“He must increase, but I must decrease.” -- John 3:30
John the Baptist, the man who was sent to prepare the way of the Lord, the man who our Lord Jesus Christ said was the greatest prophet born of a woman, said: “[The Lord Jesus Christ] must increase, but I must decrease.” To that, all of God’s people will cry: Amen! The higher that the Lord Jesus Christ is raised up, and the more exalted God’s people see Him to be, the happier they are! When Christ is exalted, their joy is exalted, their hope is exalted, and their faith is exalted as it LOOKS UP to Him, HIGH in the heavens. The higher they see His throne to be, the more glorious the Gospel of their redemption is to them, and the more in awe they are of how far He came down to save them. After seeing Christ in all of His exalted glory, God’s people cannot and will not ever see Him any other way. They will cry to every soul who will listen: “He must increase, but I must decrease!” -- Gabe Stalnaker
“Practice What You Preach.”
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. -- 1 Corinthians 9:27
I have heard the saying all my life, “Practice what you preach.” This saying is commonly used when men and women say one thing and do another. But this old secular saying now has new meaning to me as I endeavor to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ. In preaching grace, may God enable me to always be gracious. In preaching contentment, may I always be content. In preaching forgiveness, may I daily forgive seventy times seven. When I speak of love unconditional, may I love unconditionally. When I speak of true faith, may I always be truly faithful. When I preach obedience to Christ, may I always be obedient to Him. Lord, help me to “practice what I preach.” When preaching, may I by God’s grace give a just representation of the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom I proclaim as the only Mediator between God and man. How sobering is the thought that when I have preached to others, I myself should prove to be a castaway. – David Eddmenson
Don’t Chew on the Briars
There is not a preacher – living or dead – with whom you cannot find fault, either in what he says, what he writes, or what he does. Perfection is only found in our Lord. “I find no fault in HIM.” His ambassadors, however, are human and not only subject to mistakes, but prone to error, except they are kept, led, and taught by the Holy Spirit. Let us be patient with one another, pray for one another, and look for the good and not the bad. Don’t chew on the briars in a message or an article.
Even a donkey knows enough to eat the hay and spit out the briars! -- Henry Mahan
LOVE NOT THE WORLD!
Nothing is more dangerous to the souls of men than the love of the world. Nothing more effectually chokes out the influence of the gospel in a man's heart than the cares of this world. Nothing is more difficult to avoid than an undue attachment to this world. Therefore, John sets these four words up as a beacon. They stand in blazing letters to warn us of great danger. "LOVE NOT THE WORLD:"
Beloved, this world and all that it offers is no more than a bubble that soon must burst. Your money, your farms, your houses, your influence, your families, everything here is temporary. It will all vanish away. We laugh at the small child who cries when the bubbles he is playing with burst. But, for a rational man to be so attached to a bubble is a most irrational thing.
Are you God's child? Are you risen with Christ? Do you live in the hope of eternal glory? Then count this world to be a dead thing. Live no longer for this world. Set your heart on things above. Live above this pile of rubbish that must soon burn. Live to do the will of God, seek the glory of Christ, further the gospel of the grace of God, and serve the people of God. Quit seeking those things for which unbelieving men live; and seek those things which are above: life, immortality, and glory. "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
May the Lord God graciously burn these words into your heart and mine - "LOVE NOT THE WORLD!”-- Don Fortner