Tripped up by what we know. Authentic Ministry, Part 1

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1Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.  John 13:1-5

When it comes to meeting people and responding to their needs we are too often tripped up by what we know… or what we think we know.

But really Jesus knew.
He knew His hour had come.
He knew which of His friends would betray Him.
He knew the Father had given all things into His hands.
He knew He was returning to the Father from whom He had come.
And knowing what He knew, Jesus loved them to the end.

How often have I been hindered from loving people and giving refreshing  service to others because of what I knew? I can be wrapped up in the knowledge of my crisis, my distress, my judgments, my position, my rights.

But Jesus truly knows the Father. So He does what He has been doing from the beginning. He takes off His outer garments of power, privilege, and position, sets them aside and serves at the feet of His disciples.

Knowing the Heavenly Father makes all the difference.

The Lord of Heaven at Your Feet

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1Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,but is completely clean. And youare clean, but not every one of you.” 11For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?13You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.14If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.15For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.16Truly, truly, I say to you, a servantis not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.17If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

 

How could the servant’s task become so majestic?

 

Such honour in servanthood was indelibly imprinted on the minds of the disciples only when the Lord of Heaven and Earth disrobed and knelt to serve them.

 

This was more than a “before we eat lets deal with your feet” crisis.

 

This was a crisis of the heart. The disciples’ hearts where still unyielding to each other and to the common needs of their daily lives.

 

Peter would have preferred that Jesus pass over his feet.

 

But Jesus would not. And like Peter, if we refuse the service of Jesus for not only the regeneration of our heart but also the cleansing of souls we will miss out.

 

We will miss love.

 

And we will not love.

 

Love in motion dignifies and refreshes.

Wait in front of Jesus dear Church. Let’s receive Him for He “loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

(Ephesians 5:25-27)

 

He is the Lord of Heaven at your feet.

 

 

 

Others ~ Key Verses — GLORIFYTHELORD

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”  Philippians 2:3-4  NLT

I have a friend who says, “You gotta rock Philippians 2:3-4!!!”  His enthusiasm for treating others well and better than himself challenges me!

When Jesus touches our life we start to love others rather than use others. Servanthood means that I can temporarily suspend my own needs in order to attend to the needs of others. This means I’m sacrificial; I have a “whatever it takes” attitude in my circles of concern.  You know what annihilates service? Preoccupation with ourselves. Or a desperate need to be pumped up, propped up and applauded by other people. Or plain and simple — pride — we think we are better than everyone else. The Gospel meets each one of these black holes to not only plug them but to reverse the flow. Jesus transforms us into servants like Him. Now we can pour out our life secure in the knowledge of our unmerited, graceful exaltation with Jesus and by Jesus.

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others too.” Philippians 2:3-4

The Challenge of Servanthood

We are continuing our series at Cityview through the New Testament Challenge with this week’s message, The Challenge of Servanthood.  My published outline is below.

New Testament Challenge:  The Challenge of Servanthood

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”  Philippians 2:5-7

The Big Idea:  God’s servants serve without demanding special status.

Text:  Philippians 2:1-30

1. Humility and engagement are characteristics of the Christian servant.

Humility
A.  Our walk with Jesus begins with humility.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.   James 4:7-10

B.  Our fellowship with each other requires humility.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Philippians 2:3
Engagement
A.  Hopeful, obedient activity in response to God.  “If you have any…”

B.  Hopeful activity in response to the interests of others.

“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others.”  2:4

 

Jesus perfectly models the combination of humility and engagement God desires to bring out in His people.
See Philippians 2:5-8

Jesus did not strive or compete for domination.  Vs. 6

Jesus pursued the way of a servant.  Vs. 7

Jesus humbled himself accepting the world’s contempt.  Vs. 8

Jesus acted in obedience to His Heavenly Father.  Vs. 8

Jesus served even unto death.  Vs. 8
2. Christian servanthood cooperates with the Holy Spirit to lift up Jesus Christ to the glory of God the Father.

We serve under our exalted King.  See Philippians 2:9-11

“…it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his
good purpose.”  Philippians 2:12-13

 

3. Christian servants work together to infiltrate our generation  with the word of life.

“…so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life…”  Philippians 2:15-16

Our Cityview’s Olympic Plan:

Pray————————Serve————————Speak

 

Today, let’s commit to pray, serve, speak for and with those in
our circle of influence who are lost without the life of Jesus Christ.  On the ALPHA sheet write down their names.  At the end of the service turn this in and our team of intercessors will serve by praying for them.

 

4. Complaining and arguing destroys the effectiveness of our service in a world separated from God.

Do everything without complaining and arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault…”  2:14-15