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Matthew 11:11 – Jesus said that John the Baptist was one of the best. This morning we’re going to look at Johns life and some lessons we can learn from his life.
There is something inspiring and intriguing about young people who are so on fire for God and that are “consumed” at a young age because of it.
A consistent theme in Johns life is that he gave glory to God no matter where he was.
Giving Glory to God in our Success
John 1:19-28 – Think about how John handled the success that he was having. John doesn’t try to defend his actions, he is honest about what he is doing and points to Jesus. He goes as far as to say that he isn’t even worthy to untie Jesus’ sandals.
Acts 12 gives us a contrast to this. Herod didn’t give praise to God when people said his words were “the voice of a God.” He was immediately struck down.
It’s not just that we shouldn’t take credit for something that we don’t deserve credit for, its also not speaking up when people think more of us than we are. When we are praised for something do we enjoy the praise or do we shift the attention to Jesus.
We are sinners, saved by the blood of Jesus. Any good that comes out of our lives should result in praise to God.
Giving Glory to God in the Success of Others
John 1:35-37, John 3:22-30 – The test of our sincerity in giving praise to God is when that praise or popularity is taken away. Can we still praise God? Johns disciples were concerned that Jesus was becoming more popular than John was.
John doesn’t seem to be threatened at all by the crowds that left to follow Jesus. He realized that this was all part of the plan. He recognized that the success and popularity he had was given to him from heaven.
John recognized the divinity of Jesus. John was 6 months older than Jesus was but he recognized that Jesus “was” before him.
If we can recognize any gift that we receive is a result of Gods goodness, when it is taken away it shouldn’t be nearly as difficult to let go of. The specific way that God chooses to bring glory through our lives should be up to Him.
Giving Glory to God in the Presence of Sin
Luke 3:7-20 – John got right to the heart of the problem of the Pharisees… “Don’t think because Abraham is your father that you are safe…” John didn’t just point out sin he gave practical advice about how to live a better life.
Our response when we see God being dishonored isn’t a “crazy reaction” to maintain honor. A life of disrespect for God and his ways will result in a bad end for that person. We should speak out against sin out of a love for God and for the person who is sinning and a desire to see all people have a relationship with God.
Our first priority should be boldness in removing sin from our own lives for sure, but we also have a roll to play addressing sin in others lives… especially those we are in community with as a church.
Giving Glory to God in Suffering
Luke 7:18-35 – John was an accomplished prophet and preacher, yet when he was imprisoned he was discouraged. He was convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, that He was the Christ. Now he had lots of time to reflect and think and began to wonder if he had made the wrong choice.
Praise for God is louder when it comes out of suffering. Suffering is an opportunity to give glory to God that is impossible when everything is going great.
Whatever situation we find ourselves in there is an opportunity to bring glory to God in it.