This year marks the 40thanniversary of Mars Hill Productions! In this devotional series, president, Fred Carpenter is reflecting on the important lessons of God that have guided us in ministry and led us into a deeper understanding of His ways.
The Lung Surgery that Wasn’t Needed by Fred Carpenter
You’ve no doubt heard this before. Someone facing a challenge or a crisis has done all they can do. And then it is said (often with some resign), “Well, it’s in God’s hands now; all we can do is pray.” But, what does the Bible teach us about prayer? Is prayer our last line of defense?
Late in 1998, I was experiencing some respiratory issues and my doctor said I should get a chest X-ray. The X-ray revealed a very small spot on one lung, but the doctor was not overly concerned at that point. He recommended we should check it again in a year, which is exactly what we did.
The next time they did a CT chest scan, and the results took a more serious turn. The spot had grown. The doctor told me wanted to remove the affected area and get the appropriate tests run to see if it was malignant. He even talked about the possibility of needing to remove an entire lobe of my right lung.
Being faced with such sobering results, I now saw this as a situation that needed serious prayer. In James 5:15, the Bible cites two prayers of the prophet Elijah as examples of effective prayer. In the first of these (1 Kings 17:1), Elijah prays that it would not rain in Israel until he prayed for rain. And then, 3 ½ years later, when Elijah prayed for rain (1Kings 18:42-46), it rained. The interesting thing about these prayers is that they don’t sound like prayer. When he utters them, he is not asking God, he is simply proclaiming what is going to happen. Upon closer examination of 1 Kings 17-18, we understand that Elijah is simply speaking what God told him to speak (see 18:1). Continue reading →
The Mars Hill staff is in a series of devotionals drawn from the book, A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards. We share highlights from the book each week, but we invite you to get a copy and read along with us. The drama is a multi-act play telling the stories of three kings. It is a portrait of submission and authority within the Kingdom of God; offering hope and healing to the spiritually wounded.
“How does a person know when it is okay to separate oneself from the Lord’s anointed – especially if the Lord’s anointed is after the order of King Saul?
David never made that decision. The Lord’s anointed made it for him. The king’s own decree settled the matter!
‘Hunt him down; kill him like a dog!’
Only then did David leave. No, he fled. Even then, he never spoke a word or lifted a hand against Saul. And please note this: David did not split the kingdom when he made his departure. He did not take part of the population with him. He left alone.”
And so begins the next chapter of our book. Saul’s jealousy and madness have finally progressed to the point that he is demanding David’s death. David, knowing that he has been anointed by God to be the next king at some future time which has yet to be revealed, chooses wisely to flee and hide. David could have fought back. He had garnered enough fame and support that he likely could have persuaded many in King Saul’s court and army to turn their allegiance to him instead. But David knew that it is God who makes kings and appoints times, and God had not yet given the go-ahead for him to be king. The only thing left to do then was to get out of Saul’s way.
This sets the stage for our discussion using the following questions: Sometimes God leads us into a situation which turns sour; how do we know when it is okay to leave that situation? And, what should our exit strategy be?
The kinds of situations we talked about included those such as jobs, churches, volunteer commitments, and the like. Things usually look pretty good when you commit to a church, but after some time the leadership may start to take you in a direction you don’t want to go. Perhaps the worship style changes or the leaders demand that you take a more active role in engaging the community.
We should not leave a situation because we have become uncomfortable or unhappy. Like David, we leave when we are no longer capable of fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives in that situation. And, like David, it may take a while to come to that realization …and we may go through a season of having spears chucked at us before the full intentions of the king are made known.
This is not to say that we should stick it out in situations of actual abuse! But there are times when our situation may actually be one of being tested like Job rather than hunted by King Saul. The point is to seek God’s leading rather than cater to our own discomfort. God may be using discomfort to draw out or build up something in us.
Lastly, when you see that it is time to depart, don’t try to take an entourage with you! Don’t gossip about it. Don’t work others up into a frenzy. Just be obedient to your call and go. We are each responsible to follow God’s leading and we should not want to lead others away from what God may be doing in their lives.
Below are two excerpts from Psalm 18, written by David, in response to his tough situation. Think about the heart of David and the mindset that he had in trusting God so completely that his relationship with Saul did not undo him.
I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. – Psalm 18:1-3
For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. – Psalm 18:28-30
The Mars Hill staff is in a series of devotionals drawn from the book, A Tale of Three Kingsby Gene Edwards. We share highlights from the book each week, but we invite you to get a copy and read along with us. The drama is a multi-act play telling the stories of three kings. It is a portrait of submission and authority within the Kingdom of God; offering hope and healing to the spiritually wounded.
Before he became the king, David served a king… King Saul. During this time, Saul often felt torment and David, being the experienced musician, would play his harp and sing many of the songs that he had penned while tending sheep and meditating on things of God.
David’s beautiful music soothed Saul’s spirit for a while, but at the same time, it was one more reason for Saul to be jealous of David. As Gene Edwards says in his book, “Saul felt threatened by David, as kings often do when there is a popular, promising young man beneath them. The king also knew, as did David, that this boy just might have his job some day.”
David was caught in an uncomfortable position! He had come to serve in the palace at the king’s request, yet he was increasingly aware of the king’s angst against him. Focusing on David’s part of this drama, we considered David’s obedience to serve in whatever situation God put him in, whether it was as a sheepherder, an errand boy or now, as a palace musician.
In Gene Edwards’ book, the author believes that David understood what God wanted. He wanted broken vessels – people who understand that brokenness comes with pain. People who will not run from it but instead, trust God to be their strength through the adversity. Continue reading →
The world is witnessing the largest refugee crisis since the horrors of World War II. Today, there are close to 60 million refugees worldwide, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
In one sense, all men are refugees; we have all been forcibly displaced. Adam and Eve were banished from the garden and we, as their descendants, continue to search for a safe place where our souls can rest. Ephesians 2:19 eludes to the fact that those outside of God’s household are strangers and aliens.
The Bible recounts the stories of men and women, groups and nations who were displaced by natural disaster, famine, persecution, war, human trafficking and more. We can become so familiar with these old stories that we miss seeing them in terms of today’s social injustices.
Noah and his family were displaced by the flood. Abraham and Sarah were driven to another land by famine. Jacob fled to another land because his brother threatened to kill him. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus had to flee to Egypt due to political persecution. *
During his 3-year ministry, Jesus was a homeless refugee. In Matthew 8:20, Jesus said to the Scribe, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” As his followers, we must consider what holds our heart’s affections. Am I willing to give up my home and side with the homeless to follow him?
Syria has over twenty million citizens made up of eighteen different people groups. Around 4.8 million of these people have become refugees and another 6.5 million have become displaced within Syria and are seeking refuge. Christian missionaries have spent years praying, strategizing, and risking everything to go to these people with the gospel. After raising tens of thousands of dollars, undergoing extensive training, leaving everything familiar, and going through the long process of learning a foreign language – only then, could missionaries reach these people. The paradigm has shifted!
We serve a God who scatters. Through scattering, God places His people where they need to be to have an impact on communities, peoples, and nations. When we see that people are being scattered, the believers response needs to be “What is God doing?” and “How can I serve?”
Today’s devotional is from Staffer, Ryan Renfrow
A look at 2 Peter 1:3-11, with focus on 5-7.
5 …make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (ESV)
Peter reminds believers that because of the divine power of the Gospel we have everything we need in life and godliness –What more do we need, really?
While we may have access to all we need, it is still possible for the believer to become unfruitful or ineffective in the knowledge of Christ. We find here, Peter’s desire for the believer to grow in the faith which first led them to the Lord Jesus Christ.
John Calvin when reading this passage said our “faith ought not to be naked or empty”. C.H. Spurgeon commented that Peter’s list is of qualities that are jewels to be adorned. Piper reminds us this is not a list of qualities to add to our faith, but rather qualities that further develop our faith.
Let’s think about that.
Faith alone is what turns us from guilty sinners into righteous sons and daughters. And Ephesians 2:8-9 makes it clear that faith is a gift from God. This faith that saves us is not the finish line but the starting point to a life rich in meaning and purpose. Our faith is meant to strengthen, deepen and manifest fuller as we experience more and more of God and his glory in our lives.
Consider this analogy; God has built a beautiful house just for you and called it “faith.” He invites us into this house of faith, to be in relationship with him through his Son, Jesus Christ. When we accept his offer, we dwell in the house of faith with Him. Once inside we begin to explore cabinets, look behind doors, we learn more about what living in relationship with God is like. What does he expect? How does he treat others? We discover more and more truths about his divine nature. Who is he? What’s he like? We learn to adjust our thoughts and actions living in this new house. Faith becomes a place of great growth, great trial, and great reward.
If you visited my house today, you would quickly see reflections of me. You would see pictures of people I love and things of sentimental value. These fixtures become part of my house, they add to the quality, they tell stories of who I am. These fixtures turn my house, into a home. In the same way, think of Peter’s list of qualities as furnishings to our house of faith. Peter desires the believer to strive for virtue and knowledge and steadfastness because these greatly adorn the faith we were given from God. These qualities not only become the fruit of a full faith, but they deeply nurture the roots that confirm our faith more and more.
When we are loving God supremely and loving other’s sacrificially, we will find ourselves pursuing more knowledge of the Lord, practicing better self-control, exhibiting greater steadfastness in trials, desiring more of God’s glory, caring more deeply for fellow believers and loving others more genuinely.
I have heard it said by scoffers that Christianity (or any religion for that matter) is just a crutch for those who are too weak to live life on their own. The world admires a strong independent spirit and looks down upon weakness and dependence.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3
According to, Greek scholar, Kenneth Wuest, to be blessed is to be spiritually prosperous. At first pass, this might seem to contradict what Jesus said in Matthew 5; how can the ‘blessed’ be both ‘poor’ and ‘prosperous’ at the same time? But as someone has pointed out, in order to get your cup filled (of Him), it must first be empty (of us)!
James Smith was a reformed Baptist preacher and predecessor of Charles Spurgeon at New Park Street Chapel in London from 1841 until 1850. From his notes we read . . .
I. “Poverty of spirit” is not something put on, but that which concerns the inner character (spirit). The characteristics of those who are “poor in spirit” are –
A. BROKENNESS OF HEART (Psa. 51:4-7). A deep sense of personal unworthiness.
B. SELF-DISTRUST. “No confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). “In me dwelleth no good thing” (Rom. 7:18).
C. ENTIRE DEPENDENCE. Living by faith. “Apart from Me, nothing” (John15:5).
II. The nature of this blessedness. This is the kingdom. They come under the reign of grace. A present possession.
A. CHOSEN BY GOD (1 Cor. 1:28, 29). The poor in spirit are the chosen of Heaven.
B. INDWELT BY GOD (Isa. 57:15). The humble heart is the abode of God.
C. RICH IN FAITH (Jas. 2:5). Faith will buy anything from God. It is the current coin of the kingdom.
D. DIVINELY CARED FOR (Isa. 66:2). “To this man will I look that is poor, and of a contrite spirit” (Isa. 66:2). This is the look of continual favour, which is the blessedness of the poor in spirit.
How do we become “poor in spirit?” Throughout the ages, there have been those who have believed that an external life of poverty produces an internal life of poverty. However, we cannot, through human effort, manufacture the condition of being poor in spirit. Such a spiritual disposition is not a goal. Rather, it is the result of making God our goal.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones – The way to become poor in spirit is to look at God. Look at Him; and the more we look at Him, the more hopeless shall we feel by ourselves, and in and of ourselves, and the more shall we become ‘poor in spirit’. Look at Him, keep looking at Him. Look at the saints, look at the men who have been most filled with the Spirit and used. But above all, look again at Him, and then you will have nothing to do to yourself. It will be done. You cannot truly look at Him without feeling your absolute poverty, and emptiness.
FB Meyer – To be poor in spirit is to be vacant of self and waiting for God. To have no confidence in the flesh; to be emptied of self-reliance to be conscious of absolute insufficiency; to be thankfully dependent on the life-energy of the living God, that is poverty of spirit; and it has been characteristic of some of the noblest, richest, most glorious natures, that have ever trodden the shores of Time. Happy are they who are conscious of a poverty which only the Divine indwelling can change into wealth, and who are willing to confess that they would rather be in hell and have God, than in heaven and not have Him.
Yes, there are those who say that Christianity (or more specifically Christ) is just a crutch for those who are too weak to live life on their own. They are right, and I am so glad they are, for I would much rather live under the reign of grace than under the law of vain and perishable works.
Never underestimate the consequence of sin . . . or your need for God’s grace.
“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” – James 2:10.
Now, what do we do with this verse? Is it saying that if we commit one sin, then we have committed all sins? Is it saying that all sins are equal before God? Well, the answer is yes and no. Let’s look at both.
No – because not all sin results in the same earthly consequence. If I murder my brother, or if I just hate him to the point of saying hateful things, both are sin. Jesus calls hatred murder. But if I only hurt my brother with words, He’s not dead. Not all sin has the same earthly consequence.
Yes – because ultimately our sins are not only against our fellow man. All sins are ultimately against God, who gave us the whole law. “Against You, You only, I have sinned . . .” (Ps 51:4).
The common denominator for all sins is that they are all basically actions done independently from God. It is impossible for a man to predict the ultimate harmful consequence(s) of an action that is done independently from God, no matter how big or small the action.
In 1999, Lockheed Martin, the huge aerospace firm, wrote a contract and missed a small detail. They misplaced a comma in an inflation-adjusted formula that was written into the contract. That mistake cost Lockheed Martin $70 million dollars. One little, misplaced comma cost $70 million dollars!
Like that comma, even the “smallest” sin can have far-reaching repercussions. And if our sins are ultimately against God Himself, then we can know that even the “smallest” sin against an infinite God has infinite consequence. Or as John Piper puts it, “ . . . in that sense every sin is infinitely heinous.”
Now, what are we to do with this sobering reality? If you are inclined to works and keeping score, you could beat yourself up . . . all the time. But I believe God intends a different response. As we come to recognize the gravity of the sin that is in us, the frequency of our independent actions and the inestimable consequence thereof, I believe God would have us develop a profound sense of gratitude for His amazing grace and a constant recognition of our need for that grace!
“. . . but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Rom 5:20-21
“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” – 2 Cor. 12:9
The following is a list of thoughts and attitudes, common to us all. But, each and every discouraging statement is countered by a glorious truth from God and His Word. If you are struggling or downhearted, read His words; let His declarations wash over you and renew your perspective.
“It’s impossible” All things are possible with Me.
“The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” – Luke 18:27
“I’m too tired” I will give you rest.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
“I feel unloved” I love you.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
“I can’t go on” My grace is sufficient.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, So that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” –2Corinthians 12:9
“I can’t figure this out” I will direct your steps.
“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 your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5,6
“Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” – Isaiah 30:21
“I can’t do it” You can do all things.
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
“I’m not able” I am able.
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” – 2Corinthians 9:8
“It’s not worth it” It will be worth it.
“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” – Galatians 6:9
“I can’t forgive myself” I forgive you.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” –1John 1:9
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1
“I can’t resist this temptation” I have provided a way.
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” – 1Corinthians 10:13
“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7
“I don’t have enough to make it” I will supply all your needs.
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
“I’m afraid” You do not have to be afraid. I am here and I’ve got this.
“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. – 2Timothy 1:7
“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
“I am anxious and stressed” You can cast all your cares on Me.
“. . . humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. – 1Peter 5:7
“I don’t have enough faith” I have given you all the faith you need.
“God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” – Romans 12:3
“I’m not smart enough” I give you wisdom and the mind of Christ.
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” – James – 1:5
“Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 2:16
“I feel alone” I am with you.
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:20
“I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU” – Hebrews 13:5
“I feel inadequate” You are complete.
“. . . in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority” – Colossians 2:10
The Lord sees the spiritual condition of mankind in two ways…we are either “in Adam” or “in Christ.” In today’s devotional, we examined the following scriptures which reveal to us the characteristics of one who is “in Adam,” that is one who has not yet accepted the substitutionary death of Christ on their behalf vs. the realities of one who is “in Christ.” If you are in Christ, you have recognized your need to be freed from the sin which indwells your flesh. You acknowledge that Jesus Christ is God, made flesh, and is the only one, ever, capable of paying your debt and providing the way for you to be restored to a relationship with our creator.
As you read these verses, let them remind you who you were…but more importantly, meditate on the verses that declare who you are…now…in Christ! Let them change you and free you to let Christ live His life through you.
In Adam You Were:
Alienated from God. – Col 1:21 > . . . you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,
Condemned to death. – Rom 6:23 > For the wages of sin is death . . .
Separated from God without hope. – Eph 2:12 > remember that you were at that time separate from Chris . . . hope and without God in the world.
A slave of sin. – Rom 6:17 > . . . you were slaves of sin . . .
Spiritually dead. – Eph 2:1> And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, Rom 5:12 > Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men
An enemy of God. – Rom 5:10 > For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Spiritually deaf and blind. – Eze 12:2 > Son of man, you live in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear; 2Co 4:4 > in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
By nature a child of wrath. – Eph 2:3 > Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath . . .
Darkened in your understanding, excluded from the Life of God and hardened in heart. – Eph 4:17 > So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, Eph 4:18 > being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;
Patterned after your spiritual father, Satan. – Joh 8:44 > “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
In Christ You Are Now:
Washed, sanctified, justified. – 1Co 6:11 > . . . you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. Rom 3:24 > being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
Indemnified (Though God rejects your sinful performance, He does not reject you!). – Rom 8:1 > Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Alive (formerly dead). – 1Co 15:22 > For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. Eph 2:4 > But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, Eph 2:5 > even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
A new creation. – 2Co 5:17 > Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come
Seated in heaven (present tense). – Eph 2:6 > and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Complete. – Col 2:10 > and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
God has blessed Mars Hill with an incredible team of men and women who love Jesus – the risen, reigning, and returning King. Together, we passionately pursue Him as we work to see the Great Commission fulfilled. Together, we study the Scriptures. We embrace and celebrate the mystery of faith and the magnificence of our AWESOME God. And we long for our Savior’s return, when we will know fully as we are fully known.
The Holy Spirit has breathed unique wisdom, discernment and gifts for service into each member of our staff. That said, we are delighted to commence a new series of devotionals, in which each member of our staff will be sharing insights from their inimitable journey with our Father.
We hope that God’s redemptive work in our lives will resonate with what He’s doing in yours.
Today’s Devotional is from team member, Ryan Renfrow. Ryan is a new addition to Mars Hill, serving as one of our Ministry Partnering Directors.
The primary scriptures for this devotional are John 13:1-20 and Isaiah 52.
True discipleship takes place when believers stop wearing a mask… the mask of “I’m fine, thanks” or the mask of “No. No prayer requests at this time.” My life has been full of changes lately and the nature of change is dealing with adjustments. Those aren’t always easy, and sometimes we think we have a grip on a situation just to be thrown another curve ball and find ourselves taken off course. Charles Spurgeon said, “I’ve learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages”. I’ve hit wave after wave in my personal life lately and this week I was brought to John 13.
John 13 begins what is known as the Upper Room discourse, the final teachings of Jesus to his disciples, hours before the events of the crucifixion. Think of these passages as Jesus’ final rallying speech, preparing the troops for what was to lie ahead. Here was Christ, the image of the Invisible God, our Lord and Savior who holds all things together, literally taking the role of a servant. He got up from where he was reclining at the table and began to use his own garment to wash the feet of his disciples. One by one, he went to them, took their feet in his hands, and washed them clean. Simon Peter didn’t understand what he was doing, he couldn’t have been the only one. This led Jesus to reply “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand ” (13:7). The disciples still did not know what was about to take place as Jesus would love them to the ultimate end – the laying down of his life. The image of him washing their feet was a visible representation of what was about to take place on a much larger scale.
But Jesus didn’t just wash his disciples’ feet to give them an object lesson, he washed their feet in example – just as he served his disciples they were in turn to serve one another. Imagine Jesus, kneeling at the disciples feet, knowing that one was going to betray him, another disown him, the rest would leave him deserted and yet he took them in his hands and removed the dirt and dust from their feet. I’m thinking of those in my life who have hurt me the deepest, those who have disappointed me, and I stop to consider if I would have the humility to wash their feet and serve them in such a way. Could I look in the eyes of those I knew would hurt me and still love them the same and with such humility? Because I’m much more like Ryan than Jesus, I have to say probably not – I will find ways to make myself feel better sometimes at the expense of those who have hurt me. But then I stop and remember, it’s awfully hard to look down on someone when you’re supposed to be washing their feet. Continue reading →