Daily Devotional

John 3:30

He must increase, but I must decrease.

John the Baptist had a ministry before Jesus. When Jesus came on the scene, John’s influence started to diminish. In John 3:26 some of John’s followers point out, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going with him.” John didn’t show a hint of jealousy but instead states that this is exactly what was supposed to happen. John 1:8 says that John “was not the light but came to bear witness about the light.” He knew his purpose was to point people to Jesus, the Messiah. He no doubt had tremendous potential to go beyond that scope, but he kept focused on his purpose.

Several years ago, I heard a pastor speak on this very idea; Jesus doesn’t necessarily call us to live up to our potential, He calls us to live up to our purpose. This is a seemingly subtle shift in perspective, but I think it’s an important one.

Take Jesus for example. More than anyone He had unlimited potential. In Mark 1 we see Jesus healing a great number of people who are brought to Him (v. 32-34). The next day the disciples come to Jesus and tell Him that everyone is looking for him (v.37). Jesus’ reply in verse 38 says, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” This moment had tremendous potential! Word was spreading, crowds were gathering, and Jesus responds by packing up and heading to the next town. He was focused on His purpose to preach the good news to those who needed to hear it.

There is an unlimited number of potential good things we can do while on this earth, and yet a limited amount of time, energy, and resources. I don’t know God’s purpose for your life, but I do know that all who are believers in Jesus are made new in Him for good works which God has prepared for them to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). Look for those opportunities each day and don’t be as worried about living up to your fullest potential as you are about living up to His purpose for you.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.