Christians must learn make Christ the centre of their lives and ministries. They must learn to focus attention of all to Christ and no other. They must teach that life is all about him.
John the Baptist’s outlook and attitude to life and ministry was that they were all about Jesus. Short of which life has no meaning and ministry makes no sense. He teaches us that:
- Knowing who we really are and who Jesus is and relating with him and ministering on the basis of that knowledge is the essence of our existence. Obviously true knowledge of His person puts him first before anything that we can ever aspire to be in life. Once we mix the order by swapping positions with Christ, we will have identity crisis in life and ministry.
- Knowing our subject well gives power to our testimony. Here Jesus is the subject of life and ministry. John the Baptist knew Him very well. He called him, the Lamb of God, the one who takes away the sins of the world and, the son of God. It is what we know about Jesus that we tell others. What and how we say about Jesus depends on what we know. Cultivating a deep relationship with Him is key in knowing him. The closer we are, the more we know him and the better we can testify about him to the world.
- Knowing our limits enhances our effectiveness. We have not been called to do everything in ministry. Let us not enter into a ministry that does not belong to us. John knew he was a voice calling in the desert. He knew he was called to baptise with water. He equally knew it was Jesus prerogative to baptise with the Holy Spirit.
- Knowing where to direct people’s attention reduces the temptation to call same to ourselves. John the Baptist knew to say, “This is the Lamb of God,” or, “This is the Son of God”. Whatever people thought to make of him he knew to equivocally say, ‘I am not the Christ”. If what we are or do is all about Christ then all the attention should be directed to him. He alone should be given all the honour, the glory and the praises for our successes in life and ministry. We exist to reveal the person of Christ to the world; not to project ourselves or ministry over and above Him. Neither should we block people’s view from seeing Christ with our ambition for renown even if people think we should be made known.
- Knowing that satisfaction and true joy comes from doing what heaven has assigned to us. It isn’t that we decide what in life or ministry makes us feel good. Strictly speaking, ministry is not about personal enjoyment. It is about God deriving pleasure from what we are and what we do. However, satisfaction here talks about contentment and finding joy that our call is from heaven no matter the circumstances surrounding us. It is the satisfaction that is glad to let Jesus be in the limelight and go back to sleep soundly that Jesus took all the glory for my efforts and successes.
- Knowing and consciously accepting that this life and ministry is not all about my personal gain. I therefore should not strive to compete or manipulate others to gain an upper hand over them. I should not fight or bring others down to be known as a great man of God. I should not scheme or stage-manage being in the limelight. John the Baptist understood the central position Jesus occupies in his life. He gave what should be a check to any Christian or servant of God that might want to project himself above Christ. “He must become greater and I must become less”. This should be the motto of all who truly and humbly follow and serve Christ.
If all we live for is about Christ, then let us make conscious effort to reveal him indeed. Let us not become like the tourist guide who after leading people to view magnificent works of arts in a gallery was no longer satisfied being just a guide but began to stand between the art and the people. The people soon got irritated because they had come to see the art works and not the guide. If people were to ask like they told Phillip “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” (John 12:21). Would you take them to him and then step aside for them to view Jesus fully or would you stand between Him and them, telling what a great servant of God you are? Remember: It is all about him. Will you let him be greater and you fade into nothing?
Namani J Nharrel