Tuesday, November 03, 2009


A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. John 3:27

John was ministering at the Jordan River when some of his disciples came to him and reported that Jesus was also baptizing and they said, “Everyone is going to him.” That’s when John responded, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.” John knew he was not the Chosen One and he had always said he wasn’t. He said he came to prepare the way for the Chosen One. Then he said, He must become greater; I must become less (John 3:30).

John knew he would see the crowds around him begin to diminish. He knew his would see his own disciples leave him to follow Jesus. And he rejoiced in this just as the best man rejoices to hear that the bridegroom has arrived. It wouldn’t have mattered if he had tried harder to draw crowds. It wouldn’t have made a difference if he had used some gimmickry to get more people to come to him. He knew the truth, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.” Even if he tries to take more, he will only fail, because God is in control.

How does this relate to a pastor? More specifically, how does this relate to a church planting pastor? Do we believe this statement? Do we accept this truth that we can only receive what God gives us? Should we try all kinds of gimmicks to get more and more people to come to our churches? Should we covet the larger crowds who go to the established churches? Or can we take a stand on this truth? God will give us those whom he chooses to give us and there is nothing we can or should try to do about it?

Pride is a powerful thing. It is fundamental in all people to some degree. I think it is the most diabolical aspect of the fall and the curse. It was pride that caused Satan to be cast out of heaven. It is that same pride that makes us think we know better than God knows. It is that pride that makes us want to have more than God is giving us. We desire bigger crowds. We desire different spiritual gifts. We desire power and influence. We desire all the things that make us feel important. Those desires have to be put to death as we grow in our sanctification so we can honestly say that we only want what God gives us. We need to learn that Christ must increase while we decrease!


At 9:04 AM, Blogger kc said...

Hi Dave-
I loved this post and can see that you strive to live it at New Hope! Thanks!

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...


Thanks! You really encourage my heart! I appreciate and value your words!


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