Daily Devotional for February 17

February 17                                                       John 3:22-36


          "Christ must increase, but I must decrease."


In John the Baptist's witness to Christ, John speaks of Christ's
authority, and to illustrate his point, he begins to step aside
so his followers will look upon Jesus and not upon himself.
John's task is done, for he has revealed Christ as the Lamb of
God who takes away the sins of the world.


Spiritual maturity for all who seek to follow Christ ultimately
leads to the place John speaks of: "Christ must increase, but
I must decrease." In the exercise of one's spiritual gifts and
ministry, success occurs. Our churches can thrive financially.
Our public visibility can increase dramatically. Our ministry
can grow powerful and persuasive. At such times we are
naturally tempted to believe that God couldn't accomplish
God's will without our achievements. In fact, however, the
moment our mission begins to promote ourselves instead of
God, however subtly, we have fallen into a snare which mutes
the true voice of the Gospel. A way to avoid this trap is to
keep John's words close to our heart: "Christ must increase,
but I must decrease."


What a wonder it would be if, when the world looked at each
of us, they beheld Christ. Our task, like John's, is to reveal
Jesus and then to step aside so others may see Christ clearly.


           Not my will but thine be done. Jesus, fill me
 and make my face your own reflection. Hide me behind
      your cross, Jesus, so that when others look at me,
                                 they will see you.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.

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