Word from the kitchen — unfailing Love

JOHN 13 vs 1 – 5 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

 To me this is such a heart searching story and a perfect example of the highest love. Agape love. An unbreakable, inseparable, unconquerable and everlasting love.

Jesus was in the upper room with His disciples only a few hours before His death. The disciples preoccupied with their own egos and pride were arguing who are the greatest among them. Then Jesus got up, took off his garments and washed their feet like a slave.

It is astonishing to me this self-sacrificing, serving love! Jesus knew that He would hang on a cross the very next day. He also knew that Judas would betray Him and yet He chose to lose Himself in His love for His disciples! He was just pouring out unconditional love!

You know, I’ve been living with this terminal, disabling disease for eight years and I understand a little bit about how easy it is to get caught up in your own situation, climbing the mountain in front of you. Not Jesus! Perfect love! To be honest, there are no words and no mind to understand this love!

The Bible says “He loved them to the end” In Greek “to the end” is the word eistelos. It is the same word Jesus spoke just before He died, it means complete! Unto the end, fully, totally, completely, for eternity! Amazing isn’t it!

This example of Jesus is begging us to love the same, because if the gifts of the Spirit in our lives are not motivated by the fruits of the Spirit, then we are performing our gifts merely out of our own flesh. God doesn’t want us doing our own thing in our own power.

Jesus’ life was never taken from him, he gave it freely! The great King died on a cross and it was His love for us that lead Him & kept Him on that cross.

I just love the way Paul, having gone through so much in his life said “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. I’m convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, or things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Can we do the same? Maybe this world will never hear what we have to say, but they will feel our love!

I’d like to share something I wrote —

I know a Love, who has loved me to the end of love

How will I speak of Him, lest my heart feels the shame?

Wretched, sinful man that I am

For all I know and have and am, made by His precious hands

 

He came to wash my feet one day

His eyes revealed the pain of the betrayal

With his dying breath he loved me still

I knew that day, this Love no man can kill

 

I closed my eyes and silently prayed

Unfailing Love, help me love this way

Advertisements

Word from the kitchen — salt & light

A magazine once covered a very sad story of a little boy who wandered away from home into a big field of wheat. The wheat was too high, so the little boy couldn’t find his way out. A search party gathered. They joined hands and in a long line they swept through the wheat field from one end to the next. They finally found the boy on the second day, but it was too late, he didn’t survive the cold night. Underneath the heartbreaking picture of the weeping farther, were these words – “Oh, God, if we had only joined hands sooner.”

Something in this father’s cry makes me feel the heart of Jesus for a broken world. The lost, way out there in the field of the world, searching for the Father’s house. Dying of the sins of the night, unable to see above the wheat. Will we join hands and search for them?

Matthew 5 vs 13-16 is for every believer and disciple of Christ —

13[†]“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16[†]In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

As soon as we are born we influence the world around us, consciously or otherwise. We cannot eliminate our influence! People will be better or worse because of us!

It never cease to amaze me that the God of the universe would choose sinful people to accomplish His sovereign work! I am so thankful that He does! It gives my life purpose and direction. What a wonderful privilege to be part of His plan! God hits a lot of straight balls with a crooked stick! I think that way His true and amazing glory can be fully displayed! It is just like Him, you know, to use the most basic to accomplish the most extraordinary! He used dirt to make the first man, His most intimate friends were fishermen, He was born from an ordinary woman and He chose to die on a cross! So, when He says that we are the salt and the light of this world, we better believe it! We’re it!

The Bible says that God wants us in this world, but that we are not of this world. Although He has send us to this world, He doesn’t want us to love this world. Now, to me that sounds like a very fine line! Maybe the answer lies in the fact that we are the salt and light? For salt to be effective it must mingle with the substance that it is affecting, yet the salt is distinct from the substance. Light, in order to shatter darkness, must shine upon darkness, yet it is distinct from the darkness. In the same way we need to be different and distinct from this world, if not, we have lost our saltiness and hidden our lamps.

May the saltiness of our lives make others thirst for the truth, so that our lights can reflect the one true God!

The kitchen

Word from the kitchen — The Vine

A towering redwood stands tall because of its extensive root system–a foundation that can cover more than an acre! That stable footing feeds the tree, helping it to flourish. In a similar way, a strong, uncompromising, world-changing Christian is the product of a hidden root system…

In John15 vs 4&5 Jesus says: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine;  and you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that  bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

It doesn’t surprise me that Jesus chooses to use the parable of a vine, because it is such a perfect example. We cannot spiritually breath or exist, what to say bear fruit, if we are not connected to the Lord. He is not only our anchor that sets the root of our lives in fertile ground, but He’s also the very essence of that which we need to fill our lives with.

Sometimes we run around frantically trying to bear more fruit only to fail time and time again. We see someone else bear the kind of fruit that we would like to bear and we try to copycat them, but that is like trying to tie plastic fruit around ourselves. They look beautiful from the outside, but they are not real. Real fruit comes from the inside and is produced  by the Lord through us. The fruit  is merely the product of a branch that is connected to the vine.

Our focus need not be on the fruit, but on being firmly connected to the vine, the fruit will come and when it come it will come abundantly!

I don’t know what your circumstances are as you’re reading this today, but I know a God who promises “…Just as I was with Moses, I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” [Joshua 1 vs 5] Do you know that God is the only one who can make such a promise and keep it?

My honest prayer today is that our circumstances will lead us to the feet of Jesus and when we get there, I pray that we will stay there!