Sunday, August 13, 2017

He Should Increase

UV 2746/10000 He Should Increase
He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias
John 1 v 23
Repentance precedes salvation. John, the Baptist came ahead of Jesus to prepare people to repent of their sins. We too need to prepare for salvation by repenting of our sins. John was the forerunner to herald the Saviour Jesus. Repentance is the forerunner of salvation. Whatever we are seeking deliverance from, we need to first repent and commit to turn from that crooked way. Though salvation is a free gift, repentance and a clean break with that aspect of our past for which we repent goes ahead and follows redemption.

The way of the Lord is straight and if our way is crooked – then there is a mismatch between what we believe and what we live. We need to appropriate grace or strength from the Lord to overcome our weakness and make our paths straight. Every valley of defeat in our lives should be filled. Every rough patch made smooth. Every mountain and hill of pride and lust that we fed in the past must be eroded and brought to the level of even ground on which we can walk. We must bend our disobedient hearts to listen and obey the wisdom of the Just one – Jesus through the offices of the Holy Spirit.

Salvation therefore implies a commitment to learn, grow and change to conform to the image of Christ in us. John, the Baptist compared himself to Jesus and felt that he was unfit even to tie the sandals on the feet of Jesus. Jesus hailed John as the greatest among those born of women and yet he was lesser than the least in the kingdom of God. Where does that leave us? We should always pray and follow the precept of John, the Baptist who compared himself to the role of the best man in the wedding. He said, “ He should increase and I should decrease. It meant not just the prominence of Jesus should increase vis -a -vis John but that the character of Jesus should increase in us and our own egos, pride, desires, ambitions should decrease and eventually die, the love for Jesus and of Jesus should increase and our love for ourselves and the world should decrease. The measure of the grace and truth of Jesus increases in us to the proportion that sin, self, lust, pride, ego, conceit, ambition in us decreases. We cannot pour anything into a cup that is full. Hence, we should be constantly emptying ourselves so that the Lord fills it with the outpouring of His spirit.

Prateep V Philip

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