Power. Position. Purpose. 

“but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear” -‭‭Matthew‬ ‭3:11‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.” -‭‭Mark‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose” -Luke‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.” -‭‭John‬ ‭1:27‬ ‭KJV‬‬

If you’ve read the four gospels, you know that they all go hand in hand with the account of Jesus. Sometimes, however, one gives a bit more information than the other.  

But what about John the Baptist? 

It’s no accident that in all four accounts, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John… that John the Baptist is given an opportunity to be humble. He humbled himself

There he was, preaching in the wilderness, baptizing others, and sure, he could’ve taken credit. He could’ve made an even bigger name for himself than what he already had. Obviously people knew him. The Pharisees knew him. The king knew him. I mean, who hadn’t heard about this wild man wearing sackcloth and eating locusts and honey?!

He had power. He had position. But he knew… oh my, did he know… his purpose. John the Baptist knew his calling and his purpose: to prepare the way for the one alone who could save souls: Jesus Christ. 

In each and every account from the gospels, as stated in the verses above, John the Baptist intentionally humbles himself and gives credit where credit is due. He doesn’t make himself greater than what he is. He magnifies the name of Jesus while minimizing his own. 

In every instance he talks about his unworthiness to even loosen a filthy, dirty sandle from the feet of The One, True King. He knows his power. He knows his position. But he ultimately knows his purpose

If you’re a saved child of God who gets discouraged and says, “I don’t know my purpose in life.” Sweet friend, let me remind you; we all have a purpose. If you’re walking in the will of the Lord Almighty, your purpose is just like John’s: to prepare the way. 

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” -Mark‬ ‭16:15‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Now back to my original question: What about John the Baptist? 

Ha. If John the Baptist could answer that question I bet he would answer it like this: “What ABOUT John the Baptist? It’s not about me. It’s about Him!”

Keep your focus. If God gives you an opportunity to be humble, take it. Don’t try to take credit that’s not yours.  Don’t let your power or your position get in the way of your purpose: to prepare the way for Jesus Christ our Lord. 

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Life After Easter

As I delved into the Word this morning, the day after Easter, I was convicted by a verse in the New Testament:

“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”  (Luke‬ ‭1:46-47‬ ‭KJV‬‬)

This verse is referring to Mary, the mother of Jesus, during her pregnancy.  Two questions I asked myself upon reading this verse were: 1.  Why was her soul magnifying the Lord?  And 2. Why was her spirit rejoicing in God her Savior?

Those are two great questions to reflect on right after Easter. Two convicting questions for the day after Easter as well.  Speaking of Easter, we had an amazing turnout at church for our service. About 715 people; for a small town of about 20,000, that’s awesome!  I would say the two most popular occasions for people to attend church are Christmas and Easter.  

Time-out:  Now to those of you who might get offended by this, and question peoples’ reasons for attending church,  here’s some advice:  Instead of criticizing our culture for not being “all in”, we should probably pray for them. The tongue is a wicked, wicked member.  And one thing I’ve been learning when I see other people who aren’t “like me” is a good ole’ reminder from the Holy Spirit that I was once like that.  Shame on us for comparing ourselves to others when we should be comparing ourselves to Jesus. 

Time-in.  Going back to Mary, if we continue to read the next verses, we learn the answer to those two “why” questions. 

“For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.” (‭‭Luke‬ ‭1:48-49‬ ‭KJV‬‬)

She was in awe that God would use someone like her… Just a teenager… Just a handmaiden.  She knew how undeserving a girl like herself was and she was so humbled for God’s work in her life. (With a spirit like that, it’s no wonder God wanted to use her!). The verses go on and she continues to glorify God. 

But now, another “why” question. Why is that verse convicting the day after Easter?  Well, it’s convicting to me because I don’t want to be someone  who only magnifies the Lord on Easter Sunday. I want my soul to magnify the Lord on Monday… And the other 364 days in a year!  I shouldn’t only be rejoicing in God my Savior on Easter Sunday or on Sundays in general, because God is still my Savior the other days of the week, too!  

Here’s why it’s even more convicting. Because as a teacher, as a coach, a friend, a sister, a daughter… All roles outside of the church…. I wonder if those around me can tell that my soul magnifies the Lord throughout the week?  Can they see that my spirit rejoices in God my Savior?  Is my life and words and social media portraying that message to those outside the church walls?  I’d be interested in how my coworkers, students,  friends, and family would respond.  Hint:  If you’re scared to ask that question, then you probably already know the answer.  #ouch 

So before giving “Chreasters” a hard time for only going to church twice a year, I think we should examine ourselves and how/if we magnify and rejoice in the Lord the other 363 days in a year. 

Mic drop. 🎤