He must increase
He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
After John the Baptist introduced Jesus at His baptism as the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, Jesus began His public ministry. Some confusion came from John’s disciples about who they should follow and what their next steps were. They came and reported to John that now Jesus was baptizing and the people were going to Him instead of John’s ministry. John was not offended by this. He patiently explained to them that he had already told them that he was not the Christ and then he said: He must increase, it is my time to decrease.
That was great wisdom on John’s part. He didn’t feel the need to compete and was not at all threatened that the people were following Jesus now. He recognized what His mission was and knew when it was time to step out of the spotlight.
Although our mission today is a little different, we can still learn from John’s example. Yes, we are to prepare the way and make the path straight for people to receive God’s gift of salvation through Jesus, but it is equally important to remember that this mission is focused on Jesus and His paying the punishment for all people and giving us a right relationship with our heavenly Father. Our mission is not designed to bring glory personally and it is not meant to draw attention to us. He is the One who is increased and we are the ones who stay submitted to Him and the mission He has called us to. Your ministry and assignment, whatever it is, gives you a platform to share the love of God with others. It can be a temptation to use that grace that you have been given for your own fame and increase. It is vital to recognize that your calling is not to put the spotlight on yourself or anyone else in this world, but it is to point all people to the Lord Jesus Christ and God’s great love for them.
There are some practical ways that we can do this and set up a plan ahead of time to not fall into the deception of pointing people to other ministries or even your own. The number one thing is daily prayer and submitting your life and words to God first thing. Make sure that you are committing to your Father that you want to point people to Him and not be taking credit for the blessing that flow in your life. You can even include today’s scripture in your daily talk with God. Pray that He would increase in your life and you would remain behind the scenes.
Secondly, direct people to the scripture, the Word of God. When encouraging people in the Lord, do not send them to another ministry or website, get them in the bible as soon as possible. I realize that it can seem like it would be easier for a new believer to understand some resources that are more modern in language, but there are many easy to read translations and application bibles that are simplified for new believers to understand. The Word of God is the most important physical resource, and it should be our number one go to along with prayer when helping others.
Lastly, whatever audience you have been given to share the good news with, whether at work, in your neighborhood or school, commit to the Holy Spirit to surrendering all the glory to Him. He will bless you for it and as you follow His direction and lead, you will have a great influence in impacting God’s Kingdom for all eternity.
Today I want to encourage you to submit your mission and calling to the One who has called you. Turn all your gifts and abilities over to Him for Kingdom use. Make a difference in this life and the next, by living your life with the mindset and heart that He must increase and I must decrease!
Today’s scripture reading: John 3:27-36
27 John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.
28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’
29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.
32 And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.
33 He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true.
34 For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.
35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.
36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”