January 1: I Must Decrease

January 1: I Must Decrease

Picture of Chris Rowekamp

Chris Rowekamp

“And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness – look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.”
—John 3:26 ESV


John “the Baptist”, the prophet who preached in the wilderness and to whom multitudes went to be baptized, was being upstaged by Jesus. “All are going to him,” his disciples complained.

John simply responded, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him’” (Jn. 3:27-28 ESV).

John was not upset about his declining following because his ministry was never about his own fame. He was the one foreseen by Isaiah; “the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord’” (Is. 40:3 NKJV).

Because he understood his mission, John was able to make this profound declaration: “He must increase, and I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30 ESV).

This leads us all to a crucial question: what are we trying to accomplish in this life? Do we desire to increase in influence, build a following, and make a name for ourselves? Or is our greatest goal to “prepare the way” and help others know Jesus?

The answer to that question makes all the difference.

Here is a simple prayer to carry with you today:

Breathe in: Jesus, this isn’t about me.
Breathe out: I want to make you known.

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