“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Luke 1:76-79 ESV
God fulfilled this prophecy through John. John the Baptizer played a powerful and significant role in the plans of God though his obedience. John understood the role he had to play, and he played it to the full. At the height of his personal ministry, where the temptation must have been incredibly strong to bask in the praise of his followers, he declared, “[Christ] must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
John did just that, right up to his death, when he was beheaded for speaking truth (see Matt. 14:1-12). As disciples of Jesus, we should follow John’s attitude of humility, seeking to increase the name of Christ and follow Him in obedience to the furthest extent possible, even if that means physical harm or bodily death.
What attitudes, values, words, or actions do you need to decrease so that Jesus can increase in you?