Decreasing to Increase


When the followers of John the Baptist complained about the increasing popularity of Jesus, he responded, “He must increase, I must decrease.”  In other words, when a new, greater reality is moving into your life, the old has to be pushed out of the way to create space for the new.  The level of significance you attach to people, places and things has to change. Even some good things have to decrease and become less important to make room for the greater things. Your role looks different and your identity undergoes transformation.  This can be disruptive and unsettling, yet it can’t be avoided.

Others will not always understand. All they can see is the decrease - what you are losing. You, however, can see the bigger picture and promise. You know that God never asks you to set aside anything unless he has something more for you. That, in His Kingdom, we only gain the great by being willing to let go of the good. What seems like a huge sacrifice to others makes perfect sense to you.  You know that ultimately this is not about your comfort or popularity - it’s about the glory, power and fame of Jesus Christ being revealed in you and through you.


John 3:26-31

“And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!” John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.”

Luke 9:24-25

“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?”

Mark 10:29-31

“So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”