen to make a point
about reverence and a big fish to make a point
about reluctant preachers (I Samuel 6:1-12; Jonah
God doesnt need you and me to do his
work. We are expedient messengers, ambassadors by
his kindness, not by our cleverness.
Its not about us, and it angers him
when we think it is.
We who are entrusted with the gospel dare
not seek applause but best deflect applause. For
our message is about Someone else. [Max Lucado
Daily Devotional at maxlucado.com]
John the Baptist's assignment wasn't an
easy one. After all, who wants to hear the call
to repent? That's a message about sinfulness -
but it's the God-given word John delivered in
order to prepare the way for the coming Messiah.
This bold preacher - who greeted the
influential Pharisees and Sadducees by calling them a
"brood of vipers!" (Matthew 3:7) - was a humble
servant who knew his role in the kingdom. So, when
John learned of Jesus baptizing people, he did
not become jealous or guard his turf; instead,
he joyfully exalted Christ. John knew that the
One whose way he was preparing had come to set
people free from the separation from God caused by
sin. John responded by declaring, "He must
increase, but I must decrease."
The challenge of every Christian is to -
like John - magnify Christ in whatever way God
calls us to do it. We naturally tend to focus on
self rather than on God; we crave acknowledgment
and affirmation rather than self-denial. We
gravitate toward activities that bring us praise and
affirmation. But if Christ is to have His rightful place
in our lives, we must set aside self - and
selfishness - so He can be glorified. We must decrease.
When People Encounter Us, Do They Go Away
Impressed With Us Or With Christ? [Being Still With
God Every Day by Henry Blackaby]
To enjoy My Presence more fully, you need
to think less and less about yourself. This is
not an arbitrary demand; it's the secret to
living more abundantly. Self-forgetfulness is a
delightful way to live!
Try to become aware of how much time you
spend thinking about yourself. Take a look at your
mind's contents. Though your thoughts are not
visible to other people unless you choose to share
them, I see each and every one. When you realize
your thinking is unworthy of Me, make every
effort to change the subject. If you're struggling
with a self-centered idea that recurs again and
again, try connecting it to a favorite scripture or
a brief prayer. This forms a bridge for your
attention - away from yourself and toward Me. For
example, praying "I love You, Lord can quickly
direct your focus to Me.
If you have to repeat this process many
times, don't be discouraged. You are training your
mind to seek My Face, and this endeavor is
pleasing to Me. Seek Me, beloved, and live
abundantly. (John 10:10; Psa. 27:8; Amos 5:4) [Jesus
Always by Sarah Young]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred