FATHER, HELP US TO BE LIKE JESUS!         

Jesus washing feet

John 13:3-5 (New Living Translation)

Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet…

 

Feet washing during the period when Jesus lived was a necessity. People wore sandals and walked on dusty roads; many developed hard stinky feet. When they got home they washed their feet before going indoors. In the homes of wealthy people, their feet and feet of their visitors were washed by slaves and servants.

In some wealthy Jewish homes, they would not allow the Jewish servants to do the feet washing, they would assign the task to the gentile servants – because they considered feet washing an embarrassing humiliating task.

So when Jesus decided to wash His disciples’ feet before the last supper, they were very surprised! There was no servant in the room, and none of them was going to carry out the task of washing the feet of the others. Jesus – Messiah, God, KING of Kings, LORD of Lords, put on a towel and washed the feet of these common men.

Yes, the disciples had observed a lot of humility in Jesus – but this feet washing was such a self-less and shocking act of service!

To be like Jesus – to have such a giant humble heart for divine service, is a challenge Jesus has placed before every Christian. How am I living up to this challenge? Not very well I must confess. How are you living up to this challenge?

Our Father, who art in heaven, help us to be like Jesus, Amen!!! 

 

Image:Jesus Washing the Feet of his Disciples (Albert Edelfelt) (Wikimedia)       

 

HABAKKUK – EMPOWERMENT IN HARD TIMES!

Mountain deer

Habakkuk 1:2-4 (GOD’S WORD® Translation) – How long, O LORD, am I to cry for help, but you will not listen? I cry out to you, “There’s violence!” yet you will not come to the rescue… Quarrels and disputes arise… Wicked people surround righteous people so that when justice is carried out, it’s perverted.”

 

The book of Habakkuk opens with the agonizing cry “How long, O LORD“, things have fallen apart in Judah, “There’s violence“, frequent quarrels and conflicts, but the judges are so corrupt “when justice is carried out, it’s perverted.” In such conditions, poor people, simple people, and righteous people, often experience hard times.

The LORD answers Habakkuk that he has seen the ugly conditions in Judah, and has permitted Judah to be captured by Babylon as a form of discipline for Judah. Habakkuk thinks the punishment is too strong and ask God for mercy. God assures him that “the righteous person will live because of his faithfulness” (Hab. 2:4).

God’s response so delights Habakkuk that he was inspired to write Habakkuk Chapter 3 as a magnificent song of praise. Habakkuk 3:17-19 are among the most beautiful praise and testimony of God’s provision for the righteous in hard times.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (GWT) – “Even if the fig tree does not bloom and the vines have no grapes, even if the olive tree fails to produce and the fields yield no food, even if the sheep pen is empty and the stalls have no cattle – even then, I will be happy with the LORD. I will truly find joy in God, who saves me. The LORD Almighty is my strength. He makes my feet like those of a deer. He makes me walk on the mountains.” 

In hard times, the LORD is our strength, empowering us to thrive – giving us feet like those of the mountain deer, so we can walk on the mountains to springs of living waters, which never runs dry, glory to His name, Amen!

 

Image: Deer in the Carmel mountain, Israel (Source: Wikimedia)

WHAT IS YOUR ANCHOR IN TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY?

Seraphim 2

Isaiah 6:1-2 (New Living Translation)

It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.

 

Uzziah (also known as Azariah) was the twelfth king of Judah.  His father and grandfather were assassinated; they left Judah a poor and weak country. Uzziah was king at 16 and ruled for 52 years (see 2 Kings 15 and 2 Chronicles 26). He was faithful to God, and thus God prospered and made Judah strong again.

Sadly, in his later years, pride caused Uzziah to attempt to take over the functions of the Priests; God struck him with Leprosy and this eventually led to his death. It was while mourning over Uzziah’s tragic death that Isaiah had this spectacular vision of God on the throne in the Temple, filing it up with his mighty presence and greatness.

The vision showed Isaiah that Judah’s true King was still alive and full of power. The vision strengthened Isaiah’s faith, renewed his hope, and showed him the way forward. It was the key turnaround moment in Isaiah’s life.

Who or what is king over your life? Country? The President? The economy? The certificate you earned from College? Family? The job you do? Friends? Church you attend? Will these hold firm in times of uncertainty?

Isaiah’s confidence was wrecked when Uzziah died, but the Lord rescued Isaiah with a vision of His presence and greatness. Our anchor and stability in times of uncertainty is Yahweh, the true and permanent Ruler of Heaven and Earth.

May the LORD give us a vision of his presence and greatness, like he did for Isaiah, to strengthen our trust in Him in these uncertain times, Amen!   

 

Image: Seraphim on Jerusalem YMCA based on Isaiah 6:1-5 (Source: Wikimedia

PSALM 91 – A TESTIMONY OF MOSES

The_Call_of_Moses

Psalm 91:1-2 (New Living Translation)

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.

 

It is commonly believed that Moses wrote Psalm 91 when Israel was traveling through the desert on their journey to the Promised Land.

We remember that during their 40 years journey, a cloud was always over the children of Israel during the day to protect them from the sun; and a pillar of fire appeared in the middle of their camp at night to provide light, warmth, and security (check out Exodus 13:21). Psalm 91 is thus a testimony of how God cares for his children.

While it is often difficult for us to see the many ways God cares for us, especially in times of trouble and trials, we have the testimony and praise of people like Moses, to encourage us. Moses lived in the palace of Egypt from birth till he was 40; was then driven away and lived a tough life as a shepherd for another 40 years.

During his 40 years as a shepherd Moses must have felt abandoned; likely concluded he was a failure; and lived with pain at not being able to rescue Israel from slavery. All this turned around when Moses met God at the burning bush and was empowered to go deliver Israel (check out Exodus 3 for this terrific experience). 

We see Moses in Psalm 91, now as deliverer of Israel with full support from God, testifying that ‘those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty… he is my God, and I trust him.’ Moses speaks strongly to us today, let’s not give up on God no matter the challenges we face – Amen!

 

Image: Moses and the burning bush (Source: Wikimedia)