Wow, can you believe it’s November already? November means lots of things: more fall colors and increasingly bare trees, increased stress levels as the holidays approach, more sickness, more layers, and, for those of us whose football team isn’t having the best season, increased anxiety about the post-season.
Did you notice a theme in that list? Looks like lots of “increase”! Just writing that list made me think of a familiar Bible verse:
He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30)
Pastor S. Lewis Johnson once said that these seven words were “extremely important to understanding the source of joy.” Firstly, we must know, understand, and acknowledge Jesus’ place: He must increase. Then we must necessarily know our place: we must decrease.
This is indeed an important call to pastors, for those who elevate themselves, whether blatantly or subtly, deny their flock the joy of seeing Christ. This verse is also a call to each and every Christian, though. Our truest joy is found when Christ is exalted and when He is first in our focus, is it not? I’ll let Johnson sum this up:
There is a logic here because as he increases necessarily I decrease. For the more I am occupied with him, like the red oaks in the spring when the sap begins to rise in those red oaks, those dead leaves that have been hanging onto the tree all through winter finally begin to fall off. And the manifestations of the old life leave as the sap of the new life in Christ becomes predominant in the life of a Christian occupying with him. (Source)
Okay, with that, there doesn’t seem to be a point in making you wait any longer for your week in review (kind of):
- True confession: I’ve never read Ann of Green Gables.
- I actually think William Farel might be my favorite Reformer.
- Some good points in here: “if we accept bad theology on the basics, our ethics are going to follow suit.”
- So, where do we find truth?
- Here’s the latest on last week’s slaying in a Pittsburgh synagogue. That situation is so terribly heartbreaking.
- How Martin Luther came to be born again.
- So, caller ID spoofing is a thing. I’ve been a victim on both sides, namely, I’ve been called by a spoofed number in an attempted scam, and I’ve had my number spoofed. Neither one is cool.
- In case you missed the World Series.
- You should know about Emily Thomes.
- On the death of Ulrich Zwingli.
He is a shepherd-king. He has supremacy, but it is the superiority of a wise and tender shepherd over his needy and loving flock; he commands and receives obedience, but it is the willing obedience of the well-cared-for sheep, rendered joyfully to their beloved Shepherd, whose voice they know so well. He rules by the force of love and the energy of goodness. His power lies not in imperious threatenings, but in imperial lovingkindness. —Charles Spurgeon