Category Archives: serving others

Romans and Titus//definitely written by the same dude

I’m reading through Paul’s letters and I must confess that I thought I would just breeze through Titus.  I don’t know why I thought less of the book, I mean the Word of God is the living, active Word of God.  But for some reason I did.  Now, I’ve spent a whole week in this three chapter book.  I love it.  Chapter’s 2 and 3 are like a mini Romans – the Cliff’s Notes version.  Look at these verses in chapter 2:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (11-14)

Can’t you see Romans 12:1 in there?  He’s saying that we should think about the grace of God.  Think about our salvation and what that means in our lives.  We should be different.  Because of our salvation: we should live differently and we should be eagerly working for our Lord! (“zealous for good works)”.

Look at what he says in chapter 3 verses 4 through 8:

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

What a description of the gospel.  But remember, he’s not writing to lost people.  He’s writing to the church, the saved, the saints, His servants.  He’s saying that we should be talking about the gospel.  We should be discussing God and who He is.  His love.  His goodness.  His grace.  We should explore His attributes.  Understanding who He is makes what He did for us even more amazing.  Then we should explore what He did for us.  Talk about salvation: our sin, Jesus Christ, the cross, the resurrection.  We should search the scriptures to know what that means for us.  Is it just fire insurance?  Or is it more?  Are we just waiting on heaven or does it change us here?  We are heirs now!  We are His children through adoption by His blood.

Why should we continually teach these things?  Did you see the “so that?”  Of course you did, I put it in bold print.  So that we – the church, the people of God, His children – would devote our selves to good works.  It’s Romans 12:1.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices,holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.

What’s he saying? Something like, go serve like it’s worship to a holy, loving God who wondrously saved you by the sacrifice of His Son and has showered you with blessings beyond our finite human imaginations.  Something like that.

Brian


how do you feel about washing feet?

Especially the feet of one who was about to turn his back on you and give you up to be killed?  Jesus did.

I’m reading the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ last full day before His crucifixion.  You can see the anticipation of celebrating the Passover one more time with His disciples.  But this time, taking it further.  Explaining how He would fulfill all that it symbolized.  You can see His deep love for them.

The meal and the room had been prepared.  The sweet smell of Lamb mixed with fresh baked bread filled the air.  The bitter herbs gave a little bite to the fragrance as they were broken.  Everyone was settled around the table ready to eat.  I bet their mouths were watering.  Then Jesus did something unexpected.

John says that He “loved them to the end.”  And knowing that Judas had already been led by Satan to betray Him, Jesus got up from the table.  He poured water into a basin and began to wash their feet.  All of their feet.  Peter resisted at first.  I’m sure it was a little uncomfortable.  As weird as it feels to serve sometimes, often it’s even harder to be served.  I wonder what happened when He came to Judas.  Did they make eye contact?  Was Judas nervous or smug?  If we could see what was happening in that room would we sympathized with his internal struggle and route for him to change his mind or loathe him for his arrogant attitude?  It didn’t matter.  Jesus willingly and lovingly washed the feet of His betrayer along with the feet of every disciple in the room.

So what about us?  The idea of washing feet makes me feel a little nauseous.  The idea of washing the feet of my enemy makes my back stiffen in defiance.  But then Jesus brings it home.  As He washed their feet, so we should wash one another’s feet.  As His disciples, we should serve one another.  No one should feel superior to others, above serving them.  The church, His church, should be about feet washing.  The church, His church, should be about serving one another.  The church, His church, should be about serving those inside and outside of the church.  The church, His church, should be about serving the lost, the faithful, the hurting, the resentful, the prideful, the worshiper, the one who stands each Sunday with their arms folded, the giver, the taker, the stronger supporter, the one who talks against everything the church tries to do…everyone.

Really, we should be about love.  Jesus’ motivation that night was clear – love.  Start with John 13 today and read about Christ’s love for His disciples and for us.

It’s Easter week and I’m so giddy.  Tomorrow night MeadowBrook with gather at 6pm to focus on the cross.  Then Sunday, Sunday we celebrate His resurrection.  What an awesome week.

Brian