He must increase, but I must decrease.
I love this verse. I’m not sure if a better statement of humility exists than this one spoken by John the Baptist. Paul rightly points to Jesus in Philippians 2 as the ultimate standard of humility, and I think John the Baptist illustrates his point well. John understood his place in the kingdom of God, and he gladly served. He joyfully welcomed the bridegroom for whom he had been preparing the way, and, in this verse, he succinctly expressed his humble mindset. He lived his life for his Lord, and he sought no glory but the Savior’s.
This verse is also now painted on the wall in the youth room at Poydras Baptist Church, and it’s there because a group of college students took John’s words seriously. A small crew from the Baptist Collegiate Ministry of Northwestern State University gave of their time and talents these past few days to help clean and redecorate around the church, and they modeled this verse in their service. In the few short days I spent with them, I never heard any complaining or negativity, never saw any laziness or apathy, and never witnessed any bickering or discord. Though none of them are perfect, I was hugely encouraged as I watched them serve with the same humility and passion I see in John and Jesus. They recognize that their lives are not their own, and they have gladly surrendered to their Lord, taking up their crosses and giving of themselves for the sake of the Name. Their eyes are set on things above, not on things below.
Some of my favorite memories are those from BCM days at NSU with Bro. Bill and Mrs. P. God used those two in major ways to help shape me into who I am today, and he is continuing to use them to minister to students who in turn are ministering to others, myself included. I cannot thank this group enough for the work they did for the Lord, and I continue to thank God for them. Their joyful humility encouraged me, and their labor is definitely not in vain. May we all grow to follow Jesus with the same sense of enthusiastic service.