Month: March 2018
I am in California right now enjoying the Shepherds Conference at Grace Community Church. There are about 3500 pastors from all 50 states and from 60 different countries. There are men here who are not pastors but most of them are serving their church in some capacity. The preaching is amazing but the worship is like none other. Can you imagine a full orchestra, a choir of 300 men, and then 3500 in the audience together singing praise to God? These are powerful and memorable moments.
We heard four sermons yesterday, all of them had to do with the building of the church of Jesus Christ. One message was taken from the time when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. They were arguing who amongst them would be the greatest in the kingdom. None of them would take the job of the household slave, so Jesus takes off his robe, puts on the towel, takes the water basin and rag and begins to wash the feet of these men who were too proud to do this. The disciples were stunned into silence, except for Peter. He blurts out and tells the Lord that he is not going to wash his feet! Jesus turns the lesson into one of salvation and says, “If I do not wash your feet you will have no part in my kingdom.”
When no one else was willing to serve, Jesus served. When one complained, Jesus served. There was nothing to be gained by Jesus washing their feet and if no one did this then they would have eaten with hot, dusty, dirty feet. What things around us need to be done but we think those things below us? What things around us need to be done but we assume someone else will do it? What things around us need to be done but if no one does it it just won’t get done? Yet, if Jesus had not demonstrated humble servanthood here in this act, which needed to be done, what a great lesson we would have lost.
We need to adopt a basin theology. There were two basins in the New Testament. From this basin Jesus served his disciples and proved to them his power to cleanse and to save. Pilate had a basin too, from his basin he washed his hands from the guilt of crucifying Jesus. One basin served others, the other basin rejected the Savior and selfishly served Pilate. I want to use the basin to serve others leading them to Christ and salvation in His cleansing.
“Love not the world nor the things that are in the world,” has been the text of many sermons urging Christians not to follow after whatever thing of the world that the preacher wanted to preach against. That type of emphasis from this passage has created a negative attitude of “not loving the world.” While the commandment here is clear, Pastor Steve brings out that the key point of the passage is that we don’t love the world because we have enjoyed the love of the Father.
“The love of the Father” is the fulness of God in our lives loving us in spite of our sin and caring for us now and forever with His eternal love for us. When we enjoy the love of the Father we will love Him more than we love this world. This is the positive side to loving not the world; enjoy the Father
12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
We have two teachings in these few verses. The first one has come to be known as “The Golden Rule.” Jesus teaches us that we can expect people to treat us in the way that we treat them. In marriage counseling I always tell the husband that his wife will respond to his treatment and his attitudes toward her. People are responders. We see this most often in traffic. The second place we see this most exposed is in the family. If people treat you wrongly, the best thing you can do is to love them in return. Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you.” This is how we can break the cycle of mistreatment. Someone has to get off the marry-go-round and begin treating the other with intentional kindness and love.
The second teaching here has to do with the path to eternal life. There are not many ways to the same place, no, there is only one way. The way to eternal life is not the way of the world; it is not the way of ease. For while we long for the bliss of heaven, we have to travel the path of thorns to get there. God will bless our lives here and now but there is no promise of ease and prosperity. Ease and prosperity are the promises of this world and at times the world does deliver. However, as we saw last Sunday, the world is passing away with all that is in it, only they who do the will of God abide forever.
My friends, our hope is not nor cannot be in this life. Our goals for this life must reflect the eternal hope and the eternal rewards for being faithful to our Lord now. When it comes to life decisions we must keep eternity in view. When we see the promises of eternity: that view enables us to travel the narrow path here. Get a good look at the eternal promises then keep your eyes above and not below. Colossians 3 is a help to us. We are the few of this world who find the narrow way. Led by the light of the Father and the work of the Son we see the emptiness of the broad road and look forward to being with Him.
Sunday is our monthly dinner day at Grace for Life. This is always a time of blessed fellowship around the table as we enjoy the meals prepared by one another. I hope you can stay and spend lunch with us.
Pray for Pastor Bill. He is having some health issues and we are getting some tests done today to see if they can determine the cause.
Have a great day in the Lord,