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He must become greater…

"He must become greater; I must become less."  John 3:30

I know you have heard this saying, probably more than once: "He must increase, and I must decrease."  What does that mean?  Why must that happen?  Throughout his earthly ministry, John the Baptist repeatedly told people that he was not the Messiah...that he was not the Light...that he was not the Truth...that he was not Elijah.  John had to remind people that he was simply the messenger, a voice crying out in the wilderness, the witness to the Messiah...the Light...the Truth!  John even says in chapter 1, verse 15: "This is the One I spoke about when I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.'"  Some of John's followers were concerned because many people were going to Jesus to be baptized rather than coming to John.  What could have happened here?  What happens to us today when someone else gets the attention and the credit?  We get jealous!  But John was different.  John understood and accepted his role in God's plan.  John humbled himself before God and before Jesus.  Another great element of this passage of Scripture is that John realized the importance of the Messiah being exalted.  He realized the importance of Jesus increasing.  In John 3:29 he says, "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."  John realized that when Jesus became greater in his life, his own personal joy became greater.  John was joyful that the Messiah had come and His presence was known.  He wasn't jealous.  He wasn't trying to keep any attention or credit for himself.  John experienced the abundant life that Jesus would later talk about in John 10.  He experienced pure joy and lots of it.  Why?  Because he became less, and Christ became more.  Could you use joy in your life, complete joy?  Are you willing to become less so that He can become greater?

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