John 3:30 (NLT) He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
When our son was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, it was after several medical consults with multiple doctors. He had been to a general practitioner, an ENT specialist, the emergency room, and a hospital in south Florida. They had ordered evaluations, testing, blood work, x-rays, MRIs, CTs and other imaging to try to determine the origin of his illness. They found out many things about our son that we did not know including a horseshoe kidney were developmentally the two kidneys remained fused and a congenital stricture of his carotid arteries. When the carotid arteries showed extremely love blood flow, the smaller hospital life-flighted our son to a bigger and more sophisticated facility. Once the cancer was diagnosed, we were given the option to move to another hospital closer to home for care. Quickly, I declined. There immediate evaluation and diagnosis in less than 24 hours of something that in the course of three months could not be determined earned our confidence and trust. Over the past three years, they have not let us down. So when our insurance company declined further treatment for our son, we began to fight. Not only for the care that he so desperately needed, but also to remain at the facility that we have grown to trust. Thankfully after five months, we won and were approved to continue treatment.
When we come to Jesus Christ it is often in the midst of desperation. Not many people look help or assistance if they are satisfied with their current situation and so it is with God. We don’t want or need the Lord until there is something wrong with the way that we are living. Or maybe we are not living at all. I returned to the Lord when I met my husband. After just a few dates, I knew that this was the man who I would spend the rest of my life with. A failed marriage without the Lord convinced me that the only way to be successfully united was to put Jesus Christ in the center of it all. It worked. We have been married for fifteen years this July. If you truly want a better life, it is important to make a change. After trying everything else, we usually approach God with what is left of our life. He takes it willingly. But how do we allow God to become greater in our life and become the less that is described. This morning when I got up the word in my head was “greater”. God is great. Jesus is great. Even the Holy Spirit who lives in me is great. I am nothing at all compared to Jesus Christ. Do I believe it?
John 3:31-35 (NLT)
He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else. He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them! Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true. For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands.
I have good friends with a child who has a neurological condition or so they think. She has been to the same hospital that we are going to but have not had the same experience that we have. Based on their experiences, they do not believe in the facilities ability to treat their child as we do and have chosen another place. I know that there are fine hospitals all over the world with great reputations. However, it is not the institution that makes it a great hospital but the men and women who practice medicine inside.
Jesus Christ is greater than anyone else. I know this based on experience. It has taken many years to convince me of that He is greater but I am still not fully convinced. How can I say that? Because there are still areas of my life that I withhold intentionally or unintentionally from the Lord. If I truly believe that Jesus is greater than anyone or anything else, I would be quick to surrender my life to His Power, Authority and Love. God send Jesus Christ into this world to reclaim His Children. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. God gave Jesus His Spirit without limit. He put everything into the Hands of Jesus Christ. This is the Truth. Whether or not we believe in God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit does not change the reality of the Trinity, but it does determine whether or not we have a better life. God becomes greater in our life when we choose to believe and choose to live what we believe by trust.
John 1:14-16 (NLT)
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’” From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.
There is no one greater by God. (Hebrews 6:13-17) There is no one greater to swear by because He is the greatest in all the earth. I belong to that Great God. (I John 4:4) He sent Jesus Christ into this world so that I would believe such a thing. (Matthew 3:11-13) When Jesus Christ came to the earth, it was as God’s Word wrapped in flesh. He is the Truth that we have been waiting for to bring us a better life. In Him is everything we have been promised even more than we can think to ask for. It’s all there. God put everything in His Hands remember? To believe in Jesus Christ is to trust everything that God has ever said including His Promises and His Commandments. It is to know the unfailing love and faithfulness of God. God’s Great Grace has granted us the ability to step into righteousness (or right standing) with Him right now with no strings attached. (Romans 5:17) Whatever is holding me back is of my own doing! From the abundance of God found in Jesus Christ we access the higher standard of living once forsaken by sin. It is our inheritance and cannot be earned but is left to be enjoyed. Is your life filled with joy and peace that exceeds the emotions of your current situation? (Psalm 4:6-8) In the midst of hardship and suffering because let’s face it this world is a tough place to live, do you have greater comfort than ever before? (Psalm71:20-21) Do you know the greatness of God firsthand? (Psalm 135:5) By choosing to believe in God’s Greatness, you will gladly begin to surrender ALL the broken pieces of your life leftover after several attempts at self-preservation to find that when you keep less for yourself – He will become greater and give you more and more of the things that satisfy your soul! By believing that He is great, you will access the “greater” things in God experienced by those who live in His Presence. Believing is a powerful force that immediately connects Heaven to earth in the life of a Christian just as Nathanael (John 1:47-51) and Peter (Matthew 16:15-19)
John 4:11-14 (NLT)
“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
It is very easy to get tied up in the world we live in. It is here and it is now. We give our time and attention to things that don’t really matter and forget what life is really all about. As I indicated before, the institution that our son receives treatment from is just a big building. It is run by corporate executives and most of them were at one time or another practicing physicians who have long left the patient’s bedside. In fighting for our son’s care to continue, it became clear that someone had to leave the desk, chair, computer and ledger of accounts to make the journey back to the side of patients. I poured out my heart in letters and sent them out praying that someone’s heart would change back to the side of the patient. Well, I found out the other day that someone’s did. A doctor who is now an executive who doesn’t practice medicine hands on anymore read the letter and began to turn things around. Our son’s doctor put her career on the line to fight to treat our son at her facility. She offered to do so without payment to insure that he would live and not die. It was a hard fight that has left black marks on her flawless record as they want to know why she sided with the patient and not the institution. She did it because she believes that this treatment will save our son’s life and put her own life on hold to make sure that it happens. She believes. The woman at the well believed that the “well” supplied what she needed and satisfied her thirst. It was not the well but the water in the well that allowed her to live and not die of dehydration. When Jesus came His Message was clear. The water will satisfy your thirst now. Living water will satisfy you with eternal life. Are we looking at the well? Did we forget about the water? I have to have a rope and bucket to get the water from the well to my waiting body. But it is the water that satisfies thirst. I have to believe in the water enough to continually go to the well, put the energy into drawing from it to fulfill my desire for water. If we believe that living water will indeed satisfy our soul, we will begin to do what is necessary to get that water inside of us and keep it flowing in our life. This belief creates a powerful force inside of us that makes us less as the great abundance of God begins to flow through our life thanks to His Spirit that is limitless within us.
2 Corinthians 3:7-11 (NLT)
The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!
What if making Jesus greater and greater while I become less and less is not so much about me but all about Him? The power that changes things in my life is to believe. Faith turned to confident hope puts all my trust in the Greatness of God releasing me from human outcome. Rather than furiously pumping the Word trying to extract a promise or blessing here and there, if I will just drink in Living Water daily – He will overflow his Glory in my life. We need to stop “working” so hard and worship more. We need to stop “pressing” so much and “praise” Him. Our promises are sealed with the Greatest Name of all and by believing we access the “everything” that Jesus has for us. It is time to stop working the well, and drink in Living Water. You will be satisfied. Your less will become more. You will have a better life right where you are in this moment, in this season, in this lifetime all because you believed. Following the commandments of God is good, but following Jesus Christ is glorious!
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.