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The Sidelines

The Sidelines

01 August 2010

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 65-66; Psalm 62; John 3

Scripture:

27 John answered, “It’s not possible for a person to succeed—I’m talking about eternal success—without heaven’s help. 28 You yourselves were there when I made it public that I was not the Messiah but simply the one sent ahead of him to get things ready. 29 The one who gets the bride is, by definition, the bridegroom. And the bridegroom’s friend, his ‘best man’—that’s me—in place at his side where he can hear every word, is genuinely happy. How could he be jealous when he knows that the wedding is finished and the marriage is off to a good start? “That’s why my cup is running over. 30 This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines. (John 3:27-30 MSG)

I admire John so much! This is a man whose miraculous birth was announced by an angel, who lived his entire life according to a set of special guidelines in preparation for the call and purpose of God, and whose actual public ministry probably lasted less than a year. He had become enormously popular overnight, yet when he learned that the huge crowds that had been flocking to hear his message and receive his baptism were shifting over to Jesus, he said, “My cup is running over!”

John knew his purpose and was totally committed to living it out. As the attention shifted from him to Jesus, John said:
• I am simply the one sent ahead to get things ready for him.
• I am the bridegroom’s friend – that role makes me genuinely happy.
• I’m working for eternal success, not fame and popularity.
• I’m ready to slip off to the sidelines.

Personal ambition, jealousy and envy, lust for power, and the desire to be in the spotlight can really get in the way of fulfilling God’s purpose. I need to know my purpose and my role in God’s plan and then be happy to be in the spotlight or on the sidelines – whichever is appropriate to God’s plan and timing.

Prayer:

Father, Thanks for the privilege of purpose. I marvel that you chose me to use me. Thank you for each season of your plan and each season of my life. May I move gracefully with the changing seasons and may I always measure success by obedience. I want to have the same attitude as John and be able to honestly say, “Jesus is at the center. Excuse me while I slip off to the sidelines.” Amen!

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