To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.’ John 3:27 (NIV)
John the Baptist is approached by some trouble-makers. Does there just always seem to be some who will stand up to hinder the work of spreading the Gospel? When they see methods which run contrary to their own, would some people prefer to make a commotion rather than praise the Lord that people are being brought to Him? These men who came to squabble with John tried to throw some low punches. They pointed out that Jesus was now beginning to steal the show. People were turning to Him. Were they looking for a reaction in John? Did they think this would hurt him to hear? If he were not on a true mission from God, do we think that perhaps their words might have had that affect? But what reaction did they find?
When we read the Scriptures do we get excited when we see characters who were not merely satisfied with the world around them? Is it extremely pleasing when we find people like John, who were sincere enough to look beyond our noisy lives here? Does it lift our souls when we discover someone who is so focused on what God is doing, that they just don´t get upset when faced with all kinds of difficulties? Here are people who are showing John that his audience is leaving him to find themselves with Jesus. John is so intent on pleasing God that he is actually happy. Is it because the Spirit of the Lord rests upon a person who is truly committed to pleasing their Master? Are they able to rejoice because God is being lifted up? Are they overjoyed just to see God is moving in their lives? Are they filled with pleasure just to witness others coming to know the Lord that they know and love?
In the response John the Baptist gives, can we find a special gem of great worth? When he mentions that we can only have what is given unto us, what do we read there? What does it mean to us today? Instead of listening to another man´s interpretation, how does the Spirit lead our own hearts closer to that of Christ? What could He be trying to teach us today? Is the Lord trying to tell us that we should each be satisfied with whatever portion is given to us in life? Is He telling us to look at our possessions or bank accounts? Or could He be directing us to look at what God is working on? Could He be talking of people around us? Could He be talking about souls coming to know Jesus? Could the Bible be leading us past the outward expressions and external circumstances? Could it be directing our attention to what is happening in hearts and souls around us right now?
So what has been given to us? What is our portion from the Lord today? Has He given us a special message? Has He given us a burden to pray for someone? Is there a needy soul to care for? Is there someone with whom we could share the love of God with? Is there just one person or an entire congregation who might listen to us? What will be our reaction? Will we be hurt if we find opposition? Or will we rejoice that the Bridegroom will have His bride? Will we be thrilled to hear His voice? Will we be happy that He is near? Will we be like John the Baptist who is overjoyed to have a friend in Jesus and to see Him lifted up? Will we rejoice that we can testify of Him and perhaps point another soul in His direction today?
Dear Jesus, what is our portion today? Will we be given little or will it be much? Will we have the opportunity to point to You instead of to ourselves? Let us rejoice in whatever portion You give us now! And let us rejoice to point anyone You give us today, towards You!