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God Deserves All the Praise


In the early 1950s, Billy Graham was becoming a household name. He had just returned to the United States from the United Kingdom, where he drew record crowds during his three-month crusade. Dining with a friend, Graham confessed, “I’m scared I’m going to get the credit for what God is doing, and that’s just not right.”

After a few of John the Baptist’s disciples became jealous that Jesus was baptizing people, they approached their teacher and complained (v. 26). John swiftly corrected their grumblings, giving several reasons not to grumble. First, John reminded them that the source of true ministry is heaven (v. 27). God is the giver of gifts and the author of life. In God’s economy, He is the supplier, and we are merely the workers.

Second, John the Baptist addressed Jesus as the Messiah (v. 28). John’s entire ministry centered on preparing the way for the Christ. In John 1:29, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” The forerunner to Jesus acknowledged, “The man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me” (1:30). He knew that he was merely a vessel for God to use in order to point His people to the Savior.

Finally, John reminded his disciples how he viewed himself in comparison to the Lord of lords. He likened himself to being the best man at a wedding. He was there to serve the groom. His joy was made complete when he saw Christ coming for His bride. John’s purpose was to decrease so that Christ might increase. He could have easily competed with his cousin for the praises of the people, but instead he chose to shine the spotlight on Christ. He made it clear that Jesus deserved all the praise.

Apply the Word

Your ministry, no matter how big or small, should be all about God. Billy Graham wanted his ministry to point to God lest he steal any of His glory. Praise God for the opportunities He has put before you. Whether your ministry is your family, friends, or congregation, remember it is not about you. God deserves all the praise.

BY Chris Rappazini

Chris Rappazini is the associate professor and program head of the BA and MA in Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. He is the vice president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and previously served as the associate minister of preaching and teaching at Southside Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their three children reside in Northwest Indiana.

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