Washing His Feet with Tears

November 8, 2013

Washing His Feet with Tears

Isaiah 52:7
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

There are many that have carried and shared the gospel of good news, but there is none to compare with the author and giver of salvation itself, Jesus. His feet are the most beautiful and wonderful of all. He stepped down out of heaven as the Son of God and Lord of all and walked the dusty roads of earth to fully reveal God to us and to turn our feet into the way of salvation and life. It was His feet that walked the walk of the cross; that carried that bruised and wounded and horribly afflicted body to the ultimate sacrifice. It was His feet that stumbled and struggled under the weight of that cross that He bore for us. Never were there more beautiful feet than the feet that bear the hole from the spike that was driven through them.
There was a woman named Mary who had a revelation of how precious these feet were. They had walked into her life when she was nothing more than a shame and usable commodity of men, despised and looked down upon by most. When she had been cast down at His feet, He did not judge and condemn her, though He had every right to do so. He loved her and forgave her when she was the most unlovely and undesirable. He gave her back a life of dignity, respect and purpose. I don’t think there is another example in the Word of God that demonstrates the love, the submission, the feelings of appreciation and gratitude like the act of Mary. While she couldn’t love Jesus with physical intimacy, she so expressed the intimacy for Him and the love for Him she felt in herself through an act of worship that natural men couldn’t understand and even despised.
John 12:1-7 tells us, “Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5″Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
7″Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. ” It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
In this story we see the scene taking place in Bethany where Lazarus lived and where Martha was serving. Mary was their sister. In Luke 7 we see the same event happening only it is described as taking place in the house of Simon the Pharisee. Perhaps Simon was the father of Lazarus, Martha and Mary and that would explain why Mary had access into the house in the first place. I’m sure not any woman of the street was allowed to come in. This account in Luke 7:36-50 reads like this,” 36Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
40Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41″Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
48Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.””
This woman could have been, and I believe is, what exemplifies the love of the bride for the bridegroom. She loves much, because she was forgiven much. Her tears flow from a heart of tremendous gratitude and worship. She uses her hair, which is her glory, to glorify the Savior and to wipe the feet of Jesus. She kisses His feet expressing her deepest affection and her unreserved submission. She breaks and pours out upon the feet of Jesus her most precious material possession as she anoints Him from her body, her soul and her spirit. Truly if there were an act of spiritual worship and expression, she demonstrated it that day. She didn’t care what anyone else thought or how they were going to view her or think of her. She only had eyes and a heart for Jesus. She demonstrated for all of us what it is to sit and bow at the feet of Jesus and not just be ministered too, but how to serve, love and appreciate Him. Most only knew how take from the love and virtue of Jesus, but here is the least of women, the outcast of society that demonstrates how to minister, serve and give back love to the One who first loved her. How much we can all learn about ministering at the feet of Jesus through this woman, Mary. Jesus used this moment to show us the difference between the religious protocol and outward service compared to the unabashed expression of a heart that loved and yearned for Him. A heart that was willing to give the best of all she was or had to glorify and love Jesus. What kind of heart do we have for the Lord? How do we minister and worship at the feet of Jesus?

Blessings,
kent

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A Heavenly Perspective

May 16, 2013

Colossians 3:15-17
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

A Heavenly Perspective

Today is a day to be glad, rejoice in life and embrace your life with hope. We are a blessed people. Some would say, “if you saw my condition you wouldn’t think I was very blessed.” I can certainly appreciate all that life throws at us sometimes. Outward circumstances can get incredibly harsh, cruel and difficult to bear. The apostle Paul says this, in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” For most of us, our biggest stumbling block is that we are always focusing on what is seen, rather than what is not seen. We tend to base our life, our success, our happiness and our worth on what we see as reality in the natural world around us. What the Word is teaching us is, if that is the case, you are living out of a wrong perspective and viewpoint. Colossians 3 gives us some perspective in where our mindset and viewpoint of life must now come from. “1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” If we are living in discouragement and defeat it most likely has to do with the perspective of our minds and our hearts. This present life can offer some crushing blows and some real discouragement, but when we begin to understand that if we are in Christ, seated at the right hand of the Father, then nothing can really touch our life without first going through the Father. If these things are allowed to touch our lives then it is our opportunity and privilege to know that as we keep our eyes upon Him, He is giving us the grace to walk through whatever it is. Often times, we come to the point where there is really nothing more that we can do outwardly. The Words tells, “Having done all, stand.” Stand in the faith that the Lord is God and He is upon the throne of our lives working all things to the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Perhaps the Lord allows us to go through some of these things so that we can begin to practice living out of the mind of Christ, rather than the mind of our flesh. The mind of Christ will look with the eyes of faith, resting in the Lord to work all things out according to His will and purpose. It will rejoice in hope and confidence in the God of its salvation. The mind of the flesh will be agitated, fearful, and full of worry, anger, frustration and doubt.
Many of the saints of old went through great times of trials and testing. It was their faith and confidence in the Almighty that sustained them and brought them through. Most of us would rather avoid and run away from our problems, but that is not where growth is or that which builds our faith. Like the song by Andre Crouch goes, “if I never had a problem, I would never know that God could solve them. I’d never know what faith in His Word can do.”
Don’t allow your countenance to fall today. Look up and make the decision to have joy in your life in spite of any circumstances that may be pressing on you. God will see you through.

Blessings,
kent

Take a Moment to Appreciate

Romans 1:21
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

We have one day a year we set aside to be thankful and acknowledge God’s goodness, but our thankfulness and appreciation of God should be a daily continual occurrence. When we fail to acknowledge Him in all of our ways, our ways begin to become perverted and distorted. In America we live with such abundance and blessing that we take so much for granted. Our level of expectation is very high and we often complain or are discontent when it is not met. We most likely don’t really want to view the conditions and lifestyle of third world countries. Maybe somehow we feel we are more deserving of the wealth and abundance that we enjoy because we are a “Christian” nation. It is evident that we richly enjoy God’s blessing and bountiful provisions, but it is becoming continually more evident that many have failed to see and acknowledge where those blessing have come from. More and more there is pressure and movement to rid godly influence from education, government and the public in general. Many are failing to acknowledge and appreciate that we are great for one reason only, because God’s blessing and goodness alone has made us great.
Our scripture today points to a passage that tells about humanity when they fail to recognize, appreciate and acknowledge the Lord in all of their ways. They follow after their vain imaginations and their foolish hearts become darkened. They embrace homosexuality, idolatry, fornication and all manner of perverse things. Is that what we are becoming today as a nation and as a people?
It is so important that we do acknowledge the Lord in all of our ways and that we maintain a continual attitude of humility and thankfulness toward the Lord. What the Lord has given He can take away. We have what we have because of the godly heritage that established this country and did acknowledge the Lord in its founding. The Lord must always be the foundation of all that we do and of all of our ways. Without Him all is lost.
Let us be mindful to not become so busy and full of ourselves that we forget the great and awesome God that has provided all that we enjoy and so often take for granted. If we acknowledge and appreciate the Lord in all of our ways He will direct our path and keep it from perversion and corruption. Take time and with great frequency, acknowledge and appreciate the Lord, for He is so worthy and deserving of all our praise and thanksgiving.
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Blessings,
kent

The Favor and Blessing of God

Deuteronomy 11:26-28
Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known

God says the people of faith and obedience to Him is a blessed people. Ephesians 1:3 says, “Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ.” We are blessed in Christ with “all spiritual blessing.” These are the richest kind of blessings; our salvation, forgiveness of sin, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, His gifts and anointing, our relationship, friendship and fellowship with Heavenly Father, our privilege to share in sonship and kingdom ministry, our inheritance in Christ, to name a few. Do we really take the time to count our blessings and name them one by one as the old hymn goes? If we really did that we would be there for some time, for God’s benefits are so many and we take so many of them for granted. We are a favored people, but are we really partaking of the full blessing that God has for us? One of the pitfalls of blessing is it that we are prone to become prideful and think that somehow our goodness or abilities have earned us these blessings. Our eyes begin to wander off of God and onto us. We become self-indulgent and self-serving and forget why we are blessed. ” When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest [when] thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt [therein]; And [when] thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; … And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of [mine] hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for [it is] he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as [it is] this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish (Deuteronomy 8:11-14, 17-19).” The same principles hold true today; it is in fear and obedience to the Lord that we are blessed. Psalm 68:19 is typical of many scriptures that reminds us to bless Him who is our blessing, “Blessed [be] the Lord, [who] daily loadeth us [with benefits, even] the God of our salvation. Selah.” This is the reason our praise and worship of God is so important. It keeps us in right perspective and in an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude as we constantly acknowledge and bless the God who is our blessing. As the Lord daily loads us with benefits and blessings should we not in turn and load upon the Lord our thankfulness, praise and adoration for all that He is and all that He does in our lives?
Someone may say, “boy, it sure doesn’t seem like I am blessed, all I ever have is problems, heartache and pain.” You know, David had a great solution for that same malady in his life. He might express his hurt and pain to the Lord, but then he would turn around and begin to acknowledge the Lord in all his ways, with praise, worship and thankfulness would he bless the Lord. He knew his victory would never come out of self-pity, murmuring and complaining. His deliverance was in the place faith and exalting God as His source to meet all of His needs. The book of Psalms begins in 1:1 with this statement, “Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” Basically he is saying there is a lot of negative and wrong ways of thinking out there in the world, don’t be a part of it! Otherwise, you will become cynical, critical, and judgmental. You will turn away from God and perish. Rather do as verse 2 exhorts, “But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” God’s Word and our faith in it and the One who gave it to us will deliver us out of our hardships in due time. Don’t let your heart become hardened in the hard places, but rather fall upon the Rock and let your spirit be broken, humble and contrite before the Lord, for the Lord says, “…but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word (Isaiah 66:2).” Often it is in those difficult place of discipline, correction or just trials and testings that God is working an even greater blessing than we can comprehend at the time. Job experienced such a time in His life, but Job 1:22 says, “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” Job didn’t understand why he was going through such tribulation, but He did trust God through it and latter it says that God blessed his latter end more than his former.
We are a blessed people, blessed by a Blessed God and loving Heavenly Father. We are blessed to be a blessing, both to return blessing to our Heavenly Father who has so richly blessed us and to be a blessing in the lives of others. As we sow, thus shall we reap. As we are so richly blessed, let us be a blessing to both God and man.
Revelations 22:14, “Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. ”

Victim or Victor
A victim mentality allows the culture around them,
the circumstances that confront them
and those who have hurt them, to define them.
It is why it is somebody else’s fault,
it isn’t fair, it will only get worse, I can’t forgive
and somebody needs to rescue me.

A victory mentality faces the same culture,
similar trials and circumstances,
the same hurts and offenses,
but they define their circumstances.
They are not here to blame anybody for it.
They have faith to see beyond to what can be,
They have hope to rise above, believe
and press into what shall be.
They have love to forgive the worst in man,
while they endeavor to bring out the best.

Our attitudes, mind set, faith and perseverance
are what define our character as to whether we
live as a victim or in victory through life.
Our greatest handicaps are not outward, but inward.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us.” Romans 8:27

Blessings,
kent

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