"He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30
Yesterday, I attended the funeral of my 35 year old cousin who lost her brave fight with breast cancer. There were tons of people there, and many that got up and spoke on her behalf. As we sat and listened to the testament of her great character, and how she impacted people with her positive attitude and vibrancy for life, it hit me. If I were to die today, what would others get up and say?
So many times, especially in ministry, we get discouraged because we want to make a difference, and we want to know that what we are doing is important to the people we encounter. As Christians, we want (and expect) good friends who love us like we love them, we want people to treat us as we treat them, and often times we are let down. When we have spent time pouring into others, loving others while they don't like us very much, and continually feeling like we don't matter, it is easy to get selfish and feel entitled to the credit and acknowledgement for we have done "good" to others in the midst of adversity.
As friends and family got up and spoke yesterday, it was evident that my cousin loved people well. She pushed them to be the best they could be. She encouraged them. She was a great person. But it was never mentioned that she loved Jesus, or shared Him with any of those friends. It doesn't mean she never did, but it wasn't what she was known for. The interesting thing is that she knew everything there was to know about Jesus. She grew up in church, heard about Jesus many times, but no one really knows what she did with it. But that's what I want to be known for. Not what SaraBeth did for everyone. Not that SaraBeth had a positive attitude. Not that SaraBeth loved everybody. Those things are important. But without loving and sharing Jesus, none of that really matters. It is not about me, but all about Jesus. When my friends and family stand before my casket I want them to say "SaraBeth loved Jesus, so she loved others as Jesus loved her. She shared the greatest gift of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those she came in contact with, and because of that, JESUS made a difference in my life." I was reminded of the verse in John 3:30 - "He must increase, but I must decrease." When we put our selfish desires aside, and allow God to permeate our lives, it is then that we feel loved and accepted because HE loves us unconditionally. We are not called to share Jesus, but we are commanded.
Matthew 28:18-2018 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Lord, my prayer is that I will no longer seek self gratification, but glorify and exalt YOU in all that I do. May I love others enough to share YOU with them, and love them (regardless of how they feel about me) like You love them. Amen.