Music Monday & A Prayer for this Week (Lay Us Low)

He was a voice in the wilderness, a bold truth-teller whose bellowing proclamations drew the people of God to repentance in baptismal waters. His voice both encouraged and enraged, depending upon the hearts of those listening to his message.

Crowds were drawn to him, this man who lived outside of their rules and expectations. As he baptized and spoke the good news of forgiveness, attention centered on him. People – including the leaders of the day- questioned him, wondering if this John the Baptist could be the Messiah they were waiting to see.

And even though John could have garnered adulation, even though he could have kept all of the focus on himself to gain power and popularity – he never did. Always, he made it clear – I am not the Messiah. One who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.

John was making a way for the Lord, preparing the people for the revelation of Jesus, and his entire life was surrendered to that calling.

I can only imagine the wonder he felt on the day Jesus stepped into the Jordan. This man, who had leapt for joy in his mother’s womb at the sound of Mary’s voice, was at last able to testify to the people of God – Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world…this is the Son of God!

His entire life – from that first leap to his last moments preaching a gospel of repentance – was lived to point toward Jesus Christ as the Savior of our world.

Some of John’s disciples – including Andrew, brother of Peter – left him and began to follow Jesus. Many began going to be baptized by Jesus’ disciples instead of John.

People began to point this out to John. They tried to stir the fire of comparison and competition. But instead of jealousy or bitterness, John responded with this:

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 bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.

He must increase, but I must decrease.

Again – John pointed to Jesus. His concern was not his own pride, his own following, his own future, but only for the salvation at hand. The purpose of God was his priority.

His words prepared hearts to serve Jesus back then, and I believe his words are still showing us how to live – by giving glory to the only One who truly deserves it, finding our joy in His presence.

My prayer for this week is this that we will yield our lives so that we are reflecting Jesus in everything that we do. Like John, I am praying that we will be bold in obedience – no matter what anyone else around us is doing – and so find our joy to be complete in Him.

May our actions and our words direct others to Your  heart, Father.  May we be willing to give up our own ambitions for the sake of Your kingdom and Your gospel. May we remember that it is in losing our lives that we find Life…it’s one of the greatest mysteries of serving You, this giving up what we hold and still somehow receiving everything that we need – and more – from Your hand. You humbled Yourself for us, Jesus, and so we pray to be like You – humble, without pride, ready to serve when You call. We pray this knowing that You work in us for our good, for Your glory. Help us to have the courage to trust You in this kind of surrender – the kind where we ask to be laid low. Lord, help us to decrease so that You will increase in our lives…until people see You in us.  You are the hope and You are the love they need. it is only by Your name and Your power that people may find redemption and new life. Help us, Lord, to make that the bold proclamation of our lives. Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for You; Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. -Isaiah 26:8

{The Scriptures referenced are John 1 &3)

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