Closing the Gap 3.21.18

By March 21, 2018April 8th, 2018Daily Devotional

Christ the Servant

Week 11 Day 3

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:

Jesus was much more than an example.  He was the savior whose death atoned for our sins. The fact that he was more than an example does not mean he was less than one.  To follow in his footsteps, as Peter said we are to do, no doubt means many things, but it surely means that we must be ready to be mistreated for doing the will of God.  Many are confused when they do the right thing and bad things happen to them. For some, all it takes to have a life free of challenge is to “check the boxes” on the obedience list.  If we do our part, then God is obligated to do his. Our part is to do good things and avoid bad things as much as possible. His part is to respond by doing good things for us and keeping bad things from us; it is a convenient arrangement.  It is also an illusion. It is a deal God never signed on to. Much of the promises of God are not for this life. In this life and beyond, the most precious of the promises is that we get to have relationship with God. There can be no doubt that living life in line with the will and ways of God maximizes human happiness and potential.  God does delight in those who delight in him. Furthermore, God’s ways “work” because they are in line with the way he has designed life. Yet, Jesus said that he was setting the example and we will be blessed if we follow it. What was his example? It was to serve others sacrificially. What was his blessing? He was betrayed, he was tortured, and he was crucified.  His blessing was not betrayal and torture, that was his sacrifice. His blessing was the glory of his Father revealed through his obedience. His blessing was our salvation. If we follow his example, we should not be surprised if people do not appreciate us, or even reject us. Our sacrifice will not bring about anyone’s salvation, but our example of patience in the face of suffering might lead someone to the Savior.  But even if it does not, it will bring glory to our Father. Close the gap on your faith and love today…that anger, disappointment, resentment which you have in your heart…turn from it. Jesus has set the example, now follow it. If you will, you will be blessed, even as he was; it is likely you will feel a decrease in anxiety and an increase in peace even in this very moment. Try it and see for yourself.

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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