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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Lesson in Service and Salvation From My Children

If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet,
you also ought to wash one another's feet.
For I have given you an example,
that you should do as I have done to you.
(John 13:1-15 NKJV)

What does serving look like? Is it always front page news? Does it take you to the ends of the earth? Is it providing physical, spiritual and emotional help? The answer? Yes-all of these qualify as serving. But can it be much more personal as well? Serving those around you? Those in your own family? Blooming where you are planted and maybe somewhere else when God will open a door?

I learned a lesson yesterday in service. A big one. You see, I have been involved in some aspect of Women's Ministry for the last 2 years. I love the opportunities God has given me, and even more, I love the women I get to serve and those I serve alongside of. However, yesterday, service took on a whole new light for me.

We had a busy, fun-filled weekend. We went to some festivals and to an amazing outdoor concert featuring a favorite band of ours, Sidewalk Prophets. Late nights and early mornings made us a little cranky though. The kids and I were short with each other on those early mornings. Not good.

Sunday night, the girls were playing at the concert. We were in Alabama, and if I have learned one thing from my time "farther down South", it is this: the grass is hard, (and sparse), and the dirt is dusty--almost sand like in texture. Back home the grass is smooth enough to lay on and the dirt--well, it's dirt. Usually hard, but not like sand. The girls had on flip-flops and were spinning around and playing on the playground. We got home really late and the girls fell asleep in the car, so we tucked them in bed.

Fast forward--Monday morning. Wanting to sleep in from a late night, it was not to be so. Not by my standards anyway (lol). As my precious 4 year old crawled up in bed with me that morning, I noticed her feet. Filthy. As in, this stuff was stuck on good!! We have a quilt on our bed that is blue and white. A lot of white. I hollered for her sister and told them that we were going to wash their feet in the sink before we did anything else.

As I placed my sweet girl on that sink and ran the water, reflections began to run through my mind. As I washed her tiny feet, I remembered Jesus washing His disciples feet. How loving and kind of a gesture. The Savior, the Lord of the entire universe, kneeled down and washed His disciple's feet. What an amazing image. As I scrubbed a little bit harder, it also reminded me of how thick our sin is, how stubborn of a stain it is. Scrubbing their feet brought to mind the cleansing of our sins that Jesus, by His shed blood on the cross, did for us. As I finished washing their feet, sparkly clean again, it was a lesson to me in both service and salvation.

Service? Because Jesus came to serve. That was His life mission. To seek and save the lost. 

Mark 20:27-28 reminds us: And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (NKJV). 

It reminded me that my job is to serve. Wholeheartedly. WHEREVER God has put me at this moment. My family is my first mission field, the ones I should serve first. As God has made available, my next acts of service are to those around me and in whatever ministry I am a part of. It also reminded me that I NEED to be served BY Jesus as well. Can't be a Martha all the time, I need to be a Mary too!

Salvation? Because as I stood there, it took a lot of work to scrub away all of that dirt and mud (from sweaty feet). As I washed, I watched the water in the sink slowly turning brown. After I finished scrubbing their feet and they were nice and clean, I didn't want them putting their feet back down in that "dirty" water lest they get filthy again. It reminded me of the cleansing power of Jesus. It reminded me of His blood. He takes us, washes away all of our sin, and doesn't want us to put our feet back down in that "dirty water" again. He promises to help keep us clean by the Holy Spirit indwelling within us. He lovingly pats us dry, as I did my girl's feet, and sets us on solid ground. 

One MAJOR difference: My girl's are kids--they love to play. They will get their feet dirty again. I will have to scrub them again. And while we may mess up in our Christian walk, Jesus continually cleanses us. His sacrifice was ONCE and it was enough to cleanse our sins. No more "scrubbing" needed--that was finished on the cross. The Holy Spirit dwells within us to help and teach us.

Isaiah 1:18~ "Come now, and let us reason together," says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow: though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool...." (NKJV)

The Blessing by John Waller:

CHOOSE to be a blessing!! What are some lessons that your children have taught you? What are some ways you have been called to serve? Share with us!!

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  1. Thank you. This is great to read. I am so thankful Jesus continually cleanses us.

  2. Love your post. In our home church, several times a year we do the washing of the feet. It is a beautiful and humbling experience. It is amazing to know how much God loves us and cares for us.

    1. That sounds beautiful! When our old pastor was installed, he did a foot washing service as well.