Day Twenty Six
"He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
If this scripture doesn't serve a slice of humble pie, I'm not sure what does. When I was younger I claimed that Jesus Christ was my personal Lord and Savior. I was always excited to hear about Jesus' name receiving praise for what He did in our place, but this second part of the scripture- the "I must decrease" part, well that appeared to be more of a thought than an action. Sure I thought that I was humble in ways, stayed out of the spotlight, served others from time to time, shared Jesus with someone, but I was always thinking of myself and the future I needed to prepare for. I constantly thought of my own success, not that I needed to be famous but that I could be content with other good things that I longed for. Like planning for a good education, job, marriage, and family. I would look to my own accomplishments and plans instead of Christ's and saw God as someone who could supply me with a good and comfortable life. Looking back, it wasn't Christ who I was solely after, but the good things I thought He could provide and the comfort I thought I could receive from them.
It wasn't until these things that I was seeking after failed me that I saw how lovely Christ was. That these things couldn't fulfill me like He could. I came face to face with the weight of my sin when I saw that He still died for me even though I ran after things instead of embracing Him. As my desires were realigned to live for my Savior, my awareness of my pride became more apparent.
When a God stoops down to our level and takes our place, displaying His elaborate and unconditional love for us -it should be our hearts response to trust and draw near to Him. As we marvel in His goodness and grace, our hearts should long to praise Him with our lives. When we recognize that we were bought with a price and are fully defined by Christ's accomplishment, we won't have to look for affirmation or comfort from other things. Instead, with eagerness we can point others to Christ.
Like Timothy Keller points out in his book "The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness" Apostle Paul didn't think highly of himself, he didn't think lowly of himself, he simply thought of himself less. Though I fall short in this and need Christ's strength daily, it should be our prayer that our lives point to Christ, not ourselves. That we aren't more obsessed with obtaining temporary things here on earth(whether material or a reputation) than we are with knowing Christ dearly. That we would grasp that our lives are not for our glory but for the glory of our wonderful savior. As we look to the beauty of the Gospel may it stir us to boast in Christ. Let God's grace lead us to actively deny our flesh and walk out the holiness He has called us to, ultimately glorifying and reflecting His son.