Monday Morning: 14 Jan 2019 – John 3:22-36 ~ I must become less and less

Monday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – John 3:22-36 (NLT)

Then Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem and went into the Judean countryside. Jesus spent some time with them there, baptizing people.

At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for baptism. (This was before John was thrown into prison.) A debate broke out between John’s disciples and a certain Jew over ceremonial cleansing. So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.”

John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

“He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else. He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them! Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true. For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
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Morning Reflection:

I am filled with joy at his success.
He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

~ John 3:29-30 ~

Have you ever served as a best man / maid of honor at a wedding? How did you approach your role?

+ With joy – making it the very best day possible for the bride or groom.
+ With indifference – doing what’s required, but you’d rather be someplace else.
+ With resentment – going through the motions, wishing you were getting married instead.

John chose joy. Why? Because he recognized –

+ Jesus’ greatness – the Word of God who made his home among us.
+ Jesus’ testimony – first hand, what he had seen and heard in heaven.
+ Jesus’ authority – believe, obey and receive eternal life, or not.

John chose joy in response to Jesus’ success. And it’s a choice I face every day, not publicly, but privately in my heart. In order to experience a full, satisfying life, I must decrease and Jesus must increase.

Questions for consideration:

“Nearly all the wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom,
consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.”
– John Calvin

+ Jesus’ greatness, testimony, and authority: What stands out for you?
+ Humility: What must decrease in your life, so that Jesus might increase?
+ Joy: Where in your life can you choose joy over indifference, or resentment?

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Morning Prayer:

Heavenly Father: I believe in your Son Jesus Christ, help me overcome my pride, my prejudices, my foolishness, my fears, and my outright rebellion. Expand my understanding of Jesus’ greatness and bend my will to his will. And fill me with joy when I choose to obey him, regardless of the circumstances. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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“Less Of Me” – Roy Fields

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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