John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for Him.’ It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with Him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at His success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but He has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else.He testifies about what He has seen and heard, but how few believe what He tells them! Anyone who accepts His testimony can affirm that God is true. For He is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives Him the Spirit without limit. The Father loves his Son and has put everything into His Hands.
John 3:30 (NKJV) He must increase, but I must decrease.
This morning my youngest daughter will wake up facing what in her mind has become a tremendous obstacle. Her little world revolves around family, school and church. She likes to ride her bike, swim, and play with her dolls and friends. However, this morning is overshadowed with overwhelming doom and gloom at the impending standardized testing that hangs over her head. Upon returning from a birthday party yesterday, her face immediately sunk at the prospect that the day would soon be over and Monday would bring to light her greatest fear – the FCAT test. The dreaded Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test doesn’t seem like such a scary monster when reviewing it but to my daughter the importance of this test has been magnified to epic proportions. Despite having four other siblings who have survived this test, in her mind it is longer and harder than anything that they have ever faced. She doesn’t want to go to school with the possibility of failure. The reality is that man has put a higher stake on this assessment than it really should have and though it is a heated political debate, it is also relevant when evaluated from a spiritual perspective as well. Sadly, this test has become bigger than God in my little one’s mind. We must change that mindset. He must increase, and I must decrease is the lesson to be learned today no matter what the test!
John, the Baptist, introduced the Messiah to the world. However, many thought that he was the one who they had waited for. His fame was magnified so when Jesus Christ came it was important that he put the spotlight on the Lord. “I am only here to prepare the way for Him.” This could be the declaration of every single believer who is alive today. Our motivation in life is one purpose to share the Love of Jesus Christ with the world. We are to magnify the Lord and His Great Name. To magnify is to increase. In order to magnify Jesus Christ, we must allow Him to increase or become greater in our life which requires us to decrease. We must become less and less to experience God more and more. However, due to the demands of this world in order to survive and be successful, there are things that overshadow the importance of the glorification of Jesus Christ in our life. Suddenly with a skewed perspective, we place objectives and goals in place that are not important in the Kingdom of God. However, we give them importance. The only thing worth exaggeration in our life that is important is the Grace, Love and Mercy of Jesus Christ. Excellence, obedience and holiness are important. But to magnify the Lord is to allow His Spirit to increase while you decrease allowing God’s Love to overtake you and not religion. Religion allows us a measure of control in our relationship with the Lord as we choose to change things and become part of a body of believers that often choose to govern themselves rather than being led by the Holy Spirit. In order to magnify, the Lord I must decrease allowing Jesus to increase in my life.
Luke 17:5-6 (NLT)
The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you!
To magnify God today I will increase my faith. Faith does not begin in large measure but rather in the tiniest form. Those who are able to find their faith and magnify (or increase) it will experience the supernatural power of the Kingdom of God in this life. However, sin makes faith hard to find. If buried in worldly thoughts and expectations, it is difficult to make larger because you cannot see it. As we weed our heart and mind of sinful thoughts and fill it with the Word of God, faith will be exposed. My daughter has forgotten all that she has learned in the midst of fear and doubt that is killing her faith in her ability to pass the upcoming test. Men and women who love God struggle with the same faith-killers every single day. Jesus reveals in Matthew 13:32 that the same little “mustard seed” of faith will grow into a tree with branches that will give the birds a resting place. Your faith has the potential to support you and others if given the opportunity to grow. Of course, the enemy of your soul will stop at nothing to kill your faith in the ground where it is buried. I will magnify the Lord today. I will do so by removing the garbage that is hindering my little seed of faith from growing. I will begin by silencing fear and doubt in my life taking captive every thought before it becomes a word (2 Corinthians 10:5) and wrapping it with a Promise of God which is “yes” and “amen”. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
Psalm 21:4-6 (NLT)
Your victory brings him great honor and you have clothed him with splendor and majesty.You have endowed him with eternal blessings and given him the joy of your presence.
To magnify God I will live victoriously. My success honors God because He has clothed us in righteousness. (Isaiah 61:10) However, the world longs to see God’s People defeated and silencing the Truth that convicts their heart and soul. It is not a personal attack on your life but rather spiritual warfare stirring Spirit to spirit. (2 Corinthians 10:4) People are not your problem. The devil is the problem and he will use as many people as will allow him access to make you give up or quit. Children of God only lose when they quit for if they couple their faith with the Truth that they are overcomers in Jesus Christ (John 16:33) – they win every single time. When we overcome sin in our life – Jesus is given honor. Your enemy hates to hear the high praises of God. I will magnify the Lord today. I will choose to live victoriously by choosing to see my situation and problem as Jesus does. I win to bring honor and glory to God.
Psalm 31:13-16 (NKJV)
Let them be confounded and consumed who are adversaries of my life; Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor who seek my hurt.But I will hope continually and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day,
for I do not know their limits.I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your Righteousness, of Yours only.
Praise magnifies the Lord over every problem in your life. Praise will confound and confuse your adversaries who expect you to fall away in fear and doubt but when you praise they have no clue how to react to your unexpected response. They expected you to lie down and die in defeat but praise picked you up and pushed you forward until you made it through. Lifting up the Name of the Lord over your situation will consume the sound of impending doom and cause the power of the enemy to be dishonored in your life. Surely we would not intentionally bring honor to the opposing forces of our enemy. Every time we talk more about the problem than praise the deliverer, glory and honor are given to the adversary and not our Avenger. Your mouth can be used as a powerful weapon for your protection when you choose to tell of righteousness and salvation all day making the possibilities limitless because you have declared your God is able. (Romans 4:21) The Strength of the Lord enables those who choose to live in the Righteousness of God through Christ Jesus and are willing to proclaim His Great Name in the midst of overwhelming circumstances. He is the answer to your problem so why not praise Him until He comes? Your mind could use the reminder. Your soul could use a good stirring. His Spirit will keep you until your Savior arrives when you cover your life in the High Praises of God! I will magnify the Lord today! I will praise the Lord no matter what I am facing by refusing to grumble and complain about the problem. (Psalm 34:1-3) I will usher in the Presence of God by proclaiming His Word over my life. When I run out of good things to say about my God, I will be silent as not to appease my problem with honor or glory of any kind. I will remain fully convinced that my God is able.
John 4:23-24 (NLT)
“But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
The time is coming, Jesus said, and is now. It is time to magnify the Lord by becoming a true worshiper who hungers for the spirit and truth of God. Why is it important? You cannot magnify what is not in you. God’s Word and His Spirit are powerful partners in living a life of faith-filled victory. His Word gives His Spirit secrets and mysteries to reveal in your life. We are called to “hunger and thirst” after righteousness.(Matthew 5:6) The Word is the Bread of Life. It represents Jesus. We must desire the Lord with the intensity of hunger that drives us to continually eat to sustain life devouring the Word of God as regularly as we eat to live. We must desire His Spirit with the intensity of thirst because it is Living Water positioning our life under the downpour of the Spirit of the Living God. The two will feed and water your faith allowing it to grow in the midst of opposition undeterred by the things going on around you solely dependent on what is going on inside of you. The only good thing about you and I is Jesus Christ. There is nothing we have to offer this world but the Light of His Glorious Love. I will magnify the Lord today! I will hunger and thirst after righteousness with a passionate desire to thrive in the Kingdom of God. We were made to pant for your Presence, God. (Psalm 42) Show me the way. I was made to lead the procession of praise by living a life of worship.
Psalm 138:1-3 (NKJV)
I will praise You with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple and praise Your Name for Your loving kindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your Word above all Your name. In the day when I cried out, You answered me and made me bold with strength in my soul.
He must increase and I must decrease. To magnify the Lord today requires us to relinquish power over our life to the Most High God giving Him our whole heart to operate in. How do you do that in the midst of such overwhelming problems? By increasing your faith, you will decrease. By increasing honor to God above all the other gods, you will decrease. By praising God in every situation no matter what, you will decrease. By choosing to worship God in the face of growing opposition, you will decrease. By decreasing, you will make room for the Power of God to increase in your life. You win! This world does not define you or have a say in the outcomes of your life because you have relinquished your priority to Jesus! He wins to bring honor and glory to God! Magnify the Lord today.
Psalm 34:3 (NKJV) Oh, magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His Name together.