Summary: 3rd message of 5 on John 3-4. Getting What God Gives is important if you are going to become a faithful servant of Christ. It’s not easy but it is a critical lesson.
From Mortal to Immortal
A Study of John 3-4
We are all Control Freaks
Control is a real issue for all of us. Of course, we can all think of someone else who is more of a control freak than we are.
Like the mother who calls to tell you she has arranged for you to meet yet another wonderful young man. “I want grandchildren,” she complains.
Or the boss, who at the end of the sales cycle, when you’ve exceeded your quota, demands your phone log on the first day of the new period. He sneers, “Is this all you’ve done today?”
And what about the spouse who never seems to think you can dress your self. You’re a jeans and T-shirt kind of person, but you’re your other half frequently comments to friends and family they feel like the city mouse dating a country mouse.
Dealing with a control freak isn’t easy and it’s definitely not fun, but what exactly is a control freak?
Michelle McKinney Hammond, well-known singer, speaker, and author defines a control freak this way: “A control freak is someone who is bound up in fear, and the only way they believe they can control their world is to control everyone else.”
Dallas-based speaker, radio host, and author Sharon Bolan defines it from another direction. “The root of controlling behavior is a lack of trust. If someone has experienced hurt from a previous relationship, then he will become insecure and stop trusting. He stops trusting people; he stops trusting God.”
You can discover the freedom and exhilaration of being out of control – as either a control freak or a controlled freak – by learning to trust God.
That discovery depends on you “getting” what God gives you. This is not and easy teaching. It is not easy to “get” what God gives – because it is not always what we expect.
If you can master this lesson it will serve you well at work, home, and in your daily walk. It will serve us well as the family of God too!
This is the story of John and Jesus
John 3:22-36 (NCV)
Jesus and John the Baptist
22 After this, Jesus and his followers went into the area of Judea, where he stayed with his followers and baptized people. 23 John was also baptizing in Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. People were going there to be baptized. 24 (This was before John was put into prison.)
25 Some of John’s followers had an argument with a Jew about religious washing. b 26 So they came to John and said, “Teacher, remember the man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you spoke about so much? He is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
27 John answered, “A man can get only what God gives him. 28 You yourselves heard me say, ‘I am not the Christ, but I am the one sent to prepare the way for him.’ 29 The bride belongs only to the bridegroom. But the friend who helps the bridegroom stands by and listens to him. He is thrilled that he gets to hear the bridegroom’s voice. In the same way, I am really happy. 30 He must become greater, and I must become less important.
The One Who Comes from Heaven
31 “The One who comes from above is greater than all. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and talks about things on the earth. But the One who comes from heaven is greater than all. 32 He tells what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts what he says. 33 Whoever accepts what he says has proven that God is true. 34 The One whom God sent speaks the words of God, because God gives him the Spirit fully. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given him power over everything. 36 Those who believe in the Son have eternal life, but those who do not obey the Son will never have life. God’s anger stays on them.”
John and Jesus
This is not the same man who wrote this Gospel. That John was a fisherman and had been called by Jesus to follow Him. This John was a cousin of Jesus. He had been born prophetically and had been raised as one who was destined to perform a noble task.
John the Baptist was raised as Nazarite. This does not refer to Nazareth but to one who is “consecrated” or “sanctified”; in other words – set aside for a special purpose.
Taking the Nazarite vow involved doing three things – normally for 30 to 90 days. (1) Abstinence from wine and strong drink; (2) refraining from cutting the hair off the head during the whole period of the continuance of the vow; (3) and the avoidance of contact with the dead.