NONE OF SELF, ALL OF THEE
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”—John 3:30
IT is how I am justified and forgiven. Not by the hopeless endeavour to win and fight my way to the favour of God and the Celestial City; but by looking to Jesus only, and by leaning on Him absolutely.
“Nothing in my hands I bring.
Simply to Thy cross I cling.”
It is how I find assurance. I am tossed with tempest, overcast with doubt, haunted with fear, while I scrutinise my frames and feelings ; but when I fix; my gaze on Him, so all-sufficient, so perfect, the morning awakens and the shadows decay; lo, the winter is past, and the flowers appear. For my own comfort I would see Him as a glorious Sun filling my firmament.
It is how I grow holy. While indeed I am bidden work out my own salvation with fear and trembling, it must not be as if everything depended on me : it must rather be by a perpetual faith in Him, and a perpetual prayer to Him, who worketh in me to will and to do: the battle is not mine but His. He sows the seed and He ripens the harvest. He lays the foundation and puts the copestone in its fitting place.
It is how I shall be glorified in the end. Self will have vanished in the better country, and Christ will be All. I shall follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. I shall find my safety, my peace, my victory, in keeping very close to Him. He will be familiar, and yet He will be new every morning. And I shall discover in Him a subject of study, and wonder, and worship, and love, that is illimitable and unfathomable.
Yes. He must increase, but I must decrease.