Saturday, February 16, 2013

He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease

John 3:22-36

After leaving Jerusalem, Jesus and His disciples went to the Judean countryside where they baptized new disciples.

John the Baptist was at the same time baptizing near Aenon which was a few miles southwest of Bethabara on the west bank of the Jordan.

The ministry of John the Baptist continued to run parallel with that of the Lord Jesus until it was brought to a close by his imprisonment and death.

We are not told why some of John's disciples were arguing with the Jews about purification.

It may have been that the Jews were taunting them about the disciples of Jesus baptizing more people than John. They were upset to see the ministry of their leader eclipsed and they went to him and complained.

John told his disciples that no one can receive anything unless it has been given him from Heaven. In other words, he had been given his ministry by God.

He again reminded them that he had testified that he was not the Christ, but had been sent ahead of Him.

When the Bridegroom (Christ) calls the bride (His people) to Himself, the friend (John) rejoices.

John knew that his ministry was coming to its end.

But he rejoiced at the fulfillment of his mission.

He declared, “He must increase, but I must decrease”.

In using the word 'must’, John was indicating that the increasing success of the ministry of Jesus was according to God's eternal plan.

He knew that he would fade into the background and that the work of the Lord Jesus would far surpass his own ministry.

Let us learn not to murmur when others are blessed in God's service, while we struggle with discouragement.

When God gives us work to do, let us persevere and trust Him to bless that work.

We must always seek to glorify Christ in our lives and in our work for Him.

We should have the same aim as John the Baptist: He must increase, but I must decrease.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sharing The Good News

We have found the Messiah. (John 1:35-51)

John the Baptist pointed his own disciples to the Lord Jesus.

Andrew and the other disciple (probably John) then followed Jesus.

An excited Andrew decided to share the news with his brother, Simon. He said to him, “We have found the Messiah”.

Personal testimony is a vital part of witness. Though Andrew was not as pre-eminent as his brother among the disciples, it was through his witness that Peter came to Christ.

Jesus found Philip and said to him, “Follow me”.

Philip felt compelled to tell his friend, Nathaniel, about the Lord Jesus.

The new convert's theology was very defective at this point in time and he described Jesus as 'the son of Joseph', which He was not! The Lord Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in order to take human flesh.

New converts have much to learn and we must be patient with them. But they are still used by the Lord.

When Nathaniel expressed his doubts about Jesus, Philip did not argue but said to him, “Come and see.”

Nathaniel was amazed to discover that Jesus knew all about him. His doubts disappeared as he confessed that Jesus was the Son of God. Nathaniel is called Bartholomew by the other gospel writers.

We often say that we have found Christ as our Saviour, but it was Jesus who first found us.

Have we found Jesus? Then follow Him in joyful obedience and tell others about Him.

If we really love the Lord and have a concern for the lost, we will want to make Him known, not only by godly living, but by sharing our good news.