“I Must Decrease”

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Bible reading: Luke 3

Hannah and I settle for our nightly Bible reading and discussion, and I read this part of Luke 3:

“I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”  (Luke 3:16-17)

One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. I read the powerful words and shivers run through my body. I feel deep within me the great awe and reverence John the Baptist had for the Lord Jesus Christ.

I read the words again, slowly, and I explain them in depth to my daughter. And as I do, I am actually telling myself, too, and I am learning from the words the Holy Spirit puts into my heart and mouth.

John didn’t count himself worthy to get down on his knees and unloose the strap of the Lord’s sandals. He knew that the Lord is above all while he, John, was of the earth. He maintained that humble posture before the King of whose way he was sent to prepare.

I wish I were always like John, never forgetting the reason why I was born, why God created me. To always remember that God created me for His glory and never for mine, that He made me worthy to be used by Him for His purposes and never for fame and people’s admiration of me. For my earthly thinking and desires sometimes get entangled with God’s thoughts and ways, and I get it all askew.

John always knew that he was born to prepare the way of the Lord and he managed to be out of the spotlight throughout his life. For even while the people were coming to him, repenting and being baptized by him, he never failed to tell of the coming Messiah and introduce Him to them. His delight was giving glory to God and seeing the Lord Jesus increase more and more in greatness.

He must increase, but I must decrease. (Luke 3:30)

He must become greater; I must become less. (Luke 3:30 NIV)

It was never John’s desire to steal the Lord’s glory and covet His greatness. I’m afraid that the earthly feelings I sometimes have – feeling hurt when I don’t get many comments on my posts, or being secretly delighted with people’s admiration, and also with the real motives behind the things I do –  might make me guilty of unconsciously stealing God’s glory and coveting people’s admiration that is supposedly for God and God alone.

I never desired or intentionally thought of stealing or coveting the Lord’s glory (God forbid!), but if I feel hurt and disappointed to people’s lack of reaction to the things that He does through me (like my writing), then I’m taking it personally, as if it were all about me. I need to always remember that IT’S ALL ABOUT HIM AND FOR HIS GLORY. Never about me.

Oh, that I would always take John’s posture – humble, unassuming, never being centered to himself, but always pointing to the One who appointed him! Then my joy would be multiplied!

And of course, never forgetting the greatest act of humility that was ever shown to mankind: the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ – King of kings and Lord of lords – chose to be born and laid in a manger with hay as covering and swaddling cloth to wrap Him, because His ways are not the world’s ways, and His thoughts are never the world’s thoughts. For just like heaven is higher than the earth, so are His ways and thoughts are higher than the world’s – ours. For He is above all.

Related article: Spiritually-minded

Also in this series:

Devotions for a Christ-filled Christmas Day 1: What’s in Your Sock? {Part 1: UNICEF}
Devotions for a Christ-filled Christmas Day 2: What’s in Your Sock? {Part 2: Warm Christmas}
Devotions for a Christ-filled Christmas Day 3: The Goodness of the Lord
Devotions for a Christ-filled Christmas Day 4: Yes and Amen!
Devotions for a Christ-filled Christmas Day 5: The Way to the Manger
Devotions for a Christ-filled Christmas Day 6: The Widow and the Fatherless
 

Gratitude List: I’m thankful for

~ very anointed preaching on Sunday service that empowered me and strengthened my walk with the Lord

~ my beloved husband’s birthday celebration, celebrating golden age

~ God who never ceases to inspire

~ old-time friends’ warmth of friendship

~ the beauty that God brings to daily life

~ my two canvases from Patsy now hanging on our walls: Hold on to Hope and John 1:51

~ all the material blessings God continues to shower upon us

~ the hearts to give and share

This post is linked to Multitudes on MondaySharing His Beauty, Domestically Divine, Titus 2sday, < Women Living Well, Proverbs 31 Thursday, Brag on God Friday, Spiritual Sundays

8 comments on ““I Must Decrease”

  1. Oh, Rina, This is exactly what I needed to hear today! May our ministriies be not about us, but about worshiping and telling others about Him. This is only possible if we yield to the Holy Spirit, Who does not call attention to Himself, but Who points others to Jesus.

  2. I am always blessed by these teachings deep from your heart and the Heart of God. This one was another to search hearts— am always searching mine.
    Thank you for sharing.—–
    In Jesus Christ’s wonderful love, forgiveness and holiness for now and for eternity.

  3. Cynthia Swenson says:

    Dear Rina, I’m one who reads a lot (I’m often at home with a special needs child) and I rarely think to comment even though your blog blesses me. I’m getting better at it and it helps when a writer mentions that they really appreciated comments.We are all learning to love the Body of Christ better! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

    • RinaPeru says:

      Oh, Cynthia, you don’t have to feel guilty about it! Just for me to learn that God is blessing you through my writings is more than enough – it warmed my heart and encouraged me in return. I pray that you and your whole family will have a most blessed Christmas.

      Rina

  4. jean says:

    Praise the Lord sis. rina…I also can relate to this topic just like the others,,.Sometimes, or should say most of the time, I am thinking that “what I do” would give glory to His name…although like you said, I don’t intentionally want to receive praises from others,I end up praising myself, just because I do something for the LORD..which causes the Holy Spirit to grieve from me.. …I think pride is something that the Lord wants to remove from all of us, for us “to be closer to HIM”…There had been times I want to respond or leave some comments here, but there’s that hidden desire that you would actually be thankful for my comments…that’s why it always end up not saying anything, although your writings from God really do bless me…

    I would like to share what I heard from one of the bible studies we had, “we don’t have to count the things we did for the Lord”..(that’s what I did before)…instead, “we should count the blessings He bountifully gives us everyday”…(step by step, it’s the Lord guiding us along the way, for us not to lose the right path towards Him)…

    Thank you for always sharing God’s beautiful words…and also for the living testimonies…God bless you more on your writing…

    (sorry for the long comment, and thank you for reading)

    • RinaPeru says:

      Dear Sis. Jean, thank you for taking the time to write your comment and for sharing your thoughts. I do appreciate its length and loved reading it. Honestly, most of the things I write are invisibly labeled “Note to Self”. I share what I learn and the learning process continues in each passing day walking closely with the Lord. I think that if our readers share their thoughts and experiences by commenting, writer and reader could learn together in the Lord :).

      A Blessed Christmas and a Joyous New Year to you and your family!

      Sis. Rina

  5. sarah says:

    HI Rina…great post….and I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas…..His love shining in your heart not just for the one day…but for always.

  6. Charlotte says:

    John was such a remarkable man. We can still learn many lessons from his life. Thank you for sharing this information.
    Christmas blessings,
    Charlotte

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