Closing the Gap 3.19.18

Christ the Servant

Week 11 Day 1

Pray:

Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.

Read:

John 13:1  It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.  2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;  4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 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. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”  7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” 10 .Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”  11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 12 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. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Reflect:

Have you been disrespected?  Has someone treated you as if they were better than you?  Have you been ignored, felt as if you are invisible? Has someone laughed at you, treating your ideas as a joke? Have you been cheated, and were unable to do anything about it?  Have you been abandoned, disregarded, or despised? Who are you then? Are you worthless? What will you do? Fight for your rights, your self-esteem, your worth? Or will you wash the feet of the people who mistreat you? It is unlikely it would be appropriate to actually wash the feet of the people around you, especially those who think and speak ill of you.  But will you forgive them? Will you ask God to bless them? Will you pray that they will live lives that bring God glory and bring them joy? Jesus had loved these men for years in practical and powerful ways. Now he was going to show them the full extent of his love by dying for them. In return, he knew they would all turn from him in fear and even betrayal.  What did he do? Rise from dinner, stand above them and rebuke them for their ingratitude? No, he knelt at their feet and washed the dirt of the world from them. He would soon wash the sin from their hearts as well. What about you? How will you respond to the people God has given you to love? What if they are ungrateful? What if they are hateful? Will you wash their feet by responding to them as Jesus would?  “This is too much to ask! Who can live this way?” It is not too much to ask, Jesus has already demanded you give him your entire life. This, too, is included. You can, if you will. Close the gap on your love for Jesus and others. Right now, pray for the people who are the most difficult for you to love. Pray that Jesus would give you his heart for them. Your joy will increase; your experience with God will deepen.  You can do this…if you will.

Pray:

(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)

Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.

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