There is something God is doing to you and for you that may not know or realize. Something that will change you and your view of what you are and what you are to be doing if only you could see God doing this for you.
The scene is set some 2000 years ago in an upper room where Jesus and His disciples are taking part in the Passover Festival. God is there in Jesus, you and I are also there, vicariously, with the disciples. We are there as observers yes, but also as participants because Jesus Christ is showing to all the heart of God towards us and setting an example for us to follow.
John 13 (NIV)
13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, … 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. ……..
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.
God through Jesus has vicariously washed your feet to serve you and to set an example. Oh sure, I know you weren’t there in that upper room but if you were there, Jesus would have washed your feet. God the Son is doing that for you.
Matthew 20:28 (NIV)
… 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,
Do you see it, Jesus came to serve the Father and He came to serve us
And He gave us the greatest example of servanthood written in blood
This servanthood thing, this serving each other is very serious in the Bible and for believers.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh;
Here is a little context of that statement before we go on. Paul is telling them that are free from following all the OT regulations/laws like circumcision, dietary laws etc. because Christ has fulfilled all that and set them free. Just don’t abuse the freedom.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
We are free to serve each other
Jesus said I serve, you serve
Paul says it this way “serve one another humbly in love”.
Here is an other ONE ANOTHER – Serve one another, Serve one another
We were all meant to serve one another, not be inert, inactive, lethargic but actively serving one another
Some time ago I was cleaning out a drawer and came across a flashlight that I hadn’t used in a long time. I had put it there in case I needed it sometime. Looked almost new but when I went to turn it on. Dead as a door nail. It was in a nice warm and dry spot so I couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t work so I opened up the flashlight to check the batteries. I shook the flashlight to get the batteries out but they wouldn’t move. What a mess the battery acid had corroded the entire inside of the flashlight.
The batteries weren’t designed to be warm and dry: they were designed to be turned on, to light up the light, to be used, not idle.
Like us, the batteries are meant to be used and we are meant to serve not be warm, comfortable inactive. Serve One another.
We can serve each other here at Riverside in so many ways as many of you already do. I often think that it would be good if everyone picked up 1 major task to serve in and 1 minor task to help serve in at church.
Like: being a teacher in Kid’s club and help set up in our picnic/BBQ for outreach
Being on the worship team or help Josh in the kitchen
Being a helper in the nursery monthly or being an usher/greeter
By offering hospitality to others and making the bulletin each week
If we all did that we would be doing what Jesus told us to do, following His example of serving. Not only do we serve with our hands and feet by helping,
but we also serve by using our mouths, by speaking. By teaching, by encouraging, by singing, by admonishing, by comforting. These are all relational, one another stuff that our great God has asked us to do.
And there are serving things we can do that fit into a miscellaneous category:
Like: bringing critters to our outreach events,
making coffee each week or cookies each week,
working the sound system or projectors etc.
Here’s a true story on how you can miscellaneously serve / help others:
Elmer Bindiner relates the story of how his B-17 bomber plane was barraged with flack unusually hard during one bombing run over Germany. The gas tank was hit with a 20 millimeter shell, piercing the tank but not setting off an explosion.
The next morning the pilot went to the crew chief and asked for the shell as a souvenir but was told there wasn’t 1 in the tank but rather 11 unexploded shell. Enough to have downed the plane 10X.
The shells were sent to the armories for diffusing and then ‘intelligence’ showed up and took them. All exploding shells had no exploding charge in them, they were completing empty except for one. It had a tiny note in it written in Czech. When translated it read ‘this is all we can do for you now’.
THIS IS HOW THEY SERVED.
We must all serve each other, if we’re following Jesus, somehow, someway, everybody. I don’t know all the ways people serve here but there are many.
Everybody, let’s follow our leader and serve one another.
Here’s the negative side: I call it basin theology.
Pilate, took a basin, and washed his hands of Jesus, and symbolically washed his hands of following Him.
Jesus, took a basin, and washed the disciples’ feet (our feet if we were there).
Same type of basin, same water
Question: What basin theology do you believe in?
Know this that when you serve, when you figuratively wash feet you are serving God too. And when you serve do your very best, do it for God.
Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Each of you have a spiritual gift, it’s to be used in service to others. Whatever your gift is, pick it up and employ it and serve each other.
The body does not exist to serve its members but rather the members exist to serve the other members and that makes the body work. Serve one another.
Serving makes your life better and it makes others’ lives better. Win-win.
If you don’t serve and are only being served you will be unhappy, unsatisfied
If you serve and are never served you may become unhappy and resentful.
Solution to so much unhappiness
Serve and be served, that is body life, true authentic life, Christian family life