Monday, April 20, 2009

John, chapter 3 part 2

I apologize for missing Friday’s message, but I wasn’t in a place where I could access the internet and post. I do feel refreshed after a very encouraging message over the weekend, however. While attending church yesterday I was reminded that staying on the correct path is not something that is done with grand gestures. We have to do lots of little things in order to make sure we are on the correct path. Even though we have a goal, without constant little checks for direction we can easily get off the path we want to be on. By checking in little by little we see all the little guideposts that make sure we stay on the right path.

That relates somewhat today to the second part of John 3. When we left off, Jesus was teaching Nicodemus about the Light of the World. This section has some of the most quoted verses in all of Scripture because it essentially outlines Jesus’ entire mission. The second part deals with the testimony of John the Baptist. In this day, John the Baptist was viewed as a powerful prophet. He was a man that held a lot of earthly power, but he also knew his limits. He did not seek to hold on to his congregation because he knew it was not his. Once he checked and saw that Christ had arrived and begun His public ministry, John the Baptist knew his ministry was essentially done.

27To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. 28You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.' 29The 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. 30He must become greater; I must become less. – John 3:27-30

This is an important lesson in humility. John the Baptist saw the signs along his journey that told him it was time to step aside for Christ. He had been a leader, now it was time for him to become a follower. Few people, myself included, see things this clearly, however. That is why all the little things, like daily time in the Scriptures, prayer, and worship are so important. Those things are what keep us grounded and on the right path, like constant GPS directions. Occasionally we get these grand, John the Baptist-type revelations. Most of the time, however, we have to rely on the little things to keep us on the right path so we end up where we are supposed to be.

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