Summary: Service, ministry, outreach
MEASURED BY THE FOOT
(40 Days of Service)
John 13: 1-17 (p763) Oct. 3, 2010
I was trying to think of one of the most humbling things I've done…voluntarily. I had things happen that have humbled me, but it's distinctly different when you choose to do something humbling.
In 1985 I worked with teen-agers who were abusing drugs and alcohol in a program called Possibilities Unlimited. It was a 12 step program for 13-19 year olds. We had a few older, and sadly some younger...when the kids first came in and started withdrawals…some of them got violently sick…2 of those new kids threw up all over our bathroom. And the directors said I need someone to clean it up…would one of you on the executive staff clean up the restroom…I remember looking at Amy, and Troy and Bill and thinking come on someone volunteer….finely after an hour of silence I said, "I'll do it" And I did, yes it was as bad as you are now imagining. No, I didn't enjoy it…I had to go home and change afterwards…I felt like a janitor and smelled worse. It humbled me.
Here's what I've discovered when it comes to the Kingdom of God verses how the world operates. Arrogance, power, control and money go a long way when it comes to leadership in this world. Bosses in the world can exercise authority because they have more power. People with money and influence are surrounded by other people with money and influence…or others who want to please them so they can have access to the money and power. There are exceptions, but in this world if your use to having most of what you want in the way you want it…humility isn't high on your list.
Bust what about the church? What about the Kingdom of God? Do we operate differently? Jesus sure said, we should…and modeled the example of what's important. He told his closest followers …the future foundation stones of the church.
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and
their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you,
instead whoever wants to become great among you must be your
servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave---just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his
life as a ransom for many>" (Matt 20:25-28)
Being "Saved to Serve" is much more than a banner we hang on the wall…or a theme we use for a calendar year…it is the essential key ingredient for expanding God's Kingdom--and the founder of this kingdom molded it for us in every fiber of his body.
The example started with
I LOVING PEOPLE INTENSLEY BECAUSE OUR TIME IS SHORT.
Life goes by in a flash…its like a breath on a cold winter day…you see it for just a brief moment and then it's gone.
100 to 80 years sounds like a long time when your 16 and indestructible, but it doesn't sound like a long time when your 50 and get tired walking to the mailbox.
Jesus knew his time was almost up in John Chapter 13... It's his hour…the fine sands are leaving the hourglass. He's in his early 30's but its time.
"Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the father"
None of us here today know our hour…or when out time is up. I don't think any of us would want the same information Jesus was privy to, but the truth is…we've only got one shot at this they called life…it’s the most precious gift we have so we'd better spend it wisely.
Jesus said there are two ways you can spend it…serving yourself or serving God, but you cannot serve both. Satan wants to do everything possible for us to spend it selfishly and foolishly…"to try and save it" Jesus wants to do everything possible and has for us to lose it…to surrender it. Both promise all kinds of stuff…ones a liar and one is the creator.
Love will determine which path you take what you love the most will determine whether you surrender your life or jealously hanging on to it.
"Jesus loved his own who were in the world so much he showed them the full extent of that love" And then invited the crowd and his disciples to follow his example.
You can be part of the crowd and not follow his example…you cannot be one of his disciples and not follow in his steps.
You can tell the difference…the crowd shows up for meals, miracles, and crucifixion. His disciples, filled with his spirit become servants…they begin to lose their lives for the gospel…there's nothing in this world that attracts them as much as the Kingdom and its King. They're not ashamed of who they are and they live in expectation of his return. You see Fern Creek, Louisville, the U.S. or the world will not be won because of our servers…but they can be won by our service.