Sunday, November 15, 2015

Servant Living


 
Jesus knew that the Father had given Him authority over everything and that He had come from God and would return to God.  So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around His waist and poured water into a basin.  Then He began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel He had around Him.  John 17.3-5

Jesus knew who he was.  He knew where He had come from and where He was going.  This was God, the Creator of the universe, King Eternal, Yahweh washing the feet of the one’s He had created. 

For the disciples, this was a “shock and awe” moment!  No Rabbi or any person of significant status had ever washed another’s feet.  It just wasn’t done.  The job of foot washing was always relegated to the lowest of the low, the refuse of society.

But Jesus never let society dictate His behavior, He never let it deviate Him from His mission.  He had come to serve.  Just hours from this moment, Jesus would demonstrate His greatest act of service, His coup d'├ętat, the cross!  Overthrowing the norms, the status-quo and turning this self-driven, people pleasing society on its head.

After Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He told them, “Since, I your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.  I have given you an example to follow.  Do as I have done to you.”  (John 13.12-14)

Do what I do. Serve each other. 

Having the heart of a servant was a way of living for Jesus and it should be for those of us who are His followers.  It wasn’t one act of service, followed by a myriad of self-driven deeds.  It was a lifestyle of service.  Unconditional service.  No expectations.  Service born from a heart that loves.

Jesus’ greatest act of service, the cross, came from a heart propelled by love.  And so should our service derive from a heart of love for those He created.

Unconditional service is never easy.  Unconditional service always has a cost but it is a way of life for those who choose to follow.  It marks us as true followers of the One who first demonstrated His love for us!

Lord, we confess in this every-man-for himself world, we have lost sight of this servant way of living.  We have allowed the world and its ways to color our perspective and justify our self-centered choices.  Teach us to have the heart of a servant and to live each day, following the example you set for us.  Amen
 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Thank You, Jesus


Thank you, Jesus . . . for rescuing me.

I was arrogant, self-seeking, and prideful.  I didn’t need You.  But You chose me and laid bare my depravity. A knife to my soul.  A necessary pain, to break away the old and form the new and I am forever grateful!  

For though He wounds, He also bandages.  He strikes but His hands also heal.  Job 5.18 

Thank you, Jesus . . . for giving me life.

A life everlasting.  A life that begins now! My old way of living was a meager existence, a barely-getting-by reality.  But now I’ve stepped into a new reality, a new way of living.  Embracing the journey You have for me, viewing my circumstance through a new lens, knowing You are shaping me with a future purpose in mind!   

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look God’s home is now among His people!  He will live with them, and they will be His people.  God Himself will be with them.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.  All these things are gone forever.”  And the One sitting on the throne said, “Look I am making everything new!”  Revelation 21.3-53

Thank you, Jesus . . . for making me Your beloved daughter.

No matter where I go, no matter what happens to me, no matter what someone says about me, I’m your child!  Nothing and no one (including me) will ever change that!  I am Your most precious possession.  You love me with an everlasting love. 

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!  1 John 3.1 

I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.  With unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself. Jeremiah 31.3

Thank you, Jesus . . . for your faithfulness to me.

You never give up on me.  You never throw in the towel.  No matter what I do or say, you remain faithful.  You are the SAME, yesterday, today and forever!  Your love for me knows no end.  My behavior never changes who You are.    
 
               Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Hebrews 13.8 

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease.  Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.  Lamentations 3.22-23 

Thank you, Jesus . . . for knowing me.

You know me and yet you still love me!  You know my thoughts, intents and desires.  You know what’s best for me, what I need and what I don’t.  You are always for me. 

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.  You know when I sit down or stand up.  You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.  Psalm 139.1-2 

Thank you, Jesus . . . for allowing me to know You!

You have given me Your Word so that I may know You. This isn’t a casual relationship but an intimate, personal, all-consuming one!  You are the lover of my soul and You desire me to know You.  

This is what the Lord says:  Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches.  But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone:  That they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things.  I, the Lord, have spoken!  Jeremiah 9.24