John 3:30 (NKJV)
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
We live in a very self-centered world, and in some cases, we are forced to adhere to this mindset. When we look at this mindset however, we can see how far short it falls in terms of our Christlikeness. The world is full of I, I, I, and me, me, me, we are called not to be like the world, but more like Jesus. But what does it look like to live a life where He increases and we decrease?
A Changed Life
We enter this world a sinner, and it is only through God’s amazing grace that we do not die in that same condition. 1 John 3:1 goes as far as to call us children of God! I think of all the blessings the Lord has bestowed upon me, this distinction is the greatest. So if we were a sinner and we are now saved by faith, we should look like… well... children of God.
It is truly a world of opposites when we look at our life before and after Christ. If Jesus increases in our life there should be certain fruit from this growth. There is bound to be certain characteristics that should be very evident in our lives.
Goodness - As mentioned before, when we live for self, our lives are full of me’s and I’s. If we want to live a godly life, it should be more about caring for others. Our lives should be marked by goodness.
Graciousness - The definition of gracious is to be courteous, kind, and pleasant. As we live more and more for Christ, all three of these attributes should be forever increasing.
Holiness - Being holy is being dedicated or consecrated to God. It would make sense that the closer and closer we become to God, the more dedicated to Him we will be!
Love - If goodness, graciousness, and holiness increase in the believer, the natural result should be a life lived in love.
Righteousness - Being righteous or morally right, should be the ultimate goal of the believer. To become acceptable to God is not possible without the increase of Jesus and the decrease in self.
The natural tendency may be for us to revel in self, to sow to the flesh, but if we sow to the Spirit instead, we can allow God to increase in us.
If we are following closely in our Father’s footsteps, we should be living a life of increase and decrease at the same time. The goal of the follower should be that He continually increases as self constantly decreases. Looking at the godly characteristics above, continually search your heart to see if there is visible proof of a godly increase in your life. Praise God if there is, if not, amen, we all have a long way to go and we can do it together!
2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,