Not as Well-known, but Just as Important

When our children were in middle school, they began learning the capitals of each State. We learned the 50 States and their Capitals song, from one of the cartoon shows they liked to watch.  As I was “helping” them study, I thought I heard the song wrong. I went back and listened to it again and thought, “that is odd, they messed up the song.”  Imagine my embarrassment when I discovered the song wasn’t wrong, I was.  For years I believed the capital of Pennsylvania to be Philadelphia, Seattle was Washington’s and St. Louis was Missouri’s. Nope, Harrisburg, Olympia and Jefferson City would have won me the Daily Double.  What I discovered was there was a slew of others that most people get wrong.  Albany, Sacramento and Salem are a few you might have to look up.  Why were these specific state capitals commonly confused?  For the most part, it’s because there are larger and more well-known cities located in the state.  Studying the history of the states, we see that selecting the site of each capital was no easy decision.  Take Pennsylvania for example.  The state grew so fast that leaders had to move the capital several times before settling with Harrisburg.  Sacramento was the first California city to be incorporated and the center of the Gold Rush beginning in 1848. Just because other cities within their boundaries grew larger and well known, states cannot deny the historical value of their capitals, even when one city becomes greater and another grows lesser.   
I cannot help but think about the story of John the Baptist and Jesus.  John the Baptist was on the scene before Jesus.  His job was to call the people to repent and turn back to God.  When Jesus approached him about baptism, John said in Matthew 3:14, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”  Even though John was more famous than Jesus at the time, he realized who was most important.  He realized his calling and kept to his testimony.  A short time later, John’s disciples came to him complaining about Jesus becoming more popular.  His reply is recorded in John 3:27-30.   John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but am sent ahead of Him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom stands and listens for him, and is overjoyed to hear the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must increase; I must decrease.
What a great response and lesson for us today.  God has specific tasks for us and does not rank us greater than another.  When we begin ranking ourselves, we lose sight of the importance of the mission.  All of us should be working together to accomplish the will of God and not our own.  When we begin to rank in order of importance, we move into the category of fulfilling self.  Nothing in ministry for the Lord is about self. 
Whenever you feel like you are getting ahead of God, just remember:  He must increase; I must decrease. 
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.  1 Corinthians 10:31
Serving the Savior, 
Bro. Jonathan 

No Comments