Friday, January 15, 2016

It's Bigger Than You


John the Baptist is a man in the New Testament that had a ministry that prepared the way for Jesus. He was an eccentric fellow. He dressed different than everyone. He ate bugs. He lived in the desert, near the Jordan River in Israel. And he preached there. He was fond of preaching to people about how they needed to turn their lives around so that they could be fully alive to what God was doing in the world.

One day, Jesus, our perfect Lord and Savior came to John, and was baptized with everyone else. And, soon after this event, Jesus began his public ministry of teaching and healing, preaching and sometimes simply hanging out with folks. As Jesus’s ministry began to grow, people following John began to lessen. John the Baptist’s disciples were concerned and distraught. They came to the Baptist with their concerns. And at that point John was pretty clear, “He must become greater; I must become less.”

We live in a world that is becoming increasingly self-centered and narcissistic. We want to run around and take “selfies” everywhere. We write Facebook posts that assume people are interested in the smallest details of our personal life. When asked to get involved in a project or activity instead of asking, “What difference will it make?” we ask, “What is in it for me?” We find news outlets that tell us the propaganda that we want to hear, so that we can be affirmed in our own socioeconomic bubble. We seek attention and affirmation for everything we do, and everywhere we go.
John reminds us that our lives, especially if we are servants of God, are not our own. Our lives, instead, are much bigger than us. As Rick Warren aptly begins the Purpose-Driven Life, “It is not about you.” I Corinthians 6: 19-20 states this explicitly, “You are not your own, you are bought with a price.”

When we belong to Christ, we are part of a global mission with eternal consequences. We are called to do our part, but we are not called to live and labor for our own glory and our own success. We live our lives in gratitude for Christ saving us, and instead lift him up and give him all the glory. We seek to have our agendas and our ego’s decrease as we live our lives, so that Christ, his Word, and his love, may increase.

So my friends, seek not vindication, recognition, or fame. Your life is bigger and more valuable than attention seeking. Instead seek to know, follow, and imitate Jesus. Be a signpost pointing a way to THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE.

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