“JOHN 3:30 – He must increase, but I must decrease.”
THEME OF THE DAY: IT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS. Today’s scripture is short and easy to read, but profound and hard to live. In fact, it is the most intense part of our spiritual battle; daily making much of Jesus and nothing of ourselves. This will be the most difficult and important aspect of living the Christian life for as this becomes reality or not so goes our joy in Christ, influence for Christ and becoming like Christ.
So, how do we do battle against the ugly self that wants attention, desires to be first in our lives, and is willing to share Jesus in our hearts, but not necessarily rule completely in our hearts? Let’s consider three ways to keep Jesus on the throne of our hearts and not self.
First, realize that life is not about us at all. Really. It isn’t. I know we know that but think how easily we make life all about us. We do so in the decisions we make in the use of our money, time, and talents. We do so when we put self-interests ahead of the interests of Christ and others. Even as Christians. Try this. It is late Sunday afternoon or evening. We are looking ahead to the week and planning it out. Do we start with our commitments to the Lord, then fill in the schedule? Or do we map out the week of temporal things and give the Lord “leftover” time. If so, then we are increasing, and Christ is decreasing. Remember the first verse in the Bible which sets the stage for all the Bible and life reads, In the beginning, God, not in the beginning man (Genesis 1:1). We go a long way in making much of Jesus and nothing about ourselves by understanding life is about Him, not us.
Another way to see more of Christ increasing and us decreasing is to understand why He granted us salvation. God saved us from Himself for Himself. Like life, salvation is not primarily about us. It is about the glory of God and our proclaiming that glory in our daily lives. The Apostle Peter points us in that direction – But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). Ask the Lord to help us see we are saved to make much of Jesus not to remain focused on our sinful self. Salvation is deliverance from selfishness in bondage to ourselves to walk in the freedom of selflessness proclaiming Jesus in word and deed.
Finally, to make our lives all about Jesus, spend much time lingering at His cross and gaze upon His sufferings. As we look at His bloodied body and hear His anguish of soul, remember He is there because of us and for us. This is how the soul is humbled and when humility takes deep root in the heart of God’s people, we make much of Jesus, even despising ourselves as Job did in the sight of the Holy Lord – I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes (Job 42:5-6).
Yes, life and salvation, in fact, all things are about Jesus. May God help us to remember and live these Biblical truths.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when I make life more about me and not all about Your Son.”
QUOTE: “An intense part of our spiritual battle is daily making much of Jesus and nothing of ourselves.”
Because of Him,