Receiving, Realizing, Decreasing – John 3

John responded, “No one can receive a single thing unless it’s given to him from heaven.” v. 27

For Christ to increase in our lives we must first realize that everything we are and everything we have comes from Heaven. Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights. Our operating base must be this realization and the gratitude that flows from it. James 1:16-18

You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ v. 28

In order for Jesus to increase in our lives we must be very clear about who we are not! We must not become confused with our role in God’s kingdom, as best we can understand that role. Yet, we must also be clear about who we are and what God’s specific purpose is in our life.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” v. 30

The intentional, honest humility in this statement is nothing short of amazing. John has invested his entire life preaching, teaching and leading people; yet, he never lost sight of his primary purpose: preparing people for the coming of the Messiah. Now, as he realizes his task is complete, he humbly states the joy he realizes through the increase of Lord Jesus. How can we internalize such a spirit? How does this attitude begin to infiltrate and permeate our outlook on life and success?

Our success is found only when Christ’s influence increases through us and our personal driven agenda and influence decreases. He MUST increase. We MUST decrease. The two go hand in hand. As He increases we will naturally decrease. Life is found in this trade-off and thus the one who intentionally commits himself to this truth will naturally face resistance from the enemy of our souls, the earthly nature of the flesh and the brokenness of this world. Decreasing is not a painless process. It is counterintuitive, uncomfortable and painful at times. It is accomplished only by God’s work in our lives and yields a thousand blessings, even life eternal.

May we have the resolve to decrease so that Lord Jesus may increase.

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