Following Jesus is a higher priority
After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. (This was before John was put in prison.) An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.”
The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. John 3:22-35
In the Judean countryside, over two thousand years ago, Jesus waded into the river Jordan, speaking the words of God, and baptized new believers. God’s messenger, John, also known as John the Baptist, stood on the riverbank and watched. His heart filled with joy as he listened to God’s message—the message he so boldly preached—becoming truth. John then humbled himself before the Messiah, proclaiming these life-changing words, “Jesus must become greater; I must become less.”
I invite you to open your ears, so you can hear John as he shares God’s truth – repent and worship the one who comes from heaven! When we truly worship Jesus and recognize Him as the one and only Savior, the Lord will humble our hearts. When we start to form a relationship with Jesus, it is evident that we, and our earthly desires, must become less. The world tells us that more is always better – more money, more power, more possessions, more recognition. But what does God’s Word tell us? God’s Word tells us that we must become less so that He can be greater. We may need to sacrifice our time, our talent, our resources to grow the kingdom. We might do these things without receiving earthly recognition. We may do these things and be rejected or misunderstood by the culture. However, as followers of Christ it will be well in our soul as we proclaim Jesus is greater! And like John, we will celebrate God’s gift of being less, loved, and redeemed.
Father, thank you for sending your Son, who is greater, so we are less. Thank you for sending messengers, like John. And, Father, please keep our ears open to always hear your words, our eyes open to see your truth clearly, and our hearts open to receive and share your promises. In your precious name we pray, Amen. Linda Algire
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