One of the more renowned Biblical characters at the time of our Lord’s incarnation and Earthly ministry was John the Baptist.
This was so much so that during his short, but critical ministry, some were motivated to inquire if he himself was the prophesied messiah (Luke 3:15).
Ironically, it was John the Baptist who taught the principle of humility that is to be manifested in the attitude and behavior of God’s servants.
Genuine humility can be a hard find in the “religious” realm.
What is held in high esteem by Man is detestable in the sight of God (Luke 16:15).
Perhaps this is why the sin of looking down one’s nose at others is among the specific sins that God hates (Prov.6:16, 17).
Religion is a product of Man and appeals to our fallen nature.
In the ancient world, the lacing and unlacing of one’s sandal straps was one of the common tasks performed by one’s personal slave.
John used this example to illustrate that although he was chosen to be, “…great in the sight of the Lord (Luke 1:15)”, he (John) did not consider himself worthy (John 1:27) to even perform the least form of service for his Master, let alone be venerated as the Lord’s prophet (Luke 1:76).
When John the Baptist spoke of his need to “decrease” and for the Lord to “increase” (John 3:30), John was making reference to the popularity of their respective ministries. John knew when it was time for the public ministry of the Lord to take center stage.
Once a born again believer enters into discipleship, he/she too must decrease as the conversion to the likeness of Christ takes place in his/her thoughts and actions.
The next increase-decrease stage takes place when the advancing disciple learns that he/she can do nothing (John 15:5) apart from God, therefore any credit for production is to be attributed to God and not the disciple through whom God accomplishes His work.
Giving God, and not our “selves” or our “ministries” the credit is not something that comes “naturally” to any one of us.
By “nature”, fallen Man is self-centered, proud, arrogant.
Fallen Man does not and cannot understand God or the things of God beyond the limitations of human viewpoint (Romans 8:7).
Independently making and keeping himself “right” with God is what the fallacy of fabricated religion brings to the table.
Fallen Man vehemently disputes the negative equality principle of James 2:10 and in many ways considers him/herself to be better than others.
Temporal fame and fortune may be a part of the individual plan that either God (3John 1:2) or the devil (Luke 4:6) has for any one of us.
Discerning the source of any temporal blessing is critical.
If fame and fortune is a part of God’s plan for you, know that the divine purpose for it is to place you in an environment to be the Lord’s ambassador.
Passing the prosperity test of fame and fortune is not something that many believers handle very well.
It is in times of prosperity that many believers drift away from God and/or the things of God. In many cases, temporal blessings become a curse.
The way of knowing if the “blessing” is coming from God or Satan is to determine if it is or will bring the recipient closer to God and/or the things of God, or if it is taking or will take the believer away.
Discipleship will certainly impede the route to temporal fame and fortune, but will inevitably result in heavenly fame and fortune.
In order to acquire the most temporal fame and fortune, one must produce or invest in a marketable product and or service that is or will be in high demand, here in the devil’s world.
Products that promote unadulterated truth do not have a large market here in the devil’s world.
Maximum temporal fame and fortune also requires one to ruthlessly compete with those who are involved in the same area of goods or services.
The supply of true doctrine is limited to those who pursue it (John 8:31), and the demand for it is minimal. This is true of those within and outside of the Christian Community.
As spiritual writers and communicators, we can choose to compromise and tailor our material so that it will best fit the market here in the devil’s world, or we can tell it like it is and wait to be acknowledged (Matthew 5:19) and rewarded (1Cor. 3:14) in Heaven.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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