Two Basins

[Thanks to Pastor Carey Pratt who provided the basis for this blog.]

In John 13, we have the interesting story of Jesus’ washing the disciple’s feet.  The background is that it was the custom for those hosting a dinner to see that the guests feet were washed before the meal. Remember that people wore sandals not shoes as this time and their feet could become very dirty from walking the unpaved roads of Jesus’ day. It was the

basinresponsibility to see that a slave (or servant) washed the guests feet but for some reason there was none present.

No one, except Jesus, wanted to assume the responsibility of serving others. After Jesus washed their feet he said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” The example Jesus spoke of was not the act of washing feet but an example of responsibility to serve others.

Not less than twenty-four hours, we find another person using a basin. But this time, it is not the basin of responsibility but to wash hispilate hands FROM his responsibility. Pilate tried to release Jesus but the mob would not allow that. So, “When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”  He had the responsibility to see justice was carried out.

From these two accounts, that appears only two options for the true Christ-follower. Take up the basin of responsibility or refuse the responsibility of serving others.

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Who Is Your Hero?

The dictionary describes a hero as “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.” I agree with that definition but in today’s cultures almost anyone can be a hero; from being a celebrity to a MVP athlete. But being a hero is more than having your picture on a box of Wheaties.  As usual, the Bible goes contrary to man’s ideas. Isaiah 55:8 

Most people today think greatness [being a hero] is measured by possessions, power, and prestige. The Bible says just the opposite. Jesus told His disciples the way to greatness is down; not up. “Whoever wants to be the most important must make others more important than themselves. They must serve everyone else.” Mark 9:35 {ERV}

Some time ago, I saw a video that portrayed that verse. A father that totally gave up his rights to serve his son. Please watch the attached video.  Team Hoytdick

The Hoyts ran their 32nd Boston Marathon and they say it will be their last as a duo. The Hoyts had planned to make the 2013 Marathon their last because Dick is 73 and Rick is 52, and Dick’s increasingly painful back was barking out instructions to give it a rest. But after the bombings at the finish line, and after the Hoyts were among the more than 5,000 runners who were stopped before completing the 2013 race, they decided to come back to finish their personal race and to honor the human spirit of those killed and injured at last year’s race. It was 7:37:33 when the Hoyts finally reached the finish line.

Father and son are my heroes.

Looking Beyond The Seen

When I was young, I remember seeing a movie  that really fascinated me. It was called “The Invisible Man.” I thought how cool it would be if no oneinvisble could see me! Just think of all the mischief I could get away with! I could go wherever I wanted and no one would notice me! I could move things and people would be shocked, wondering how the object moved. I could whisper things to them and though they could hear me, they would not be able to see who was speaking to them. I could touch their arm but again they could not see who had touched them!

Yet, there there is a Person that walks among us, speaks to us, touches us, and works it our lives everyday and we are often not aware He is there! God is invisible, though we see hints of His activity all around us.  Colossians 1:15

Biblically, one of the reasons we pray is to improve our spiritual sight.So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18  But how do you focus on what you don’t see? It is all a matter of focus or what you pay attention to. We end up looking like the things we focus on. When we look at Jesus, we become like Him.  “Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus” Hebrews 12:2  Don’t be fooled. Your heart follows your focus. Jesus basically said in Matt. 6:21 “Whatever you pay attention to, that is where your heart will be – and that is what you find yourself desiring.” 

Our attention does not follow our hearts as much as our hearts follow our attention.

 

 

“Grace” Is Not The Girl Next Door

graceGrace is an amazing thing. There is no  way it makes sense. It is God chasing us when there is no reason for it. We matter to God and there is nothing we can do to alter it. The obvious question is, If God is really like this, what prevents people from taking advantage of His grace? Grace is a face-to-face encounter with God’s love and when that love happens, you end up loving God back. It is impossible to take advantage of grace, because if you really get it, it gets you.

No matter where you you are, grace always brings change. BUT grace yields freedom from sin, not freedom to sin. Justifying sin by appealing to grace sours the grace  experience by turning it into something God never intended it to be.

You cannot experience the grace of God and continue being bad. If you are being bad today, it’s because you are not experience grace today.

God is not the one who makes life ugly for us. But there are times He backs off and our own ugliness takes over. It’s called judgement. the but getting out from under judgment is a simple matter. If you are heading west for 50 years, then turn to head east, the change is instant, you are now heading east. Getting out from under judgment is a simple matter. As long as you have breath , there is hope. So do you want  to be healed of graceless -living ? Then do a 180. You won’t regret it.

Old Life vs New Life

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 You have probably heard people say, “I am a sinner saved by grace.” I used to think that but recently I have changed my thinking. As a Christ-follower; I am no longer a sinner but a saint. Romans 1:7 Salvation has rewritten my history. God no longer remembers my sin. Hebrews 8:12 

Many Christ-followers look at their life in Christ as living the old-life better.You cannot live the old life better because “the old has gone.” [Past tense; no longer exists] Salvation is not a better “version” of the old you. [The new is here; present tense] We become righteous through Christ. Philippians 3:9

As long as we think about past sins, we can never live the new life in Christ.  It is only as we claim of new life in Christ that we will receive the benefits of being a child of God.

Missing The Obvious

I was in a book store a couple of weeks ago and the title of a book caught my attention; “Learn to think like Sherlock Holmes.”  Subtitle: Learning to see the obvious. I have always been intrigued with the deductive ability of Sherlock. It got me to thinking; I wonder how much of the “obvious” we miss during our day?

Let’s take a little test. We are all familiar with the FedEx logo but did you ever notice the obvious in the logo? [Answer will follow]In Luke 24 we find a “cannot see the forest for the trees” story.Two grief-stricken disciples are walking the Emmaus road discussing the recent death of Jesus. Suddenly, the risen Christ joins them but they do not recognize Him. (No, I cannot explain it.) But then again, don’t we often fail to recognize God working in our lives? God answers our prayers but not in the way we expected. Missed Him. An unexpected check comes in the mail – God at work? An encouraging phone call from a friend- did God prompt them to call?

Tomorrow, be alert to what is going on around you; you might find God at work in your life!

ANSWER TO FED EX LOGO: There is a white arrow between the letters E and X.