“Jesus practiced a relational pace: never hurried, but focused on loving well in the moment.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 15, 2022
He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
One reason John the Baptist was chosen by God was his humble boldness. He was the warm up band—the forerunner—for the main attraction—the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! His unconventional words, and some would say uncouth appearance, yet with humility and clarity the true prophet warmed up the cold culture by pointing them back to God. Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand! God had come to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to redeem their vanquished love, save the lost, forgive, heal, teach and make Satan shudder! Divinely, John the Baptist modeled humility by decreasing his status and increasing Jesus as worthy of worship. Humility elevates Christ, so His followers are faithful to Him—not enamored by the messenger.
John and Jesus, were celebrated together by Mary and Elizabeth. As cousins, they anticipated in wonder their boys’ births. In our family, our two youngest daughters, experienced simultaneous pregnancies within two weeks of one another with their last child. What a gift of praying, laughing and encouraging one another. On sick, exhausting days they lifted each other up, and reminded each other of the Lord’s love and His grace to get them through difficult days. On happier, healthier days they celebrated God’s gift of life growing in their bodies. No doubt, John and Jesus had a special friendship like their moms did, on mission for God to live out His will.
“Listen! I hear the voice of someone shouting, “Make a road for the Lord through the wilderness; make him a straight, smooth road through the desert. Fill the valleys; level the hills; straighten out the crooked paths, and smooth off the rough spots in the road. The glory of the Lord will be seen by all mankind together” (Isaiah 40:3-5, TLB).
Humility understands the responsibility to help prepare the way for those who need help from the Lord. Do you see yourself as one who prepares the way for another to find God’s way? Like John the Baptist, you can be yourself and your unique love is just what the Holy Spirit will use to show someone the path to meet and know Jesus. You may dress different, your words may sound strange to some, but your humble boldness will disarm skeptical voices and infuse hope into needy hearts. Be who God created you to be by pointing people to Jesus in your life and words. When people know you care, they will care about what you say—even when you call them out!
Make Jesus the hero. You make Jesus the hero when you love like Jesus, which means you are always learning to defer rather than prefer. Just like Jesus elevated following the will of His heavenly Father, so you elevate following Jesus by loving and serving others, especially sinners. Decrease pride and increase humility by submitting to others and preferring what they want. For example, when you are with a child or grandchild make sure not to hurry the experience. If you calendared an hour to be together, consider three hours for richer conversations and meaningful memories. Submit to her agenda by allowing for time so she doesn’t feel rushed. You elevate Jesus as you practice a relational pace: never hurried, but focused on loving well in the moment.
“If you are confused, consider this: the groom is the one with the bride. The best man takes his place close by and listens for him. When he hears the voice of the groom, he is swept up in the joy of the moment. So hear me. My joy could not be more complete. He, the groom, must take center stage; and I, the best man, must step to His side” (John 3:29-30, VOICE).
Heavenly Father, show me ways to decrease and for opportunities to elevate Jesus and others, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
What unhealthy ambitions do I need to give up to gain Christ?
Tasha Layton: Into the Sea (It’s Gonna Be Ok)
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