Reach • Devotion #5: It is Not About Us

It is not about me. It is not about you. In my short time in ministry, I have had the opportunity to be a part of many baptisms. The natural next step after coming to understand Jesus as your Savior is to decide to let the world know that you are a new creation and your life is going to look different from here on out. While I am appreciative that I was able to be a part of that experience, it was in no way about me. Mark did not lead them to be baptized, it was the Holy Spirit. Mark did not have any part of their salvation; it was Jesus alone who gets the recognition and glory. My word had nothing to do with the process at all, it was the Holy Spirit that took care of everything. 

We see in 1 Corinthians chapter one that Paul is addressing the same issue in the church in Corinth. In verses 11-12, Paul mentions that he is hearing of factions in the church, “For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, ‘I follow Paul,’ or ‘I follow Apollos,’ or ‘I follow Cephas,’ or ‘I follow Christ.’” The church has lost sight of what is truly important and Paul calls them out on it. He questions in verse 13, “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”

Paul goes on to say that he was glad that he was not involved in more baptisms so that his name could not be lifted over the name of Jesus. Then he comes in with a haymaker. I am going to do something a little out of character for me. I want to give you the next verse in two different readings of this passage. One will be the ESV, which is the translation we use for most teaching. The second is called The Message. It is a highly paraphrased Bible translation that I rarely teach from but I like how it reflects this verse. The verse is 1 Corinthians 1:17. In the ESV, we read, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” The Message records, “God didn’t send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what he has done, collecting a following for him. And he didn’t send me to do it with a lot of fancy rhetoric of my own, lest the powerful action at the center – Christ on the Cross – be trivialized into mere words.”

Paul was making it clear that it was not about him. As much as you want to make it about you, I am sorry, but it is not about you. We are not meant to make a following for ourselves. We are called to create a following for Him. It is for Jesus. If you still find your faith tied to a person outside of Jesus, it is time to stop looking in and start looking out or up.

We who know the Lord need to get the word out about Him. Our cliques and groups that are always showing the world our backs need to stand up and turn around. You need to show the world your face, your open arms welcoming those who need to hear the Gospel. It is not about our “Christianese” or fancy words. It is plain and simple about what Jesus did for us on the cross. Nothing less will suffice in our message and if our message is not about the need for Jesus that the world needs so desperately, we are missing the mark. 

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