He must increase, but I must decrease. He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. (John 3:30-31)
I think that one of the major goals for Christian is to come to the end of ourselves. Jesus said that He must increase referring to God. Even the Son of God had to decrease so that God would be able to increase in Him.
People often quote John 3:30 but not many quote the following verse with it. Jesus said the He had to decrease and then gave us a key to how this is done. He said the “He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly”. I believe that Jesus was telling us to become more heavenly minded if our desire if for God to increase in our lives. Paul tells something very similar in his letter to the Romans.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Romans 8:6-7)
Paul tells us that the carnal mindset leads to death. To be carnally minded is not necessarily referring to a sinful mindset. Carnality infers a natural mindset – one that is focused on the natural realm. To determine where our mind is at, we must look at where our time is spent.
Are we spending more time watching the news than with God or His Word?
Are we spending more time watching our favorite sports team than with God or His Word?
Are we spending more time watching our favorite television show that with God or His Word?
Would we rather spend time with our spouse than with God or His Word?
The answers to questions like these will help us identify whether we are carnally minded or spiritually minded. If our goal is to decrease and come to an end of ourselves, we will have to make the things of God more of a priority in our lives.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (Joshua 1:8)
We often quote this verse with a focus on prosperity. While it is true that the choice of success or failure is in our court, I want us to focus more on the instructions given to Joshua. God told him to “meditate therein day and night” referring to the Word. This is something that required a focused effort on the things of God.
I have heard people talk about having a lack of time. Joshua was called to lead a nation consisting of millions of people out of the desert into their promised land. This required them to conquer cities and take the land by force. If anyone would have an excuse for being busy I’m sure it would have been Joshua but God told him to spend time meditating on His Word “day and night”!
We have looked at Psalms 85:10 in earlier posts. There is not a single person alive that deserves God’s goodness or forgiveness. This verse tells us that mercy and truth are brought together. We do not deserve God’s forgiveness and because of this truth none of us deserves His mercy.
We have been shown mercy when truth dictate we deserve judgment. In light of this it is surprising that any of us would struggle with the concept of giving our time to God. It is surprising but yet this is the case for the majority of Christians.
Mercy and truth are mutually exclusive of each other, except in Jesus where they have met. As a result God can be merciful to us and also be totally just in doing so.
God has chosen to overlook our sins and we struggle with giving up time watching our favorite programs to spend time with Him.
We are in a time of unprecedented darkness. There is a pandemic that has swept the globe and it is impossible to turn on the news without seeing reports of death and destruction. We can choose to allow ourselves to be consumed with what is happening and live a carnal life filled with fear and dismay or we can choose to turn our attention to God and His Word where peace and healing are found.
What will be your choice?
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