You Do Things Worth Remembering When You Don’t Care About Being Remembered   2 comments

“Let my name die everywhere, let even my friends forget me, if by that means the cause of the blessed Jesus may be promoted.” — George Whitfield

This has been a hard lesson for me to grasp. I want Christ to receive the glory, but I want to be the guy who is there to be recognized as the conduit for His exaltation.

The sad thing is that I know the verses to know John 3:30, that “He must increase, but I must decrease.” But merely knowing and reciting creeds does me no good. Rather, I must know the heart of John the Baptist in John 3:30. There are two things John understood that I need to remember, and will hopefully serve your hearts as well.

First, John the Baptist realized that his insignificance, and that he was easily and quickly replaceable. In the assembly line of Jesus’ ministry, John did not consider himself to be an irreplaceable and customized part. Rather, the task given him was something that could be easily outsourced to China or India. He says in John 3:29 that he is merely the “friend of the bridegroom” that is just happy to hear the bridegroom’s voice. I know that if I had the role of John the Baptist, I would have a hard time thinking of myself in such an insignificant way. I could consider myself to be the best man. But John recognizes in this wedding analogy that the wedding is about the bridegroom and the bride. Really, all the other parts can be replaced and it doesn’t make too big of a difference.

Second, he recognized that his role in Jesus’ ministry was a gift of grace, not a fruit of his righteousness. He realizes that what he has in this ministry was “given him from heaven” (John 3:27). He knows that in this wedding party, he isn’t the great guitarist that is called to play the couple’s favorite song. Instead, Jesus comes up to him and says, “You have a voice and you are strong enough to hold a guitar. Play something.” John wasn’t the “voice of one crying in the wilderness” (John 1:23) because of the strength of his voice or the skillfulness of his speech. John recognized that he was given the task because he had a voice and he could handle nature.

Recognizing that you are insignificant and that your role in the ministry of Christ was given by grace is the prerequisite for doing what George Whitfield did. What exactly did Whitfield do? He was one of the founders of the Methodist denomination. (He was a Calvinistic Methodist… yes, they existed back in the old days.) He has directly and indirectly affected the lives and souls of millions of Christians around the world and throughout the generations. Why? Cuz he really didn’t care that people would know who George Whitfield was. John the Baptist? He didn’t care that his name would be remembered two thousand years after his death. Paul? Peter? They didn’t care. They were consumed with but one thing… the magnifying of the glory of Jesus Christ. If it was attributed to their ministry? Cool. If not, and their work was overlooked? Cool. All that mattered was that “the cause of the blessed Jesus may be promoted.”


Today is Memorial Day, and I want to remember it for more than just not having to go to school. In thinking of the soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the freedom that I enjoy in the United States, I invariably came to think about the soldiers for Christ who gave their lives to spread His name throughout the world. Some of those names we know. But there are so many who are nothing more than names and dates. There are names in my life–John Hurst, Jeff Clay, Nate Fung, Goodwin Deng–who helped, in one way or another, to bring me to the knowledge of the Lord. But aside from them, there are the ones who ministered to their lives who brought them first to a saving knowledge of Christ. These are names that most people, outside of myself, will not know. There are people in your lives who were formative in bringing you to saving faith. Remember these people today precisely because they did not want to be remembered… they did not seek honor from men, but ministered in secret so that they might receive the reward from their heavenly Father–the furthering of His Kingdom.


Posted May 31, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

2 responses to “You Do Things Worth Remembering When You Don’t Care About Being Remembered

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  1. amen brother, preach it! you’re one of my favorite blog writers mitch.

    hard to swallow for ME…i mean lower case m-e…thanks for the good soul nourishment!

  2. If that’s the case, Mike… you don’t read too much. 🙂 Thanks for the compliment, bro.

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