Closing the Gap 3.23.18

Christ the Servant

Week 11 Day 5

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:

What kinds of gods come from the minds of men?  Some are far off, aloof, and uninvolved. Some are powerful judges, handing out prison sentences and capital punishment.  Some are just like the men who invent them, gods made in their own image, conveniently approving of their actions and attitudes.  What kind of God actually exists? How do we know? We look at Jesus. Imagine that the entire physical universe is like the mall.  There are stores and restaurants, and it is filled with people. In this “mall-iverse” there are a variety of beliefs regarding ultimate reality…who or what has always been.  Some believe the mall is self-creating and self-sustaining; it is all that is or ever has been. They believe they are the products of the mall. Others believe in different kinds of gods and goddesses.  Some worship other people who live in the mall or who used to live in the mall, but have died. Then, imagine a door opens into the mall. This does not sound surprising, but remember, they believed the mall was the entire universe…there could be no door because there is no “outside.”  Through the door stepped a person who looked and sounded just like them, but he lived a life like no other human ever had. He did things inside the mall that were impossible for anyone else to do, then he was killed by other mall dwellers, but did not stay dead. Just as he had said he would, he came back to life.  He said this would be part of the proof that he was not just another mall dweller, but that he had, in fact, made the mall and everyone in it. Now people can stop guessing; they can know. They can know who God is, what he is like. They can know who they are and how they are to live. Think! Use your mind to consider God.  Not a god who looks somewhat like you, instead think of the God whom you look a bit like. Have you shaped Jesus into your image? Will you close the gap between your perception of him and the reality of him? Ask him to help you escape your own imaginations and to see him as he really is. Look to understand him in the Bible.  Read it with fresh eyes and an open heart. Don’t guess what he wants from you, rather read and know. The details of your life may remain mysterious, but the direction of your life is clear. You are to know and love Jesus and to make his love known. You are to live much like he did. He will help you unpack that today, if you will tell him that you are “all in.”  Are you all in?

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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