Death #4 November 30 The Compliment
I get some nice emails, texts, calls, or Facebook messages (well, they are not always nice). I love the encouragement and the feedback, good or bad. I believe I am exactly where God wants me and I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. I believe God made me to praise, worship, and serve Him. I was not an accident: I was made on purpose for a purpose.
John the Baptist was also made by God for a purpose.
Mathew 3:1-3 says, “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’”
John’s purpose, the reason he was born, was to prepare the way of Jesus. I am not going to lie that is a lot of pressure. He was constantly in battles with the Pharisees. He lived in the wilderness, wore camel hair as clothing, and ate locusts (bugs) and wild honey as food. I just picture John the Baptist to be this man who dressed crazy, did crazy things, and talked crazy (and people complain about Pastor Jim’s beard and appearance). Regardless of all these things his ministry grew and grew.
Then one day Jesus shows up, and John’s ministry begins to shrink drastically. John’s disciples began to complain. They have concerns with Jesus and the lack of people coming to learn from John. He then is quoted in John 3:27- 30, “John answered, ‘A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him’. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.’’
John the Baptist got it. It was not about him or the great things he was bale to do. It was all about Jesus.
Matthew 11:11 adds, “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
Jesus pays John the Baptist the greatest compliment a man can receive. He is the greatest man ever born. John decreased himself and made his life all about Jesus.
I am thankful for the compliments I receive from texts, emails, calls, and Facebook. But I want greatness that comes from only Jesus. I must decrease myself and make it all about, for, and because of Jesus.
He must increase.
Mathew 23:12 (NIV) says, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Become the least, and you will be the greatest.
Worship Leader & Young Adults Director