John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven… He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:27-30
We must have a fierce desire for the vision of the preeminence of Christ in all things to conquer all other motivations in ministry. When the seduction of self-exaltation is exposed and shattered, we are left only with a burning desire to see others love and extol Jesus above all else.
Please pray for me, that I may have both spiritual and physical strength to perform my duties; that I may not only speak the truth but become the truth; that I may not only be called a Christian, but also live like a Christian. Yet I do not want people to look to me as an example, for at best I can only be a pale reflection of Christ Jesus; let people look away from the reflection and turn to the reality. Christianity is not a matter of persuading people of particular ideas, but of inviting them to share in the greatness of Christ. So pray that I may never fall into the trap of impressing people with clever speech, but instead I may learn to speak with humility, desiring only to impress people with Christ himself. Ignatius of Antioch
To make much of Him while we recede into obscurity is the heart of the friend of the bridegroom. Such selflessness is only possible if an authentic interior captivation compels the soul of the bondservant. Only those who have gazed long upon the splendor of Jesus can turn and tell others of His worth. Only His friends can be the heralds of the majestic Bridegroom to His people.
For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:5-6