"He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. He must increase, but I must decrease. (JOHN 3:29-30 NASB)
When I was teaching bible study at work, I started out with a large number of people. Some of the people were attending to see if I would measure up to the likened teaching of the former bible teacher. As I began to do verse by verse exposition, the numbers began to decrease. I wondered many a nights what was wrong with me? Why were the people not coming? Bible studies I did with the men at my home, the numbers never went down. Why are they dwindling here? My ministry motive was clear; I was basing ‘my’ success upon the numbers, and was not Christ focused.
This was not the case for the beloved John the Baptist. Jesus Christ ministry had now taken off and the fulfillment of John’s ministry was coming to a close. John was soon to be beheaded. In verses 22-30 of John 3, there is a comparison of Jesus ministry (on the rise) and John the Baptist ministry (on the decline). Yet we notice the humble/joyful attitude of John the Baptist. He was not focused in on the numbers at all. He was focused in on Jesus Christ and was joyful about this. He was joyful that his ministry was decreasing and the Lord Jesus Christ was receiving glory. Isn’t that the ministry motivation that you and I should have?
Are we joyful over other ministries that God is raising up which bring Christ Jesus as the central focus? Or are we just worried about our own ministry God has called us to? What is our ministry motivation, and is it a biblical one? If so, then we can say and understand that “He must increase, but I must decrease...”
Scripture references: Psalm 34:2, Matthew 20:26-28, Luke 9:43-50, Ephesians 4:1-2, Philippians 1:18, James 4:10