“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” John 13:1-17 (NIV)
We have never been to heaven. We’ve learned about it in Scripture, discussed the hope of it, and some people have even written books to give us a taste of its greatness. There is an electrifying expectancy, knowing that one day God’s people will walk into a land where praise is the adorning jewel to perfection. Jesus stepped out of this perfect beauty into the filth of this dying world to become one of us. He willingly paid the price for our death and conquered it so we could live in that perfection.
This is the same God who washed the dirty feet of the disciples.
If you don’t get this example of such incredible humility, then it will be hard for you to even begin to fathom the depth of God’s grace and mercy and to live in it while raising support. We are nothing. Our fallen character swells our egos as we listen to Satan’s lies, telling us that we on our own are greater than who we really are. We are nothing. Sadly, we are selfish by nature, demanding attention, fighting for our right to be heard, and whining if someone else gets noticed over us. We are nothing. Sin is the core that drives us, blinds us, and destroys us.
Here is the beautiful message of God’s grace and mercy—We are nothing, yet the completed, triune God wanted a relationship with His fallen creation. Jesus, in all His glory, obeyed His Father’s command to step out of the heavenly realm to be the sacrificial Lamb for our sins. In that one act, we who are absolutely nothing and have no desire to pursue God on our own, are chosen by Him and are crowned with royal righteousness, not by our own might, strength or goodness, but by His glorious grace.
We are in a battle against this truth. The verses—in humility think others better than yourself (Phil 2:3), be humble and bear with one another in love (Eph 4:2), in humility God will lift you up (Jas 4:10), the last will be first (Matt 20:16)—clashes with our old self-righteous rags we still like to wear in this fallen world. Christ, who is God in the flesh, took the lowly position of a servant to demonstrate how we are to love and serve one another, and He stated, “no servant is greater than his master” (16). With these words, we have no grounds to hold our egos over anyone else, for even Jesus served His betrayer. With Jesus’ actions as a servant, our smugness should be wiped right out of us, because He is the King. We are all vile, arrogant, and whiney, and God has given us unearned keys to His Kingdom.
Therefore, God did not choose you because you showed the greatest potential to grow your ministry with the next brilliant idea, or because you excelled in Bible college while graduating top of your class, or even because you have shown a whimsical knack for puppetry. Apart from Him, you offer absolutely nothing to God that He cannot do for Himself. But He CHOSE you. He took DELIGHT in you. The very Sustainer of life BESTOWED you with gifts to serve and glorify Him. That is grace. And this knowledge should bring us to our knees in worship.
I’m painting such a stark contrasting picture to help you translate this truth into your support-raising journey and throughout your ministry. Jesus’ foot washing example is not just for special ministry moments set with dim lights, a half-empty washbasin, and awkward side-glancing silence. Day-by-day, with every breath, we are to live the truth of this grace out. The support-raising journey is a chance to figuratively wash people’s feet. God has opened the door for you to step into people’s lives and connect them with God Almighty and to invite them into His work. This isn’t the time to celebrate you and how great you are. You have a story to tell of how God is working in you, a humble story of how you are being used by God’s grace and mercy.
What are you going to choose to focus on during this time?
- Praise God that He is using you for His kingdom purposes.
- Tell others your story of God’s amazing grace and mercy in your life.
*First posted on Godandelephants.com on July 19