Summary: “It’s All About Jesus”! It’s not about me. This New Year’s resolution is about lifting up the name of Jesus, making him visible, making him prominent in our lives.
It’s a new year once again! Hope you had a wonderful new year’s celebration last night. But I hope you’ll stay awake for the rest of this message. Some of you may not have gone to bed till 3 in the morning.
Do you have a New Years’ resolution? Some of the New Year’s resolutions that people make are the following according to one list I read:
1. Spend more time with family and friends
2. Be fit.
3. Tame the Bulge
4. Quit Smoking
5. Enjoy Life More
6. Quit Drinking
7. Get Out of Debt
8. Learn Something New
9. Help Others
10. Get Organized
Is yours in the list? Or you have something different? Or your resolution is to never have another New Year’s resolution again? For those of you who have a hard time keeping your resolution, here are some suggested resolutions that will be easy to keep, according to another list I read:
1. Read less.
2. Gain weight. Put on at least 30 pounds.
3. Stop exercising. Waste of time.
4. Watch more TV. Don’t miss good stuff.
5. Procrastinate more.
6. Drink. Drink some more.
7. Start being superstitious.
8. Spend more time at work.
9. Stop bringing lunch from home: Eat out more.
10. Take up a new habit: maybe smoking!
11. Start buying lottery tickets at a luckier store.
12. Learn what "resolution" means.
Then there’s this woman who made a resolution every year about her weight:
2007: I will get my weight down below 180 pounds.
2008: I will follow my new diet religiously until I get below 200 pounds.
2009: I will develop a realistic attitude about my weight.
2010: I will work out 3 days a week.
2011: I will work out twice a week
2012: I will try to drive past a gym at least once a week.
Folks, what is your New Year’s resolution? Let me suggest one. How about becoming a new you in the New Year? I’m not talking about losing weight, changing your hairstyle, wearing new clothes and all that stuff. I’m talking about having a new perspective in life. Someone with a different point of view than the rest of the world.
You see, much of many people’s resolutions focus on the betterment of oneself. How we can appear nice and good to others, whether physically or relationally. But this resolution of becoming a new you is about putting the focus on another person.
And for this, we can copy the example of John the Baptist in the Bible. In John 3:30, he says about Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease”. Other versions of the Bible say:
“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” (NLT)
“He must become greater; I must become less” (NIV)
“He must become greater, and I must become less important” (NCV)
“This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines.” (MSG)
All of these are saying, in short, “It’s All About Jesus”! It’s not about me. This New Year’s resolution is about lifting up the name of Jesus, making him visible, making him prominent in our lives. Incidentally, as I mentioned before, our theme for this year is “It’s All About Jesus”. I want us to do things with the goal of always giving prominence to the name of Jesus.
Many sermons have been written about this verse we’re talking about this morning. And most of them talk about being humble. And I agree. John the Baptist must be a very humble person to let Jesus take the center stage even in the midst of a successful and thriving baptism ministry he had. But I want to put a different spin on this verse because of the fact that John the Baptist’s life was all about pointing everyone to Christ. It was about making Jesus prominent.
Today, I’d like to share with you how to make Jesus increase or become greater or take center stage while you decrease or become less or slip off to the sidelines. For Jesus to increase and you to decrease, first of all,
1. I MUST ADOPT GOD’S PURPOSE FOR MY LIFE
I have to adopt God's purpose for my life. That starts with a personal commitment. I say, “God, more than anything else I want Your will in my life. More than anything else I want to be what You made me to be. I want to do what You created me to do.” It starts with a complete commitment.
The Bible says this in Romans 6 “…give yourselves completely to God- every part of you… for you want to be tools in the hands of God, to be used for His good purposes.” When you adopt God's purpose for your life, your values and your priorities immediately get switched around. They change radically. Instead of becoming selfish, you become selfless. Instead of focusing on yourself, you focus on God.