Thursday, February 22, 2007

Deuteronomy 7:6-11; Psalm 37:1-18; Titus 1:1-16; John 1:29-34

Of the readings for today, I will discuss the gospel reading. It is a fairly short reading but has some strong messages. The messages of today’s gospel reading help me to focus, and re-focus, on some of the aspects of being a Christian. I hope they do the same for you.

Today’s gospel reading has some obvious messages and some not as obvious. The obvious ones include Jesus being proclaimed the Messiah and Jesus being called the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” These messages are the foundations of Christianity, and thus very important, but I want to focus on the latter messages, the ones that are not as obvious.

In particular, I want to discuss two “not as obvious” messages from today’s reading. The first is found in verse 30, where John the Baptist says, “A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.” John the Baptist was a popular preacher who attracted large crowds. Yet by this statement he realizes, and is content in knowing, that Jesus would be even more popular. This is true humility. By his action John teaches us that we all should be content in the work God has given each of us to do to further his kingdom. We should allow Jesus to be glorified by the work we do. When we are happy to allow Jesus to receive the glory for our work, then God will do great things through us. This helps me remember that I am not doing tasks for the glory of me, and I should not be bitter or upset if I do not get public credit. Heavenly credit is much greater than earthly credit can ever be.

The second message I want to point out is found in verse 34. In this verse John testifies that Jesus is the Son of God. We are all called to make such a testimony. There will be times in our lives when opportunities will present themselves for such testimony. Do we succeed or fail when these opportunities present themselves? I often wonder why I am afraid to make such a testimony. The point to this message is that I should not be afraid and I should proclaim it with authority. After all, in many cases the reason these opportunities present themselves is because a person is seeking an answer or a way that can only be found in or through Jesus Christ.

Wishing you the best in your walk with Christ,
Richard Leach

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