"HE MUST INCREASE, I MUST DECREASE"
Let’s look at what John writes here starting in John 3:28
John and his desiples were baptizing people near where Jesus was baptizing people also and there was this dispute by johns followers and they came to John and said “Hey there is a bunch of people going to Jesus to get baptized
And Johns response in John 3:28 was “You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.”
Then he said “Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
So John in his humility says I’m nothing compared to Jesus
John was just a forerunner to Jesus
he rejoiced in the fact they went to Jesus because as he was baptizing in the name Jesus but in fact people were getting baptized by Jesus himself as he just pointed them to Jesus himself
HE MUST INCREASE I MUST DECREASE
So how can Jesus increase in our own lives?
John understood that Jesus must increase and that John must decrease. Because John had the proper esteem for Christ, he could humble himself and step out of the way. This is an incredible lesson and example of humility for us.
So this got me thinking what are 3 things we could do to Increase Jesus in our lives so that we decrease to start this new year
1. Get into His word...
Reading the Bible each day shouldn’t be a chore we dread doing. Nor should it be something we do just to mark it off of our To Do List.
The Bible is God’s Word. It is alive and active. The Bible is without flaw and it is completely sufficient for all aspects of life in godliness.
Here are a few quotes
James Merritt writes “The primary purpose of reading the Bible is not to know the Bible but to know God.”
Charles Spourgeon “Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.”
Theodore Roosevelt wrote “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”
Billy Graham says this “The very practice of reading [the Bible] will have a purifying effect upon your mind and heart. Let nothing take the place of this daily exercise.”
So let’s look at a couple scriptures
2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
Proverbs 30:5 “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
So Don’t neglect His Word. God has so many things that He wants to tell us, but our Bibles are closed. As believers we should be reading the Bible every day.
People often say “I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian”
Are you kidding me! I often say there are no lone rangers in Christianity
Dr. John MacArthur tells a story of The Lonely Ember.
A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.
Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The pastor made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs.
After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet fascination.
As the one lone ember’s flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and “dead as a doornail.”
Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.
Just before the pastor was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.
As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday.”
This story reminds me that God longs for friendship with us. Also that God wants us in fellowship with other believers especially being apart of a Church because this is where we go to grow, to share in our spiritual battle to be able to be lifted up to burn brightly again, just as we are gathering here being encouraged in our faith we need to do this regularly as possible
Prayer is essential in our walk with God, We have to adjust the way that we view prayer. Prayer shouldn’t seem like a burden to us. The Creator of the universe has made a way for us to commune with Him, which is such a privilege.
Anyone else have a hard time sitting down and praying? Ok maybe it’s just me, pray for me
It’s seems every time we want to communicate with God the enemy hates it and maybe the phone will ring or someone will walk in knocking at the door
Some of my most precious times with the Lord, talking with him sharing my burdens, giving thanks in my victories or whatever it is I’m currently dealing with is on my drives to and from work, I absolutely love that time
Here are a couple quotes about the importance of prayer
John Piper writes,
“Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing. And prayer is the turning away from ourselves to God in the confidence that He will provide the help we need. Prayer humbles us as needy and exalts God as wealthy.”
William McGill writes
“The value of persistent prayer is not that He will hear us but that we will finally hear Him.”
Listen, “Prayer is The World’s Greatest Wireless Connection.”
Just as we pick our phones to connect with friends through text or a phone calls daily, we simply just need to reach out to God everyday,
We are in a spiritual battle
1 Peter 5-8
"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes."
Who do we fight the against the enemy, prayer! Commune with God!!!
So to end what did we learn today
The importance of reading your Bible
The importance of fellowship with other believers
The importance of prayer
As the new year has just started let’s make these essential in our walks with God, let’s make it essential to grow in our relationship with God,
HE MUST INCREASE I MUST DECREASE John 3:30
This is our verse for the year and I pray you increase Jesus daily that that it becomes less about us but more about Him! Amen and Amen