Insane facts, jaw dropping plot twists, and too good to be true statements are all throughout scripture. But in reading Matthew this week I read something so staggering I had to pause and rewind and read it again.
Jesus is speaking here and is talking about John the Baptizer: Matthew 11:11 .““I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. ...”
At this point in history there have been some pretty great people who have lived.
His mother Mary!
And on and on....
People who loved God, and did really impressive things for Him.
And yet we see "greatest to ever live" title go to John? The wilderness weirdo?!
What city did He conquer?
What buildings did He build?
What money did He make?
What family did He raise?
And yet Jesus saw His life as great, as successful. What do we find about his life?
He had eyes turned to the Mesiah.
He lived committed to prayer and fasting.
He was focused on repentance.
He gave his life to make space for Jesus.
Many people take time at the end of the year to reflect on their "success". How much money they made, goals they achieved, memories they made, trips they took, boxes they checked. I am one of those people! There's nothing wrong with self evaluation.
But may we remember to gauge the "success" of the year to heaven's standards and scales.
How quick were we to earnestly repent of sin patterns and attitudes?
Did we welcome His help in prayer and truly pause to listen to His voice?
Were there pauses in our day and week to fast (or put down temporarily) so we could focus on His face?
Were our minutes used to help grow the Kingdom of God or simply to grow selfish ambition?
Did we regularly delight in the joy of our salvation? (Aka the reality that we are friends with God!)
May we too remember that "success" is measured MUCH differently in heaven than on earth. This month, as we look at Jesus we are accomplishing the most important success offered... friendship with Emmanuel, The King, The Messiah, Jesus.
In this advent season, just as John the Baptist was baptizing over and over in anticipation of one day seeing the Mesisah, May we go about our daily tasks with our hearts looking too at the eternal King!
Happy December! The darkness shall be broken... for the Light is coming,