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August 18 – Life Motto

Companies brand themselves in people’s minds with mottoes. Sometimes the mottoes are advertising slogans and sometimes they’re meant to motivate a company as well as inspire the public. Let me give you a few examples and see if you can identify the company or product involved: “Things go better with ______.” “You deserve a break today.” “Where’s the Beef?” “Have it your way.” “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” Each of those mottoes or slogans remind you of what the company or the product is or does. They make you want to believe in that product and use it, or patronize their companies. The answers, by the way, are: Coke, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and M&M’s.

Companies spend fortunes developing just the right motto. The motto must be catchy and appropriate. It must be specific enough to make people realize which company or product the motto refers to and leave the customer with a positive feeling. As John dealt with his disciples they were getting upset that Jesus was being recognized more than John was. There was a lot of jealousy as they wondered why it was that people were flocking to Jesus instead of John. John gave a couple of explanations, and then stated a line that should be a motto for every Christian to live by. “He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30)

It must have been hard for John’s disciples. They had hitched their hopes on John. Like many, they must have wondered if he was the Messiah. John kept denying it, but perhaps they “knew better.” They probably looked at each other with a wink and a nod as they said, “Ok, John, you’re not the Messiah. We understand that,” while waiting for him to overthrow the Romans and show everyone that he really was Many the Messiah. Only, he wasn’t the Messiah. He was to prepare the way of the Messiah. When the Messiah came, John bowed out and pointed people to Jesus. When Jesus came to be baptized, he sought to switch roles and be baptized by Him. When Jesus was around, he pointed people to Jesus. He didn’t hold onto his followers or recruit new ones. He directed people to Jesus. He told them that Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He sought to make himself less in the eyes of the world so that they could think more about Jesus – the true Messiah. Some, but not all, of John’s disciples left to follow Jesus, but many stayed with John.

Many years ago I used to drive into a town where a local pastor had his face on the billboard and his name in 12 foot high letters: “John Doe” then in 4 foot high letters: “Presents” and then in about 6 foot letters: “Jesus!” I always cringed when I saw that because it gave me the impression that the pastor thought he was the most important part of the message. I share this message each day to share with you how God is working in my life. You’ll note that I include a link to the Bible passages I read each day at the beginning. The reason for that is that if you read the Bible passages and skip the commentary, you’ll be better off than if you just read this commentary. Why do I say that? Because God’s words are more important than my words. I want Jesus to become greater in my life, just as I want the same for you. I want you to read these words and recognize the hand of the amazing God who loves me behind them. Our focus, as followers of Christ, should be to let people know about Jesus, not draw the attention to ourselves or our ministries. It’s Jesus who gives our lives and our ministries meaning. Without Him we have nothing special to offer the world. Will you join me in taking “He must become greater; I must become less” as your motto for life?

Lord, remind me that it’s all about you. Help me to realize that I need to think more of You every day.


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