Saturday, November 17, 2012

You are not Awesome.

You may enjoy saving babies from car accidents on the weekends. You may love sacrificing all of your time and money for the poor. You may even wish you had more than two kidneys, JUST so you could give them to people who need it.

The point is, no matter how magnanimous and wonderful you may be (or think you are), you will probably never measure up to John the Baptist. Sorry, it's a cold world, I know.

Not only did this guy prophecy the coming of the Lord Jesus, but John himself was prophesied about in the Old Testament. (Malachi 3 & 4) He spent years in the desert, preparing his body, soul, and spirit to become the man that would pave the entrance of the Messiah. This task included living off of locusts and honey. I don't know about you, but that's not exactly The Ritz. John made it his mission to make sure that the incarnate Son of the Living God was properly welcomed on the physical shores of this earth, like a man welcoming the President of the United States into his home for the evening. But better.

My point is that, if we were using a grading system here, John would be varsity, while the rest of us are struggling to make it past try-outs for the rec team. And yet, when the Scriptures came to speak of his death, they told the tale and then moved on.

What I mean is, there was no long, drawn-out literary ceremony to commemorate the man who could trounce Mother Teresa. And not only that, but his death was humiliating! To give you the Cliff Notes version of the story, John essentially got killed because a teenage girl performed a lap dance for a king that pleased him so much that the king said that he would give her anything she wanted. Her response? The head of John the Baptist.

So let's recap a bit here: not only did John get a really skimpy eulogy, but his final breaths were handed out to him by the words of a teenaged girl. He didn't exactly get the VIP status for his funeral, if you know what I mean.

My point in saying all this is that we're not the point of the story here. If there was anyone who deserved the legacy of a king, it was John the Baptist. But yet, when his story ended, the world moved on. For those of you not following me yet: when you die, the world will move on.

Or, as Count Von Zinzendorf put it, "Preach the gospel, die, and be forgotten."

I don't care how much amazing stuff you've done. It doesn't matter to me that everyone you know thinks of you as the greatest guy ever. You could do things that go on to change the very course of this world, and when you're dead and gone, people keep on going. The one thing that doesn't stop?

God's glory.

Because, as God planned it out, His Glory is found in the exact same place as our perfect joy. The two are the same: the only place you will find true joy is in bringing God glory, and bringing God glory is brought about by our joy in Him. As John Piper put it more eloquently than I'll ever be able to, "He [God] is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."

My encouragement to you today? Stop focusing on yourself - it's going to end in your life sucking. Focus on Christ, and let him be the object of your desires. That is where true joy is found.


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