John 3:30 – “He must increase, but I must decrease.” ESV
Last time we noted that Jesus must increase in our living. Today I want us to consider additional areas in which He must increase, and we must decrease.
HE MUST INCREASE IN OUR LOVING…
Jesus gave us the powerful truth in John 3:16 regarding the depth of the love of the Father. He loved us so much that He gave us the ultimate gift so that we could enter into an eternal relationship of peace with Him and be saved.
God’s love is sacrificial – He gave His Son. God’s Love is without prejudice – For the World. God’s Love is unsolicited – Freely Given. If we can allow ourselves to develop the mental image of the breadth, width, height, and extent of God’s Love and see what happened on the Cross we will be forever changed. If we do that, decreasing to self will not be a problem, because we will desire for Him to increase!
He must increase as the object of our love. The words of Jesus in Matthew 22:37 are germane and powerful. He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” We need to remember the charge in Deuteronomy 5:7 that we are to have no other gods before God. He is worthy of all our love, loyalty, honor, and praise.
As He increases as the object of our love, He increases our capacity to love! That is an incredible revelation and an even more powerful experience. We are enabled to love as He loves, but it is Christ in us loving through us. We are able to love without bias or prejudice. We are able to love those whom He loves, and we love with unsolicited and sacrificial love. That is only possible as we decrease, and He increases in our lives! He must increase but I must decrease!
Divine love displays patience of great duration. Divine love is not envious or jealous. Divine love is never proud, conceited, arrogant, or rude. Divine love does not insist upon its rights and becomes offended when someone touches those rights. Divine love does not harbor grudges or seek revenge. Divine love is not touchy, fretful, or resentful. Divine love is never happy at the hurt of others even those who do us harm. Divine love is always ready to believe the best of everyone and never fades or dies! He must increase in our loving.
HE MUST INCREASE IN OUR LONGING…
I recall the words of Paul at the end of his earthly ministry as he wrote to those at Philippi. He said in Philippians 1:23 – “I am hard-pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” As we make Him number one in our lives, we long to be with Him and our hearts cry the cry of Revelation 22:20 – “even so come Lord Jesus” as we demonstrate the mindset of Titus 2:13 – “Looking for the Blessed Hope.”
As we increase our longing for His return and for Him, we find our lives totally revolutionized and rearranged. John said it powerfully in 1 John 3:3, that “every man that has this hope in Him, purifies himself, even as He is pure.”
As He increases in our longing relationship becomes a much more powerful pursuit. We seek to develop our relationship with Him, with family, and with others positively. Time becomes a precious commodity because we realize the brevity of time and seek to redeem the time for Kingdom purposes.
As He increases in our longing the Word of God becomes more important in our estimation and consumption. God’s promises become more, sure and the state and fate of humanity become of major importance. He must increase!
As He increases in our lives, we find ourselves not only longing for His return but moved to increase our involvement in His purposes. We seek to expand our commitment to His call and develop conduct of faithful stewardship. He must increase!
For Him to increase, I must empty myself more and more of self. His increase causes our lives to become more Christ-centered. His increase causes our love to be more heaven centered. His increase intensifies our longing for His return and leads us deeper into a life of total commitment.
He must increase, but I must decrease! The question of this hour is – Will we decrease so that He can increase? Is He truly Lord of all? Is He the most important in our lives? The words of Revelation 3:20 echo – “I stand at the door and knock.” The words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-29 become powerful invitations – “Come unto Me ALL you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
I pray that as you come to Him you find incredible rest and peace and determine in your heart that your objective and goal is to decrease so that He can increase!
Have a fantastic day in Jesus!