You Best Recognize!
Don’t step on my turf!
Don’t all of us have certain things that we want to be known for? Things that make us who we are? What if someone stepped on your toes, they re-located to your hood and now are stealing your recognition? Maybe you have a business and now a similar business is here, maybe you are the class clown but the new kid is better and laying down the jokes. You were the mom that all other mom’s looked to, but now Sally down the street with her on point Pinterest boards gets all the recognition. Whatever it is, we love to be known for something, something that is uniquely ours, or at least we are known as one of the best.
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 3:25-26)
Ahhhh…. Competition, our natural and sinful instinct. John’s disciples became upset that others were coming to their territory and doing the same work. John this is your turf, you the big man on campus. They're taking people from our area, we are losing our numbers, those people should be baptized over here.
Now hopefully you are reading this and thinking to yourself how sad… People are fighting over the same victory. The only thing that matters is people are being baptized, they are receiving salvation. But the sad reality is we do this all the time. It is easy to grow jealous of the popularity of another’s ministry, small group, church, leadership, daily devotions, Bible verse memorizing, etc…
OUR MISSION IS TO DIRECT PEOPLE TO CHRIST, NOT 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 best man 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. (John 3:27-30)
Over a great cup of coffee, I spoke with a friend about this very thing. He shared a blog he recently read and asked what if you, desiring to see your community come to recognize Jesus as Lord and Savior were told by God that He would reach your community. But He wouldn’t use you, He was going to use someone else to reach the community for His glory? Ouch! A couple things come to my mind, well that shouldn’t happen because He can use me. I'm here, I want to do it. That doesn’t seem very fair.
He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
John could have felt the same way. He could have thought, Jesus I love you and all but can you go to the next city and baptize? I got something good going here. But John didn’t respond that way. He said, bro! I'm happy just to be here, to join in this, I’m the best man and that's good enough. When you think about the impact that you are having, the things that seem to be going well, people are being encouraged and challenged by your gifting. Would you be okay with all of that fading away and someone else taking it on? Or do you want to be the one noticed, the one impacting, the one accomplishing the ministry? If so, you may need to memorize that last line. "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” It ain’t about you, it never was. So just find joy in the journey and let God dictate the outcome.
Today I want to encourage you to recognize that God has given you the opportunity to impact those around you. That you have REAL ministry opportunity. But it is not about you! Don’t cling too tight to your opportunities. Celebrate what God is doing.
Also, if you would like to read the blog my friend challenged me with please go read it. Know that I do not fully endorse some of the thoughts shared but I do accept the over-arching thought: BLOG POST
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