John’s disciples came to him and said, “Teacher, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you said was the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going over there instead of coming here to us.” - John 3:26
Talk about pressure! Jesus’ disciples were baptizing just around the bend of the river from the place John was baptizing. Can you imagine Jesus setting up a church on your block? What would that do to your congregation?
John’s answer is an example to all Christians who struggle with jealousy when their ministry is threatened by someone else: “I am filled with joy at his success” (John 3:29).
How can you say “I am filled with joy” when you are losing people to another church? Maybe you are leading a Bible study. Some “new kid on the block” begins a meeting the same night as yours. One by one, your people disappear. How do you handle that? Or you are teaching an elective seminar at a convention. Six women come into your room, while the speaker across the hall has to ask you for some of your empty chairs!
John said, in essence, “Jesus is my friend. He is the bridegroom, and the best man never competes!” We need to remember that we are only and ever the “best man.” The One who must get all the glory is Jesus. If he chooses to diminish my responsibility and give it to another, that is his prerogative. After all, it is his wedding!
John lived by a very simple principle: “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less” (John 3:30). When we live by the same principle, we, too, will be able to say, “I am filled with joy.”
For Further Study: John 3:22-36
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.
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