Monday, January 26, 2015

John 13: 4-5, 14-15

John 13: 4-5, 14-15
He got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Jesus said to them, "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you."  

Jesus, My Lord and Teacher,
You reign in power with full authority over heaven and earth. Yet You left Your heavenly kingdom and became fully human to teach me Your ways. Out of deep devotion to Your Father, You voluntarily laid aside Your own rights and privileges to model the attitude of a servant.

Thank You for stooping down to wash filthy feet in order to teach me how to humbly serve You and others. If You, the Prince of Heaven, can take on the unappealing task of washing muddy feet then who am I to stand around, watching, and waiting for someone else to do the dirty work?

Humble my heart today. Fill me with a willing spirit and power to get up and go do whatever needs done for Your glory. Full of Your power, I will ...

Shamelessly stoop down to do unpleasant tasks
Eagerly serve others even when it's untimely
Risk my reputation to reach out and touch the unattractive
Value the dignity of human life more than my power or position
Express the full extent of Your love, even to the unappreciative

Father, with all my heart I want to be more like Jesus. Open my eyes to see who I can serve today. Out of love and respect, I will do whatever You ask, anticipating the rich reward You will give me because of Jesus. Amen

Are you willing to follow Christ's example? Whom can you serve today?

Nobody likes a know it all!
Chloe is brilliant. She knows a lot, especially about the Bible, and she isn't afraid to use it to teach, correct or rebuke people. The problem is its constant in-your-face correction. Because it's not gentle or loving, it comes across as arrogant, self-righteousness and pushes people, including me, away.

On a recent Sunday I invited her to join me for lunch after church. Over tossed salad and iced tea, I listened to her spew vengeance.  I thought, "From the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. This woman is really bitter." She just needs someone to listen and love her. But, how do you love a porcupine?

Empathizing with her, I later felt prompted by God to invite her to my home for coffee. She readily accepted my offer. For two hours we sat at my dining room table. She talked. I listened. I could see the pain in her eyes, and hear the hurt in her heart. Life had dealt her some really hard knocks that hardened her heart. Behind the constant hardcore need to correct others is an insecure woman who just needs Jesus.

Valuing the dignity of her life, I stooped down and served her for Him. 

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