Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Example

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should also wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” -Jesus (John 13:13-14)

Washing people’s feet back then must have been pretty gross. It’s not like today where we have shoes and socks, outside of the smell; it’s not all that dirty. Back then people’s feet must have been caked with dust, dirt, and sweat. Washing the feet was an ultimate sign of servant like attitude. Peter even refused to get his feet washed because of the posture it took. It took a servant to do the dirty work. But Jesus set the example that we are to serve others with humility and be willing to serve those who are below us.

To do this is hard, because we humans are incredibly selfish. I say this as a Christian, thus it proves that I am far from perfect. I must take Jesus’ words and apply it to my heart. But it goes against the grain. It goes against my nature. But that is what God has called us to, a higher calling, a call to live life like He did, a life that is different then the norm. He gave the example now I got to strive to follow.

Lord help me continue to learn and strive by your example.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hard Core!

So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him (Jesus)” -John 11:14
Thomas is pretty crazy. Either that or he was extremely stupid. The danger of Jesus returning to Jerusalem was eminent. He was a marked man with a price on his head. But Thomas knew the danger and said, Let’s do it! Somehow, I get the feeling that he knew. Thomas knew. He knew of the danger, he knew of the circumstances. But he stared in it and said, “Let’s go die!” What boldness.
These disciples confuse me, at times they show great boldness and then at times they are complete cowards. In this case I am seeing the more better side of what Thomas is really know for is, “the doubter.” For now though in this moment he shows great leadership. It’s pretty inspiring if you ask me. The lesson here is that we all should have this kind of boldness that Thomas has when the Lord commands us to do things. Often times God gives us a command, then we just kind of let it go. Or let it pass along the way. Thomas here is bold and says, “let’s go for it.”
Lord I pray for this kind of determination when it comes to following you. I pray for your strength and power.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Know when to bend...

But Neco sent messengers to him, saying, “What quarrel is there between you and me, O king of Judah? Is is not you I am attacking at this time, but the house with which I am at war. God told to to hurry; so stop opposing God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” -2 Chron. 35:21

Pride sucks most of the time. As you can see here Josiah was pretty prideful to go up against Neco. Even though he was warned that God was with Neco, Josiah went up against him anyway. I have no idea what Josiah was exactly thinking, but can kind of see what he could be thinking. You see there was war during this time and the Neco, the Egyptian King was asking for free passage, to make war against Babylon, now not too sure why Josiah just didn’t allow it, but for what ever reason he opposed to it. The commentaries say that either possibly he had an alliance with Babylon or he wanted to assert the independence of Judah. For both reasons, he should not have done it. When you oppose God you are just asking for trouble. The key is to know when to bend. Know when to get out of the way and just let God do the work. It is a senseless death Josiah experienced. But he did oppose God, because he felt he was right.

As I look at this I think of the valuable lesson we can learn from Josiah. Know when to bend. Pick your battles, and if God is against you, get out of the way. I can remember I job I had, though it was a great job, the supervisor that was over me did something extremely stupid and blamed me for the error. I pushed back really hard. Though I should have just let the issue go, I really wanted to be right. Well, let’s just say, yes I was right, but I am no longer at that job and I burned a bridge while I was there. In fact I am black listed from this company. That was time in my life where maybe I should have backed off. The older I get though the harder it is to do. But the lesson here from Josiah is to know when to bend, or else God will bend you instead. That is a tough lesson to learn, just ask Josiah, wait, you can’t because he died before he could live to tell.

Lord, help me to know when to bend.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Making God Happy

How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God? -Jesus (John 5:44).

What was most important to Jesus? Is to make sure you are getting praise from God. In Jesus’ life there was only one opinion that mattered. He did not care if his disciples approved of him or if the religious leadership accepted him, his main concern was to ensure that God was pleased with him. There was nothing that Jesus put before himself but God. God was first thought not the after thought.

Today is a good reminder that everything that I do must be focused solely upon God. I must strive for His approval. If we do not strive for His approval first then our lives will be in utter turmoil. Like the religious leaders who Jesus was addressing, they did not seek the approval of God first. They loved to be in the religious spotlight and their number one goal was to get approval of others. There are a number of times where the one thing I seek is to make everyone happy. I seek to the approval of others. I seek to be accepted. But that isn’t right. I must seek God’s approval first. I must seek Him first, and put nothing in front of me to gain His approval.

Lord I am sorry for not putting you first sometimes. Keep this verse in my heart so I can bring you glory first.