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PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Aug
01

Less Is More

Jon Burgess

Scripture

“The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroomʼs voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less." John‬ ‭3:29-30‬ ‭

Observation

This was not the reaction John's disciples expected. He wasn't overwhelmed, he was overjoyed. He wasn't feeling competitive but complimentary. This wasn't a competition with a man but a collaboration with the Messiah! Essentially they had just told John that Jesus, the one he had baptized and helped to promote, was now more popular then him. It would be like telling a pastor that his youth pastor had taken his whole congregation and then some. Instead of raging, John was rejoicing! His personal loss was a Kingdom gain. John's very purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus. This news was confirmation that he had done his job well! In fact, the only part of this news that would have made John the Baptist sad in this circumstance would be that the ones who who brought the news weren't following Jesus too! John's identity wasn't in who was following him but in who was following Jesus. His job was always to work himself out of a job. His life philosophy in how he dressed, what he ate, where his lived and how he ministered was "less is more". This applied all the way to his relationship with Jesus. Less of John meant more of Jesus.

Application

Less of Jon means more of Jesus. It's just pride that keeps me from embracing the "Less is more" philosophy of ministry. It's just insecurity that makes me want to be seen instead of shining the light of how Jesus is working through others around me. I spent 12 years as the Senior Pastor and yet I've never grown more then in these past two years as second chair to my Senior Pastor Wayne Cordeiro. The scrubbing of the heart and the submission of my vision to his has shown me the power of what John the Baptist was living out. I love the quote that says, "It's amazing what can be accomplished when it doesn't matter who gets the credit." I would take it a step further and say that it's amazing what can be accomplished in the Kingdom of God when Jesus gets the credit! Then, it's no longer about me proving myself, my worth, or value by what I do. When my identity, worth and value flow from Christ I'm free to promote what He is doing no matter who the vessel is! In fact, like John the Baptist, I should find greater joy when people are no longer looking at me and are looking at Jesus instead. I'm starting to get it. Like when a member of New Hope said recently that he had something to tell me but was sure I wasn't going to like it. With curiosity I asked him to share. He said, "I like listening to your wife Cyndi speak more then you. Every time she speaks I get so much out of it!" I smiled and said, "That doesn't make me mad. I'm happy to hear that." He then said, "In fact I think she's better at preaching then you are." I laughed and said, "I couldn't agree with you more!" He was surprised and I was too. I'm filled with joy to hear that as my wife steps out in her God-given gifting she is preparing the way for Jesus to do His thing! Less of me means more of Jesus! This past weekend we had the privilege of having world renowned speaker and author Nick Vujicic bring a salvation message at all five services. Outside of an Easter weekend we have never seen such an amazing response to the salvation message as over 500 came forward to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. After one of the services I was talking with some members of New Hope as we rejoiced in what we had just witnessed. Then, after we talked about how God had used Nick they quickly said, "We love you too Pastor Jon. We are thankful for your ministry too." I realized they felt the need to make sure I didn't feel overlooked in the conversation. I'm happy to say it hadn't even occurred to me that I should get some credit too! This was a God thing and I was starting to think according to Kingdom reality- less is more! Less of me this past weekend meant more were able to come to know Jesus. I'll be the first to admit I'm not always in this mindset. I'm constantly combatting insecurity but, I pray that it's on the decrease so Jesus can be on the increase in my life and in this church!

Prayer

I rejoice in the ones who came to know You this past weekend. I pray that each of them would respond to our follow-up so we can see them become fully developed followers of Jesus who bring others to know You! Thank You for calling me to shepherd a church where the collaboration of Doing Church As A Team isn't just concept but is a Kingdom reality! I can't wait to see what You're going to do next as each one of us ensure You are the One people see!


Devotions for August 01

Isaiah 65,66
Psalms 62
John 3

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