Read John 3:22-34 (NKJV)
Key Scriptures: John 3:30;34
Living a dedicated life to God requires intentionality on the believers part. It takes thought and action on a daily basis to walk out our Christian assignment. Once we leave the altar, the homework assignment is, do not conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds..to know God’s perfect and acceptable will for our lives. It’s an ongoing life long assignment that only Holy Spirit can guide us through to completion. We can’t have a one and done mentality when it comes to living for God. He loved us beyond what we could ever imagine by sending Jesus to die for our sins. He came after us when we were considered “the one.” He left the 99 to pursue each and every one of us. So when we finally said yes to Him and repented of our sins, the journey to heaven didn’t stop there. It’s the beginning of an amazing way of living. A way that has been paved for us before we were in our mother’s womb, as it was paved for Christ. A way that is full of love and guidance, if we allow it. A way that transforms our very being into a new creation in Christ.
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease. 34 For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.
When we read our foundational scriptures, we see John the Baptist’s ministry in action. But on the other side of the river, Jesus is coming on the scene. The Messiah, whom John paved the way for people to receive salvation. Although John was being used mightily by God, John understood his assignment. John knew his divine purpose and he lived a life that demonstrated God’s will. John was totally surrendered to God. The way he lived, his speech, and actions reflected His divine purpose, to introduce the coming Messiah. As a believers, who is our life making way for? Who are we on display for? Are we following God’s ways, the world or our own?
John the Baptist was seen as great among his followers. But when they questioned him about Jesus, his response was classic, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John never lost sight of who his Teacher was, who gave him the assignment and it’s completion date. John knew his power and authority was from God in heaven. There was no spirit of competition, only humble obedience and a realization of the greater work to be done. He was empowered by God to perform the assignment and empowered to pass the baton. Do we, as believers know when to step up and when to step aside?
If you’re like me, you’ve prayed that scripture many times, “Lord, help me decrease so You can increase in my life.” That’s a bold prayer when you really mediate on what it means. You’re asking God to kill all fleshy desires, thoughts, ways and habits. You’re asking Him to shine light on the dark areas of your heart and fill you with more of His Spirit. You’re asking for a heart of flesh, a heart that loves like God commands. You’re asking for a greater manifestation of God’s fruit in your life. A life where you’re no longer known as the king or queen of clap back, lust, unforgiveness or any sin that separates you from God. In essence, you’re asking to be transformed and renewed to look like Christ.
The only way we can decrease and Jesus’ characteristics increase in our lives is to give our WHOLE self to Him. That means daily surrenderance to Holy Spirit and seeking God’s righteousness. We must deny the things of this world and choose God’s ways. He has given us the gift of Holy Spirit. The resurrected power to overcome sin and temptation lives inside us just waiting to INCREASE. As our scripture reminds us, God gives His Spirit freely and abundantly to His sheep. Will you decide to decrease so Jesus can increase? Will you be intentional every day to set your life apart from the world for God’s good use? In Pastor Ralph’s words, He wants to put you on display so others will be saved.
Prayer: Father God, we recognize You as the author and finisher of our faith and our desires are to please You and only You. Lord, help us to honor You daily with our lives. We want Your fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control to continuously manifest in our lives. Holy Spirit tame our tongues so our words are gracious, seasoned with salt, that we may know how to answer those we encounter daily. Lord, purge and forgive us of all disobedience. We no longer want to be in competition with Holy Spirt but totally surrendered to You for Your kingdom work here on earth. May the display of our lives look like Christ. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen and Amen
Additional scriptures: John 3; Galatians 5:16-26; Hebrews 12:1-2; Colossians 4:1-6
Song of the Day: I Surrender All by William McDowell