In The Background – Sunday Thought For The Day by Mychal Massie
The following was written for October 25, 2015 by Lawrence Darmani, “Our Daily Bread”
The outreach activities of our church culminated with a city-wide service. As the team that had organized and led the events—comprised of our youth music group, counselors, and church leaders—walked onto the stage, we all excitedly applauded and poured out our appreciation for their hard work.
One man, however, was hardly noticeable, yet he was the leader of the team. When I saw him a few days later, I thanked and congratulated him for his work and said, “We hardly noticed you during the program.”
“I like to work in the background,” he said. He was not concerned with getting recognition for himself. It was time for those who did the work to receive appreciation.
His quiet demeanor was an entire sermon to me. It was a reminder that when serving the Lord, I need not seek to be recognized. I can give honor to God whether or not I’m openly appreciated by others. A Christ-first attitude can subdue any petty jealousies or unhealthy competition.
Jesus, who is “above all” (John 3:31), “must become greater; I must become less” (v.30). When we have this attitude, we will seek the progress of God’s work. It is Christ, not us, who should be the focus of all we do.
Jesus, be the center of my thoughts, desires, and actions. Control me and use me.
The spotlight is the place for Christ.
John 3 focuses on three important personalities. The early portion of the chapter describes Nicodemus, one of the leading teachers of Israel, coming to Jesus by night to dialogue with Him about things Nicodemus admittedly did not understand (vv. 1-21). The second part of the chapter focuses on John the Baptist and his statements exalting Jesus as the great Bridegroom (vv. 22-36). Central to both of these accounts is the third and most significant person in the chapter, Christ Himself—the mystery Nicodemus couldn’t unravel and the wonder John praised. Bill Crowder