Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Prepare Ye the Way

Total confession moment: I don't read the Bible very regularly.

Pick your jaws back up, smart-alecks. You're not surprised.

I try. I do. I go through seasons where I'm awesome at it. I read every night. God speaks to me. We have conversations. It's lovely.
...and then I don't pick my Bible up for months. I have a lot of excuses and justifications for why not, but none of them really hold up. But I can tell a difference from those seasons when I'm dwelling in the Word and when I'm not. And I like the seasons of devotion much better.

Anyway, all of that is to tell you about what I read last night. I'm in a lazy season, but last night I stared at my nightstand, and I saw the Karen Kingsbury book that I'm in the middle of and my new Bible that I got for my birthday. As much as I wanted to immerse myself back in the lives of Dayne and Katy, I felt that stirring in my soul. You know the one... it's that little voice from God, whispering, "I miss you."

My 2013 birthday Bible
So I picked up my brand-spankin' new, beautiful raspberry-colored, paperback, silver-edged, medium-sized Bible that Kristen gave me for Christmas (it's kind of our "thing." She buys me Bibles; I read them occasionally). And I randomly opened it to... the gospel of John, chapter 1.

Fancy that. The chapter that this entire blog is, literally, "centered" on. ANYWAY... (am I ever going to get to my point?) I started reading from verse 35 to 37, which say, "The next day John (the Baptist) was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, 'Look, the Lamb of God!' When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus."

Whoa. Anyone else catch that? John the Baptist (hereafter referred to as JB, though not to be confused with the amazingly talented young singer with the same initials) had groupies. But then he pointed at Jesus, and his groupies deserted him for Jesus. And JB was okay with that. More than okay. It was his LIFE-LONG GOAL for that to happen.

The entire first chapter of John talks about JB. He was a man completely set apart for God. He's described as one who "came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe" (1:7). And the writer explains in no uncertain terms that JB wasn't the light himself; he was just a witness. When the Levites asked him if he was the Messiah, JB answered, "I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way for the Lord'" (1:23).

JB's entire life had been leading up to the moment when he could point at the Messiah and say, "That's Him!" When he was able to do that, his mission was accomplished. JB's own followers turned and began walking after Jesus, and the story of Jesus's ministry began.

I feel like I would have been a little put-out at the moment. I probably would have said something really dumb, like, "Hey, where are you guys going? Come back! I can keep telling you about Jesus! He's going to do some really cool things. I read about them in Isaiah. Let me tell you about all the prophecies He's going to fulfill."

Obviously, that doesn't even make sense. Why would people want to hear secondhand information when they could follow the real thing? But don't we expect that sometimes? Especially those of us who work in ministry. Are we ever tempted to pat ourselves on the back and think, "Wow, I'm doing a really great job of discipling (or preaching, or praying, or leading, or teaching)," when really it's not about us at all?

What is the goal of my life? Am I pointing people to Jesus?

It's SO not about me. Or you. Not convinced? Go back to the theme verse, John 1:3. It's only, always about Jesus.

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