Sunday, September 18, 2011

"He must increase, but I must decrease."-John the Baptist

"....he solemnly affirms, that Christ must and will become greater and greater, and that he himself must become less and less important, until, like a star eclipses by the rising sun, he has completely disappeared.
A frame of mind like this, is the highest degree of grace to which mortal man can attain. The greatest saint in the sight of God, is the man who is most thoroughly "clothed with humility." (1 Peter v. 5.) Would we know the prime secret of being men of the stamp of Abraham, and Moses, and Job, and David, and Daniel, and St. Paul, and John the Baptist? They were all eminently humble men. Living at different ages, and enjoying very different degrees of light, in this matter at least they were all agreed. In themselves they saw nothing but sin and weakness. To God they gave all the praise to what they were. Let us walk in their steps. Let us covet earnestly the best gifts; but above all, let us covet humility. The way to true honour is to be humble. No man ever was so praised by Christ, as the very man who says here, "I must decrease," the humble John the Baptist."-JC Ryle

{Caravaggio (1573–1610)}
This painting is of John the Baptist's execution of being beheaded. He was only in his early 30's when he was finished with God's calling in his life. He truly is a great example for us all of genuine humility.


Craver Vii said...

When we think of how great a man John was, it seems like it would be a tragic loss to the people of God that his life would be cut short. Yet somehow, God accomplished much... indeed his full purpose for this man's life despite the fact that it was extinguished so young.

Caravaggio's paintings are amazing. His personal life... not so much. How could a man be so gifted, and not glorify the One who blessed him so much?

donsands said...

Nice to have visit Craver. As always, you bring out good thing my friend.

Seems some do have extraordinary talents, and yet they miss seeing their Lord in His fullness.

Guess that simply brings us back to grace; His marvelous grace. And yet God will have us answer for our ways in this life.