Bigger Than Christ: Are You Seeking to Make Your Name Greater Than That of Christ

Today’s selected reading continues in the Ne Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses twenty-two through thirty-six of the third chapter of the gospel. When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will find the apostle John shifting gears from writing concerning the account of Jesus the Christ with nicodemus at night to now writing concerning Jesus taking His public ministry to a different level. What I find to be so incredibly interesting when reading the words which are contained within this passage is how it opens up and begins. If you read the words which are written within this passage you will find that after Jesus ended His evening encounter with Nicodemus who was chief among the Pharisees, He went, and along with His disciples journeys to Galilee. Even mite then this you will find it written that while Jesus was there with His disciples, He baptized in that area. Pause for a minute and consider the tremendous reality of what is written here concerning this particular time during the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ. Upon reading the words which are found in this passage of scripture you will find that when Jesus came unto this place He tarried there with His disciples and baptized. I happen to feel and believe that it is quite significant to read the words “and He baptized,” for the apostle John didn’t merely write concerning Jesus that He tarried in this place with His disciples, but that He baptized. It’s worth noting that the apostle John didn’t tell and didn’t write how many Jesus baptized while He was in this particular region. What the apostle John did write was that at that same time John the Baptist was baptizing I’m the very same location. The apostle John then goes on to add an important peace of information concerning this encounter, for he writes that John also baptized in this particular location because there was much water. I am convinced it is necessary that we take a minute and consider this reality of there being much water, for it speaks to the awesome and incredible reality that in that particular location—not only do we find Jesus baptizing, but we also find John the Baptist baptizing. Not only do we find and read that Jesus was there baptizing with His disciples, but we also find and read that that John the Baptist also baptized there with His disciples. Furthermore we find the apostle John writing that both Jesus and John the Baptist were in the same location baptizing men because there was much water. This is actually quite significant when you take the time to think about it, for it would have been one thing for the apostle John yo write that both Jesus and John the Baptist were baptizing in this place, but he took the time to write that there was much water in that place.

THERE WAS MUCH WATER! THERE WAS MUCH WATER IN THAT PLACE! WHEN THE MESSENGER AND THE MESSIAH ARE BAPTIZING! THERE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH WATER TO GO AROUND! MINISTERING IN THE SAME PLACE AS ANOTHER! I happen to believe that the words which the apostle John wrote concerning there being much water in this place to be incredible challenging and captivating, for it paints the awesome picture that not only did Jesus baptized in that place while accompanied by His disciples, but we also find John the Baptist baptizing in that same place accompanied by his disciples. When I read the words which are found in this passage of scripture I am immediately struck by the awesome and incredible truth that what the apostle John wrote concerning Jesus baptizing in the same place where John the Baptist was baptizing speaks you’re the wonderful and powerful reality that while it was true that Jesus could have baptized in a completely different location, He baptized in that location with His disciples together with Him. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder why the apostle John would write and record this truth concerning Jesus baptizing in this particular place with His disciples, and why the apostle John was the only gospel author who wrote about this particular event within the ministry of Jesus the Christ. If you read the New Testament gospels you will find that none of the other authors wrote concerning Jesus baptizing early on during His public ministry. As you read the words which are found within the four gospels you will find it written only in the gospel which the apostle John wrote that Jesus baptized early on during His ministry. I am thoroughly convinced that there is a tremendous and wonderful truth that is found within the words which the apostle John wrote concerning Jesus baptizing in this particular location. What’s more, is that I am convinced that there is something to be said about the fact that the apostle John also took the time to mention that John the Baptist was also baptizing in this same location. Furthermore, I find it absolutely astonishing that the apostle John would go on to write that both Jesus and John the Baptist could baptize in this place, for there was much water in that place. Stop for a moment and think about and consider the fact that in order for both Jesus and John the Baptist to baptize in the same place and location, there would need to be much water—enough for both the messenger and the Messiah to baptize together. What’s more, is that as you read the words which are written and recorded within this passage of scripture you will find it absolutely remarkable that while both Jesus and John the Baptist were baptizing in order that they might make ready and prepare men and women for the kingdom of God, it was essentially as though there were two distinct ministries which were present at this particular time. What we find and what we read in this place is not only indicative of both Jesus and John the Baptist baptizing, but it is also a tremendous picture of two ministries converging with each other during that time.

As you read the words which are written and recorded within this passage of scripture you will not only find both Jesus and John the Baptist baptizing, but you will find both engaging in the act of baptizing men and women unto repentance for the remission of sins. We dare not miss out and lose sight of this awesome and incredible reality, for it is one that is incredibly important and critical to think about and consider. Up until the point when Jesus the Christ was publicly manifested unto the children and people of Israel, and up until the moment when Jesus the Christ was Himself baptized, it was only John the Baptist who was baptizing in order that he might make ready and prepare a people for the coming of the Messiah. What happens when the messiah enters into the picture and begins engaging in the same type of ministry that you yourself were engaged in? What happens when Jesus the Christ enters into the picture and begins baptizing men and women unto repentance for the remission of sins? What happens when you have been ministering among men for certain and specific time, and one day Jesus enters into the picture and not only begins ministering in the same place you were ministering, but also engaging in the same type of ministry you yourself were engaged in? I find it to be absolutely incredible to think about and consider the awesome reality that not only did Jesus minister in the same place and location as John the Baptist, but it’s almost as if both ministries converged upon and with one another in that place. Up until that point it was only John the Baptist who was baptizing, but now there came a moment when Jesus entered into and stepped on to the scene and engaged in baptizing men and women Himself. Perhaps one of the most interesting realities concerning John the Baptist is that none of the gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ write and reveal how long he actually ministered before he was cast into prison. In fact—even in this particular portion of scripture—the apostle John referenced that John the Baptist was still baptizing in Enon near to Salim, for he was not yet cast into prison. We do know that John the Baptist preceded the Messiah as the forerunner and messenger which would prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. We do know that prior to Jesus the Christ stepping on to the scene, and prior to Jesus the Christ being publicly revealed and manifested among men during those times, John the Baptist was engaging himself in the ministry of baptism unto repentance for the remission of sins. Concerning this particular reality we aren’t given any clue or any indication as to how long John the Baptist actually baptized during those times, nor even how many men and women he baptized before he was cast into prison. What we find and what we read in each of the four gospels is that John the Baptist came during those days and not only preached repentance and preaching the kingdom of heaven, but he also came preparing men and women to receive the kingdom of heaven, as well as the Messiah.

I am convinced that in order for us to truly understand that which is found within this particular passage of Scripture it is necessary that we journey to each of the gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ. More specifically, I am convinced that we must take the time to carefully read and consider the words which were written concerning John the Baptist and the public ministry which he engaged in during those days prior to the public appearing and manifestation of Jesus the Christ. We dare not and must not miss out on and lose sight of this awesome and incredible reality, for it brings us face to face with what is written within the third chapter of the New Testament gospel of John. In order for us to truly understand that which is taking place within this passage of Scripture it is necessary for us to come face to face with the ministry of John the Baptist, and how he came before the Messiah preparing the way for the Messiah through baptism unto repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as well as preparing men and women for the kingdom of heaven. Consider if you will the accounts which were written in the four New Testament gospel authors concerning the ministry of John the Baptist. Beginning with the apostle Matthew’s account of the ministry of John the Baptist you will find the following words which were written concerning this time. Beginning with the first verse of the third chapter you will find the following words written and recorded by the apostle Matthew concerning the ministry of John the Baptist:

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is that he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a Lear there girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of Him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: whose fan is in his hand, and He will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:1-12).

What we find in the first twelve verses of the third chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew are a detailed description of the baptism of John which he engaged in in order that he might make ready and prepare a people for the coming of the Messiah. The apostle Matthew wrote and referenced the words which the prophet Isaiah prophesied concerning John the Baptist when he referenced the words which the prophet spoke concerning his preparing a way for the Messiah, and his being a voice crying out in the wilderness. The apostle Matthew wrote concerning the ministry of John the Baptist that all Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about the Jordan came out unto him, and were baptized of him, and confessing their sins. Pause for a moment and consider these words and this reality, for the apostle Matthew was very specific concerning the ministry of John the Baptist, and how at that time many from the city of Jerusalem, and many from the region of Judaea, and many from the region round about the Jordan came unto John in order that they might be baptized, and in order that they might confess their sins. What we also find within this passage of Scripture is the Pharisees and Sadducees coming unto the baptism of John and his strong denunciation and rebuke of the religious leaders, as he called and labeled them a generation of vipers. What’s more, is that we find John the Baptist calling them to bring forth fruits meet for repentance and not boast of their lineage and heritage as being children of Abraham. If you continue reading you will find the apostle Matthew writing concerning John the Baptist that he declared and spoke concerning the Messiah, and how there was one coming after him who was mightier than himself, whose shoes he was not worthy to bear. Furthermore, John the Baptist would go on to declare concerning the Messiah that he would come after him baptizing with the Holy Ghost and with fire—this despite the fact that John the Baptist came baptizing with water. The apostle Matthew was sure to mention the words which John the Baptist spoke and proclaimed, for there wasn’t simply one baptism, but two baptisms—a first baptism of water unto the repentance and confession of sins, and a second baptism of the Holy Ghost and with fire. Upon reading these words it is quite clear that the One who was coming after him—that one who was mightier than him, and who would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire—was none other than Jesus the Christ. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand that not only did John the Baptist prepare men and women through baptism and the confession of sins unto repentance for the kingdom of heaven, but John the Baptist also prepared men and women to receive the Messiah who was to come.

If you continue reading the four gospels which were written concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ you will find John Mark, as well as the beloved physician Luke writing and recording the events surrounding the ministry of John the Baptist. Beginning with the first verse of the first chapter of the New Testament gospel which John Mark wrote you will find the following words written concerning the ministry of John the Baptist:

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; and preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost” (Mark 1:1-8).

As you continue on in the four New Testament gospels you will come to the third chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke, and to words which were written concerning John the Baptist and his public ministry of baptism and preaching. If you begin reading with and from the first verse of the third chapter of this New Testament gospel you will find the following words written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke concerning the ministry of John the Baptist:

“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetra has of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them, he that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts about John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison” (Luke 3:1-20).

It is quite obvious when reading the words which are written within each of these three gospel accounts that the gospel writers and gospel authors had much to say about the ministry of John the Baptist, and how he came during the days of Annas and Caiaphas, and during the days of Herod, as well as during the days of Pontius Pilate, and even during the days of Tiberius Caesar, and not only preached repentance for sins, but also baptized men unto repentance for the remission of sins. Each of the New Testament gospel authors wrote concerning John the Baptist that he came during those days preaching repentance and proclaiming the reality of the kingdom of heaven, and even concerning that One who was coming after Him who was mightier than himself. What’s more, is that when you read the words which John the Baptist spoke you will find him indeed speaking of two baptisms—the first baptism being the baptism which he engaged in, which was a baptism of water. The second baptism which John the Baptist spoke about was not a baptism of water unto repentance for the remission of sins, but was a baptism of the Holy Ghost and with fire. When John the Baptist came on to the scene, he did so preaching repentance of sins, preaching concerning the reality of the kingdom of heaven, and baptizing men and women unto repentance for the remission of sins. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we realize and recognize this, for when we come to the third chapter of the New Testament gospel of John we not only find John the Baptist baptizing, but we also find Jesus the Christ now baptizing Himself. We don’t often think about and consider the fact that Jesus the Christ did in fact baptize during His earthly ministry, however, the apostle John brings us face to face with the reality that Jesus came during those days after His nighttime encounter with John the Baptist, and baptized those who came unto Him. What’s quite interesting and unique is not only the mention of Jesus baptizing at the same time John the Baptist did prior to his being shut up in prison, but Jesus also baptized during those days for there was much water which was present in that place. It would be one thing for Jesus to wait until after John the Baptist was cast into prison before baptizing men and women, however, this isn’t what the apostle John wrote. What we find within this passage of Scripture is Jesus coming into the land of Judaea and not only tarrying there with His disciples, but also baptizing. This is quite astonishing and remarkable when you take the time to consider it, for not only did Jesus baptize prior to John’s being cast into prison, but Jesus also baptized in that place where there was much water. Jesus didn’t even baptize in a different part of the region of Judaea, but baptized in virtually the same place as John the Baptist. Pause for a moment and think about and consider this, for there is something to be said about Jesus engaging in ministry alongside you at the same time and in the same place as you.

ARE YOU THREATENED BY THE MINISTRY OF JESUS THE CHRIST? ARE YOU ABLE TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE MINISTRY OF JESUS THE CHRIST? As I sit here this morning and think about and consider the words which are written concerning both Jesus and John the Baptist baptizing during those days, I can’t help but think about and consider the tremendous and awesome fact that it could have been possible that John the Baptist to become threatened by the public ministry of Jesus the Christ. After all—it was Jesus who came unto John the Baptist in order that He might be baptized Himself to fulfill all righteousness. It was John the Baptist who was present on the scene in Judaea prior to and before Jesus ever came on to the scene, and it was unto John the Baptist that all Jerusalem, all the region of Judaea, and all the region round about the Jordan came confessing their sins, and being baptized of him in the waters of the Jordan. What we find here is not only Jesus baptizing, but we also find Jesus baptizing before John the Baptist was thrown into prison by Herod, and baptizing in the same region and place as John the baptist. What I so absolutely love about that which is written in this place is that there appears to be no indication that John the Baptist ever complained at the fact that Jesus was baptizing men and women at that time. Upon reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture there is absolutely no indication that John the Baptist was disappointed by and at the fact that Jesus Himself came during those days and baptized as well. There is absolutely no indication that John the Baptist felt threatened by Jesus the Christ baptizing at the same time—and not only at the same time, but also in virtually the same place. Oh, I can’t help but wonder how close these two baptisms actually were at this particular time. How far apart was the place where Jesus baptized from that place where John the Baptist also baptized? Could you see the place where Jesus was baptizing men and women from the place where John the Baptist was baptizing? With that being said, I can’t help but be struck with the fact that despite the fact that Jesus the Christ was baptizing during those days, there was never a competition between John the Baptist and himself. If you read the words which the apostle John wrote concerning both Jesus and John the Baptist baptizing, you will not find a single reference concerning there being any sort of competition between these two—between the Messiah and the Messenger. Upon reading the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will find that there is absolutely no indication that John the Baptist felt threatened by the baptism of Jesus the Christ, and never made any attempt to engage in a competition of ministry and baptism. There is absolutely no indication within this particular passage of Scripture that John the Baptist engaged himself in competition with the Messiah as it pertained to ministry in order that he might somehow steal men and women away from the baptism of Jesus the Christ.

ARE YOU COMPETING WITH THE MESSIAH? IS YOUR MINISTRY COMPETING WITH THE MINISTRY OF THE MESSIAH? ARE YOU MAKING ANY ATTEMPT TO COMPETE WITH THE MESSIAH IN YOUR MINISTRY? I sit here this morning and I can’t help but be absolutely and incredibly struck with and by the fact that there are men and women among us today who are actively engaged in public ministry, and since they are engaged in public ministry, they feel threatened when they witness and behold the ministry of Jesus the Christ taking precedence over and above their own ministry. There is not a doubt in my mind that there are men and women among us right now who not only feel threatened with and by the ministry of Jesus the Christ among them within their midst, but they also make every attempt to compete with that ministry by trying to strengthen their own ministry. There are churches, there are ministries, there are organizations, and there are even denominations that make every attempt to compete with the ministry of Jesus the Christ. There are pastors, there are religious leaders, there are “prophets,” there are “apostles,” and there are various other religious leaders who have a difficult time with Jesus the Christ engaging in ministry—particularly and especially when His ministry seems to take precedence over and above their own. While it might be impossible to think about and even consider this to be true, we must understand and recognize that there are men and women who right now feel threatened when the ministry of Jesus the Christ seems to overshadow that of their own ministry. There are men and women among us in churches today who have been engaged in public ministry for quite some time, and yet they have found themselves in a place where the ministry of Jesus the Christ begins to emerge and take center stage in their midst and completely overshadow their own ministry. There are men and women among us within our churches who cannot handle the thought of Jesus the Christ engaging in ministry—particularly and especially when that ministry seems to take center stage over and above their own ministry. Such men and women will actively engage themselves in a competition with Jesus the Christ, and will attempt to strengthen, heighten and expand their own ministry in order that their ministry might overshadow and trump the ministry of Jesus the Christ. Essentially, there are men and women among us who will attempt to build their own ministries which are nothing more than religious Towers of Babel attempting to reach the heavens, and attempting to make themselves like God, and even have a ministry that takes center stage. There are countless men and women who have absolutely no interest or desire in taking a backseat to the ministry of Jesus the Christ, and instead want to be center stage. There are men and women who want absolutely nothing to do with being in the backseat, and have only one desire, and that is to be in the spotlight, and to be the center of attention before and in the eyes of men.

ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE UP THE SPOTLIGHT? ARE YOU WILLING TO TAKE A BACKSEAT? ARE YOU WILLING TO MINISTER IN THE SHADOWS? If there is one thing I can’t help but learn and discover when reading the words which are written and recorded within this passage, it’s how many of us are willing to take a back seat to the ministry and person of Jesus the Christ. What I so love about that which is recorded in this passage of Scripture is not only was John the Baptist willing to take a back seat to the ministry of Jesus the Christ, but he was also willing to take a back seat to the person of Jesus the Christ. Please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this awesome and incredible reality, for if you continue reading the words which are found within this passage you will find the disciples of John coming unto him and declaring that He whom he spoke of and testified was also baptizing, and all men were going unto Him. What I so love about John the Baptist is that when hearing the words which were spoken by his disciples, he recognized that a man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. What’s more, is that John the Baptist would go on to declare and proclaim that he testified that he was not the Christ, but was merely sent before Him in order that he might make ready and prepare the way for His appearing. Furthermore, you will find John the Baptist going on to declare that he must decrease in order that the Messiah must increase—a reality which I am convinced is incredibly difficult to do in our day and in our age. How many of us are willing to decrease in order that the Messiah might increase? How many of us are willing to fade into the background in order that the Messiah might be preeminent and might be glorified and magnified before and in the hearts and eyes of men? John the Baptist made it perfectly clear unto his disciples that he was not the Messiah, and that he came as a forerunner and messenger before the Messiah in order that he might make ready and prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. I absolutely love what we find and what we read within this passage, for not only do we not find John the Baptist feeling and being threatened by the increase of the ministry of Jesus the Christ, but neither do we find John the Baptist entering into a competition with the person and ministry of Jesus the Christ. Oh, I can’t help but wonder how many men and women seek to make an attempt to not only compete with the person of Jesus Christ, but also with the ministry of Jesus the Christ. Please don’t miss this, for this reality is absolutely necessary and critical to understand, for there are countless men and women who desperately need to learn the lesson of decreasing in order that they might fade into the background that the Light of the world might shine brightly. There are men and women who need to recognize that the only way they can shine is if the Light of the world shines upon then, and even when they think they are shining, they are merely reflecting the light from the One whose eyes burn with fire, and whose feet are as burnished bronze.

We must recognize and understand that while we have been and are called to be the light of the world, we are not the light of the world. There is only one Light of the world, and that light was the life of men. Through the life and ministry of John the Baptist we come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that we must lay aside all manner of competition with the person of Jesus the Christ, and even with a ministry of Christ that seems to take center stage. What we find in this particular instance is Jesus baptizing with water, however, Jesus’ baptizing with water would eventually and ultimately give way to an even greater baptism—a baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost. The words which Jesus the Christ spoke concerning being born of water and of the Spirit would be performed by Himself, for not only did He baptize with water, but He would also baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire. How absolutely incredible and remarkable it is to think about and consider the fact that not only did Jesus the Christ engage in a physical baptism of water upon the earth early on in His ministry—perhaps a portent, sign and shadow of a future baptism—but he would also engage in an even greater baptism that would take place after He ascended unto the right hand of His Father who was in heaven. There would come a day and time when Jesus would no longer baptize with water, but would baptize with the fire and with Holy Ghost. The question we must ask ourselves when reading the words which are found within this passage of Scripture is whether or not we are willing to fade into the background, and whether or not we are willing to be but a reflection of the true Light which radiates from the person of Jesus the Christ. Are we ready, willing and able to lay aside our need to compete with the person of Jesus the Christ, and with His ministry among the hearts of men? Are we willing to allow Christ to be preeminent in our own lives, as well as in the lives of those before and around us? Are we ready, willing and able to decrease in order that He might increase—not only increase within our lives, but also increase within the hearts and lives of those before and around us?

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