a week ago today i had the honor of sharing in the closing general session of group’s 2013 kidmin conference. our theme for the day was “celebrate Jesus” and i was about to burst with excitement to share what i know God placed on my heart. we looked at john the baptist in the first chapter of john. wow, did he ever get celebrating Jesus. john the baptist truly knew who he wasn’t (“i am not the Messiah.” verse 20), knew it wasn’t about him (“i am the ‘voice’ calling in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord.” verse 23) and he knew the true worth of the One he was privilege to serve. (“the straps of whose sandal i am not worthy to unite.” verse 27)
through looking closely at john the baptist’s example, God showed me how we can so easily make ministry about us when we are simply the lamp stand for the Light of the world – Jesus. i was convicted about how the praise of man and innocent encouragement can quickly lead me to try to steal some of His glory! i have great strides to make in making it all about Him. “He must increase, i must decrease.” john 3:30.
as i continued to study the book of john, i looked for who Jesus was in each chapter. so i set out to memorize a truth of Jesus (and literally just a tiny glimpse of all He is) for each of the 21 chapters. how could i talk about celebrating Jesus without actually doing so? i know i haven’t begun to grasp it all, but boy how i needed those truths. see it turns out that i had some unexpected, additional responsibilities placed on me at the conference. i would be lying to say at moments i didn’t have the tendency to be overwhelmed. what a great gift from Jesus to be able to get away, alone with Him, and recite each of these 21 truths. see, i thought they were only for my talk on monday morning, but the Jesus in each verse seems to be who sustained me throughout the entire weekend. here is what i kept saying over and over to myself and also how i ended my talk on celebrating Jesus.
– in chapter one Jesus is the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us.
– in chapter two He is the mighty man of miracles.
– in chapter three Jesus is Savior and the only way to be born again.
– in chapter four Jesus is the Living Water.
– in chapter five He is Healer and equal to God.
– in chapter six Jesus is the Bread of Life.
– in chapter seven Jesus is the Christ.
– in chapter eight Jesus is the Light of the world.
– in chapter nine He makes the blind see.
– in chapter ten Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
– in chapter eleven He is the Resurrection and the Life.
– in chapter twelve He is the Son of Man lifted up.
– in chapter thirteen He is the humble servant.
– in chapter fourteen Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
– in chapter fifteen He is the True Vine.
– in chapter sixteen He is Overcomer.
– in chapter seventeen Jesus prays for us.
– in chapter eighteen He is called Jesus of Nazareth and King of the Jews.
– in chapter nineteen Jesus, our Savior, was crucified for us.
– in chapter twenty Jesus is ALIVE!!!!
– in chapter twenty-one Jesus appears to His disciples, tells Peter to feed His sheep, and we learn that Jesus did so many other things that the world could not hold the volumes of books it would take to record them!
i have loved my time in john (and have much more time ahead there), but God did something with the truths in those scriptures that not only carried me throughout the conference but encourage and hold me accountable each day as i go forward. i am thankful that even a small glimpse of Jesus shows us that He is enough. He can be our all and all. He is able and He is worthy to be celebrated!!! what do you need to be reminded about Jesus today?