He must increase, I must decrease…

John 3:28-30, “You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. He must increase, but I must decrease.”

These are the words of John the Baptist speaking of the Savior who had come to rescue the world from sin and death. As I don’t recall ever reading this passage before, I was definitely struck by John’s humility and his adoration for His Lord, that he would so readilygive away the glory to Jesus Christ. I often find that John’s cry of “He must increase” is very easy for me to echo in my desire to serve my Savior. Then again, it is always harder to say “..but, I must decrease.” The fact of the matter is that any time that I am going to glorify Christ completely, then I must also be humbled completely. And that always causes me to reconsider, what really is my desire in my pursuit of Christ? Do I live like I truly want Christ to receive all the glory? Or I  do I like to give Him “most” of it, but keep a bit back for myself?

In our day and age, it is very easy for me to “point to the sky” as if God should receive the glory for whatever great thing I just did, and then secretly gloat as those watching ooh and ah over my so-called spirituality. If I really and truly desire to glorify God in all that I do and say, then a simple “God is gracious” or “He must increase” will do. If I really and truly desire to glorify God, then I will only be satisfied when the world looks on and sees the One to whom I am bowing in awe and adoration. John the Baptist desired to serve and love the Lord with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength, and it came out in his simple but powerful, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” So should be the utterances of my heart, that God would receive all the glory in all things, in all places, at all times.

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