The past Sunday night services were special ones as our church family met in Main St. Baptist in Christiansburg for the first time of the year. Northstar College students led the worship service. The night was also impactful because of many new baptisms we celebrated and having the opportunity to worship through taking the Lord’s Supper.
Our College and Discipleship ministry, Adam, gave a devotional sermon to kick off our December Nights series of “Sent”. We examined the life of John the baptist as he prepared the way for Jesus and found that John found great joy in magnifying Christ, not himself. John 3:25 – 30 shows John’s joy as Jesus’ ministry begins to eclipse his own. Through John’s joy we can learn that as Christians, we find true joy in being sent to magnify Christ, not ourselves.
Adam gave three points from John 3 to support this truth:
- Magnifying ourselves robs our joy
In verses 25 – 26 we see that John’s disciples are upset that Jesus is taking their popularity. Instead of being excited for the coming of the Messiah, John’s followers are jealous. They essentially forfeit a chance to be overjoyed and exchange it for a petty heart of jealousy. Sadly, we know this feeling all too well. We can see God blessing others around us, using their ministries, and using them in spectacular ways; But instead of being overjoyed at God’s work, we can find ourselves picking up petty hearts of jealousy, frustration and bitterness. We choose to give away our joy because we are magnifying ourselves.
2. You are not the Christ
In verses 27 – 28, John clearly tells his followers that he is not the Christ. He is not the one that everyone is waiting for. Now, this may seem like a silly point to focus on as none of us would try to convince ourselves that we are the Christ or the savior of the world. However, if we consider our actions, we may find that we do not always act like this is true. Instead of pointing ourselves and others to God who is the Provider, Sustainer, Justifier, Judge, Helper and Counselor, we magnify ourselves. We tell ourselves and others that we are our own providers, sustainers, judges and counselors. We must remind ourselves that we are not the Christ.
An effective way of making sure we know we are not in the place of God is to view Him more clearly. When we see the beauty, power, immensity, majesty and vastness of a God that has shown tender mercy towards us, we cannot be convinced that we are the Christ.
3. Joy comes from being sent to magnify Jesus Christ.
In verses 29 – 30 John uses an illustration of a wedding to show how overjoyed he is that the groom (Jesus) and the bride (God’s people) have come together. As the best man John is overjoyed because he has accomplished what he was sent to do. If you are a Christian, you are a sent person. God has put His own presence in you so that you can be a living testimony to His character and the Good News of His grace. You are sent to your family, friends, classmates, coworkers and all those around you to magnify Jesus Christ. We must rely on God to change our hearts to desire to magnify Him and it is only through His grace that we can say with John, “I must decrease, but he must increase.”
We ended with the Lord’s Supper and singing the words of a worship song that is linked below. We encourage you to listen to it and worship yourself!
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