Holy Thursday (Part Two): Towel and Basin

The Christ-followers gathered with their Master for the last time before the circumstances and events of that night would overwhelm them.  Unaware of the approaching darkness, they gathered in an upper room to remember the Passover: how God delivered His people from bondage.  It was there that Jesus “showed them the full extent of His love” (John 13:1).  It began unexpectedly…

“…so He got up and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him.” (John 13:4-5)

Though the disciples we’re unaware of the approaching darkness, Jesus knew the path He was to take: a journey marked by indignity.  Yet this indignity was not outside His understanding or control: it would be something He freely submitted Himself to.  And so He took a towel and a basin – freely…willingly…lovingly.

The position He took was one of a servant.  It is the position no one aspires to have.  For our world believes greatness is found in position and power, influence and affluence.  Yet Jesus came to serve – to embrace indignity so our dignity may be restored.  He laid aside the glories of heaven for the indignity of earth, to pay the price for our sin…our indignity. He came to make a way for people to find their way back to God.

The indignity of this foot-washing was not lost on Peter: “You shall never wash my feet!”  Never.  Yet to reject His indignity is to reject His love and the only path for our redemption and restoration.

Indignity was not the destiny He deserved but the one He chose because He loves us so much.

As you prepare your heart for this Easter weekend, allow His love to wash over you again.



Holy Thursday (Part One): Silver Coins

In a little while, we will reflect upon the events of that evening before the arrest of Jesus, but we will begin with one Christ-follower who became disillusioned with his master.

“Then one of the Twelve – the one called Judas Iscariot – went to the chief priests and asked, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand Jesus over to you?’ So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver” (Matt. 26:14-15).

It’s hard to imagine that one who had walked with Jesus and experienced his love and power, would for such a little price reject and betray the Son of God. Why would he do such a thing? Because Jesus didn’t meet his expectations; and the intentions and demands of Christ did not line up with his desires. And so for a temporary sum, he walked away from an eternal gift.

As we prepare our hearts for this Easter season, the decision of Judas confronts us with the reality of our own nature: What do we do with our disappointments and unmet expectations regarding Jesus? What do we do when His intentions and demands run contrary to our wants and wishes, or even with what culture dictates? For what price will we walk away from the eternal to embrace the temporary?

As you journey today, take a moment and reflect on these things. Reaffirm your commitment to Him and allow His Spirit to strengthen and encourage you as you align your life with His.



Trust in The Lord

It’s simple. It’s short. Yet it’s incredibly powerful. Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the most familiar passages in the Bible–with good reason. It sets forth a life-changing truth that is worthy of our attention. Spend three minutes reading this article, and see if you agree.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Let’s break down this life-changing truth to make sure we understand it.

 

Trust in the Lord.

It starts with trust. Any real relationship has to start with some level of trust. It’s the only way a friendship will endure. It’s the only way a marriage will work out. It’s the simple reason why an employer hires workers, or why the workers stay employed. It’s all about trust. Trust in the Lord, however, takes on an entirely new dimension. This is our trust in an eternal, all-powerful, all-wise, all-loving God. He is worthy of our trust. The trust is important, not just because of who God is, but because of the way in which we must trust him: with all your heart. It involves every fiber of your being. That’s the kind of trust we can have in God–a complete, unshakable, deep, abiding trust.

If you are a Christian, you trusted God for salvation. You can trust Him with the rest of your life, too–every detail.

 

Read part 2, Don’t Lean On Your Understanding



Do Not Lean on Your Own Understanding

Read part 1 first, Trust In The Lord.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

 

Don’t Lean on Your Understanding

The verse involves a positive–something you must do. But it also involves a negative–something you must not do. Don’t lean on your own understanding. Basically, the verse is telling us that we ought not to be self-reliant. We cannot pursue a course of action, a financial decision, a business move, a relationship, or an educational choice, simply based on our own understanding. It must be founded in our trust in God.

Self-reliance is such a deceptive trap. We begin to pride ourselves in something–our savvy, our looks, our intellect, our spirituality, our family, whatever. And when we do, it takes away our trust in the Lord. It has become trust in self. The result is a dangerous compromise that will lead to destruction.

 

Instead, Acknowledge God. In Everything.

The antidote to this self-reliance is found in the first command of the verse. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Which is developed in the next verse: “In all your ways acknowledge him.” The word “acknowledge” isn’t merely a polite tip of the hat to the Man Upstairs, or a few words of grace over your meal, or even perfunctory attendance at church to let Him know we’re still cool with what He’s doing. It’s way more. It’s allowing Him access, control, command, and involvement in all your ways.

What’s the result of this? Will God ruin your life? Will he be a Sovereign Killjoy? Will He rob you of fun? The verse ends on a promise. What is it?

 

He will make your paths straight.

The promise is put in the form of a metaphor. What does it mean to have straight paths? Several things. First, paths lead toward an end–a destination, a goal. Thus, trusting God wholeheartedly in every area of life gives your life a sense of purpose and priority. Second, it indicates that there will be a clear understanding of where you are going and what you are doing. It makes daily decision-making an easier and less painful task. You realize you are trusting Him. He, in turn, is making your paths straight. Thus, the way ahead is more apparent. Third, “straight paths” suggests moral purity. It suggests a life that has less of sinful compromise and more of wholesome attitudes, actions, and behavior.

That’s the kind of life that God promises. It’s the kind of life that you can have. It begins with trust. It involves acknowledging God in every way.