Advent Devotionals: Day 16

John 3:25-30

An argument developed between some of John's disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. They came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him." To this John replied, "A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, 'lam not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.' The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less."

The words, "A person can receive only what is given them from heaven" gives us great insight into John’s character. He recognized that "all our righteousness is a filthy rag" (Isaiah 64:6). He understood that any notoriety that he has is given to him by God.

Standing on this premise he has already given God first place and so it is no wonder that his joy is fulfilled as people begin to see Christ instead of himself.

This Advent, as we become involved in the festivities of the celebration of Christ’s birth, take this example to heart. Rather than desiring words of accolade (how wonderful the party was, how excellent the program was, how beautiful the decorations look), start your plans with the premise that God has first place and pray that those plans will cause us to hear the words, "That pointed me to Jesus; He was all I could see."

Prayer: Jesus, remind me to be like John who said that You must become greater and he must become less. In all I do and in all I am, help me to get out of the way so others are pointed to You. Amen.
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