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Thursday, January 22, 2015

John 13 - Humble Servant

Hello, my loves!   

I had to make a mad dash out of town, so I'm a bit behind.  I thought we'd jump on over to John 13 and learn a bit more about serving. 

Last week in John 12 we looked at Mary washing Jesus' feet with perfume.  Today, we see yet another foot washing...this one done by the King of Kings...Lord of all.

Read John 13 and let's chat.

Jesus and his disciples have gathered for the Passover meal.  They enter the room with dusty clothes and dirty feet.  Usually, a servant of the household is ordered to clean the feet of the visitors.  

Today, however, something unbelievable is about to happen.  The King of Creation will take on the job of the servant.  He will remove his outer clothes and bend down with a basin of water. He will kneel at the feet of his disciples.  WOW!  I can't imagine the sight! 

 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.  Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;  so 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. -- John 13:2-5

Jesus, the King of Kings,  became the humble servant...can we?  

Pay close attention to how Jesus treats the one who will betray him.... He washes his feet.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’  and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 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. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. --John 13:13-17

Let's follow Jesus' lead in humble service! Ask yourself -- Did Jesus also wash Judas feet? How are we supposed to treat those who persecute us?

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

ZOWEE! Jesus was really giving us guidance here!

Finally -- there is Peter -- How I relate to him! He's quick to speak, but often falls short. He claims he will always follow Jesus -- but Jesus knows better !  How often do I fall short?  

In spite of those faults, however, Peter is used in such a MIGHTY way by God!

I am glad God uses us Cracked Pots! Hooray!

See you in John 14!

PS -- Ask yourself:

___Am I growing closer to Jesus or am I distracted? 
___Am I willing to become the servant ?  
___Can I do the dirty jobs?  

I am asking this before work today! Now on to the task! 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Poured Out and All In - John Chapter 12

I'm a frugal person.  OK, let's not mince words.  I'm cheap.

John Chapter 12 begins with Jesus back in the home of my favorite dynamic duo, Mary and Martha.  Jesus is preparing for the Passover with his friends, including Lazarus, who, by the way, Jesus just raised from the dead in John Chapter 11.

While Martha is busy getting everyone served at the gathering (The Bible tells us simply "Martha served"), Mary kneels (ever the contented one!) and pours a bottle of expensive perfume on Jesus' feet.

What?  Perfume on FEET?  Expensive?  

Hmmm. I think I (a typical Martha) would have over analyzed this thing.  Why waste a good product ?  Do you really want to use ALL of it? 

What would the guests think? How embarrassing! Besides, perfume on feet is NOT practical! 

Mary gives no thought to practicality.  Her heart is all in.  She not only empties the jar, she then wipes Jesus's feet with her hair

Did I mention everyone walked dirty roads with sandals back then? Yech! 

I would have over-thought this.  But Mary....

Mary, her heart full of love, does the right thing.  She pours herself out.

Why can't I?

Jesus tells the gathering Mary is giving him perfume to annoint His body for death (Is Jesus predicting something here?)  BUT, why wait til death?  

The Bible says the room was filled with the fragrance of the perfume....NICE!

Judas protests.  He says the perfume could be sold for the poor.  Truth be told, old Judas wants that money within his reach....You folks remember who Judas is, right??? 

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.  He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it
                                                                                               -- John 12:4-6

I'm ashamed to say, I can be like Judas sometimes.  I wait.  I analyze, I hesitate to spontaneously serve my Savior.  In some ways, I betray Jesus.   

Jesus tells me to stop waiting.  

Just like we shouldn't wait til the funeral to send the flowers, we shouldn't wait to do what God wants us to do.  Right now.  No excuses.  

 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you,but you will not always have me.” - John 12:7-8

There is more to John 12, but I want to stop here and savor.

I think I need to ask myself a few questions.  How about you?:

___What am I holding back?

___Is there something I need to "pour out" at Jesus' feet?

___Do I need to do something,say something,forgive something or ask for forgiveness RIGHT NOW?

___Am I waiting until the funeral to speak what I need to say to a person RIGHT NOW?

I love you, Jesus.  Help me be less cheap.  

Help me pour out my love on you and others...without hesitation.  

More on John 12 to come... Read Chapter 12 and pause to think about it.