Friday, February 15, 2013

Lent: John the Baptist

John 1:19-34
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Do you look for opportunities to be honored by others? The Pharisees questioning John gave him every opportunity to elevate himself beyond the position God gave to him. They offered him the position of Messiah, of the man who was responsible for organizing them into a nation, and of the prophet who was to precede the expected Messiah. They suggested that he shouldn't be baptizing people like he was unless he admitted that he was an important figure. Through it all, John resisted the temptation to grasp at a more important title than he felt God had offered to him. His role was important, but God never gave him permission to call himself "Prophet" or "Elijah", and he knew he certainly wasn't the "Messiah".
Jesus Himself honored John (Lk 7:26-28) (most of the Apostles never received such a commendation from Him) yet John avoided honoring himself. When you are faced with the temptation to elevate your own status, needs, desires, or goals, do you grasp at the opportunity (like I do)? Are you willing to step back and allow God the exclusive right to honor you (Lk 14:10)? We can learn from John the Baptist, who was worthy of a great deal of honor yet chose not to grasp at it for himself. Look to God first, serve those He places in your life, and allow God to be the One who elevates your status to the one He desires for you.

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