April 14, 2019

Final Week

Day 1: Whether you go to church a lot or not, sometimes we can miss, overlook, who Jesus is. Take a few minutes and slowly read Colossians 1:15-20. Do you see the power and authority that Jesus has? Jesus was there before anything was formed and has the most power of anyone in all creation, yet what did He do with it? He humbled Himself more than any other. The greatest king of all the universe bent low to serve His creation. That is who He is. The greatest power in the universe shows the greatest humility-- a Heart to serve. Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). The Heart of our Father, the Heart of our King, the most powerful of all the universe, is to bend low and serve. What power do you have? You do not have the power to create a rainstorm or rule those in authority, but we all have power because we all can influence people. So, what do you do with your power? How do you bend lower to serve others in more humble ways? Who are the humble in your life? Meditate on the one who is the most powerful in the universe who was with the Father from the beginning of time.  


Day 2: Jesus is the King who washes dirt. Yes, He washed dirt off the toes of the disciples, but on a much greater scale He washes the dirt off our souls. Notice the extremes in Peter’s reaction to Jesus washing His feet. Read John 13:6-10. At first Peter doesn’t want Jesus to wash His feet at all, then He wants Jesus to give Him an entire bath, even though Jesus said Peter was already clean! Peter was confused. Some of us may feel the same. We feel too unworthy or guilty, or perhaps because we are too proud to even admit that we have a need or that selfishness does reside in us. If you haven’t asked forgiveness for the sin in your actions and in your attitudes, imagine Jesus standing before you right now. Allow Him to wash from your Heart all your sin. Accept His cleansing and that you are clean. Unless we accept and allow His washing, we have no part with Him. Others of you may need to Hear something else. How often do we refuse to accept the forgiveness Jesus offers us? Sometimes we as believers may come begging to Him for forgiveness that He has already given. If He has forgiven you, are you still living as unforgiven?   


Day 3: How was Jesus able to do these extreme acts of humility? We get a clue in Philippians 2. Read Philippians 2:5-11. Notice that He, already being God, did not have anything to attain; rather, He laid down His life for us. Jesus was secure in His position as God yet was able to lay down His life. We have been given the life of Jesus, His righteousness, as a gift. Our standing and status before God is secure because it has been achieved by Christ’s work. The more we are sure of our standing before God because of Christ’s work, the more able we are to lay down our lives and serve because we have no need to attain good standing with God. Are there areas in our lives where we are feeling the need to be heard, to be known, to make a point, or to be noticed? These may be symptoms that we are not resting in our identity but feel the need to defend ourselves. If we have accepted Christ’s gift, we are taken care of; now we can take care of others. Remind yourself of the security of your position in Christ by reciting or looking up verses that describe who you are in Christ and what has been given to you in Christ.  


Day 4: When you look at a king, there are normally certain characteristics that help you identify Him as a king. He is dressed well, has many people surrounding Him (including some guards), uses His power daily, and lives in luxury. Contrast that with what Jesus describes as identifying characteristics of His kingdom: loving and serving. Read Luke 22:24-30 and John 13:34. Reflect on the characteristics of the world’s kingdoms compared to the characteristics of Jesus and His kingdom. What would someone looking at your life from the outside see? What would your children, parents, spouse, boss, those who report to you say? When are you the one to be served or the one who serves?  


Day 5: The greatest King in the world cleanses me personally and secures me as His very own child. As His child, He tells me to love others (His other children). As I become like Him in loving and serving, where do I start?  Start with the real needs of the very people who are before you now. In Jesus’s time, washing feet was a basic need, a routine and mundane task. Some may have felt it was beneath them, not their job, or simply didn’t want to do. Sometimes when we want to be like Jesus, we think of grand tasks, big projects, great ministries, things we do once a month with people from our church. That is one place to serve. But what about the other places and people we are with? Jesus served the disciples in an immediate, ordinary need. When looking to love and serve, keep it simple and real. Who are the people you can serve today? Ask God to show you needs you can meet today, and then keep your eyes and ears open. He will give you opportunities.  

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