Feet Washing

Journal Entry // April 27, 2022

Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”

John 13:8 ESV

Peter in the Gospels is so often a mirror that reflects the inner thoughts and determination of my heart. He is generally the one that is not afraid to put into words the thoughts that are bouncing around in his head. This passage is no different. Jesus is demonstrating humility and the necessity of servant leadership. None of us are above the necessary role of serving others in our leading capacity, but this washing of the feet was a picture of our necessity to have a heart of repentance. Our bodies are clean if we are in Christ and have been cleansed of our sin through the washing of his blood in our life, but our feet get dirty as we continually walk in this world. We need a daily washing of our feet. We need a daily, humble repentance that keeps bringing us back to the grace and mercy of Jesus.

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Knowing and Known

Journal Entry // April 22, 2021

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,

John 10:14 ESV

There are a lot of interesting phrases and insight that Jesus gives in this section of the Gospel, but the one that stood out to me this morning was his knowing of his sheep. This is not a general knowing like he states elsewhere about knowing what’s in the heart of man. This is a deep intimate knowledge of a person. And it’s reciprocal. We know Jesus deeply as we follow him and obey our good shepherd.

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Choosing to be Yoked

Journal Entry // April 24, 2022

So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

Numbers 25:3 ESV

As I was reading this passage, I became interested in this notion that Israel had yoked himself. He was not forced into this, but freely chose to be yoked with Baal. There are some interesting definitions surround this word yoked:

  • Servitude and bondage
  • An oppressive agency
  • Wooden frame by which two animals are joined for working together
  • Device placed on the neck of a defeated person

All of these definitions draw out the image of a person that has lost their freedom. A person with a yoke is under the control of another. In this case, Israel had yoked himself to a different master and had chosen to give up their freedom in the Lord for servitude under a yoke.

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Murderous Pride

Journal Entry // April 23, 2022

And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.”

Numbers 22:29 ESV

Pride is such a deceptive and pervasive part of our hearts that left unchecked it will bring about reckless disobedience to the Word of the Lord and even possible abandonment of the faith. The story of Balaam sounds an awful lot like the story of Jonah. With Balaam there is an overwhelming sense of unchecked pride in his life. Here is a man who has been granted visions from the Lord and is allowed to prophesy in the name of the God. Here is a man that has a ministry and calling from the Lord to share the word of these visions and to be the mouthpiece of God. Yet, Balaam was a man that also struggled with pride even in the midst of the amazing revelations and good works that he was allowed to be part of.

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Displaying Glory

Journal Entry// April 21, 2021

Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

John 9:3 ESV

We always want to know and understand the deeper meaning to our present situation, especially when God has placed us in difficult situations lined with trials, adversity, pain, suffering, lowliness, and weakness. It goes against our desires to be placed in a state of humility. When these situations arise, we naturally assume that something is wrong. This must be a punishment or a response from the Lord to sin in our heart or lack of faith and understanding within us.

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Steeping in the Word

Journal Entry // April 20, 2022

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, [32] and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32 ESV

We are always looking for the steps to success in this life. Rules or ideas that will bring happiness and joy or success and wealth if we just follow them. There are a thousand books written every year claiming to know the secret to success and the pathway to riches and happiness. We all want this life to be easy and we all want this life to be simple. Here Jesus tells me that the Christian life is a simple formula: abide in his word –> true disciple –> know the truth –> set free. It also seems so simple and easy doesn’t it? It’s the most simple message that is seemingly so very difficult to follow. My heart is a lot like the people who Jesus is speaking to. His words are difficult to hear as they cut through all the clutter of my mind and penetrate straight to my heart and pierce my pride.

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Light of Life

Journal Entry // April 20, 2021

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12 ESV

As I contemplate this passage, I am reminded of how I have always really focused on Jesus being the light of the world. This beacon of hope in a dark world that I am drawn to like a moth to a flame. I still feel that is a good, helpful, and appropriate analogy. But there seems to be something more this time in my reading and thinking. As the Lord has been working to reveal the darkness in my heart, the light of life doesn’t just draw me toward himself but reveals what was once hidden in the darkness.

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Prideful Knowledge

Journal Entry // April 17, 2022

Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”

John 7:48-49 ESV

This is always one of the passages that brings a bit of concern to my mind as I read. It’s difficult reading these passages about the leaders and Pharisees because they are a lot like me at times. As I read these accounts, I see my hard heart being represented in their decisions and statements to Jesus and about Jesus. These are the men who spent their entire life studying the Scriptures and desiring to be obedient to the Law of God found therein. These men who knew the Scriptures backwards and forwards were not only missing the Christ set before them, they were actively working against him. They were missing the very one that the Scriptures themselves pointed to.

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Seeing the Father

Journal Entry // April 16, 2022

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

John 5:19 ESV

I have been thinking a lot over the last few days about the way I perceive a difference between the Father and the Son. When I sit down to read through God’s word on a regular basis, I follow my plan of reading two chapters from the Old Testament and one chapter from the New Testament. In my reading there is oftentimes a simple comparison between how things were handled in the OT and the NT. Like today… I read in Numbers about the Lord telling the congregation to stone the person who had been caught picking up sticks on the Sabbath. I then read in the John about the leaders being at odds with Jesus because he was healing on the Sabbath. It is so easy to read these accounts and draw a line between the Father and the Son in this instance, yet Jesus tells me here that the Son only does what he see his Father doing. He only ever does whatever the Father does.

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Fearless Faith

Journal Entry // April 14, 2022

But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.”

Numbers 13:30 ESV

Fearless faith… This is the type of faith that Caleb displays in this moment. After spending 40 days with these men on a mission to spy out the promised land, I’m sure there were many discussions about the report they were to give. Caleb was surely not caught off-guard by the report of the other spies that was filled with fear and dread. It took a tremendous amount of faith to not only bring a different report, but to quiet the people in the midst of the report and give his objection and encouragement to go take the land at once. I find that so interesting and encouraging. Caleb understood that this was the land of God’s promise to them. It doesn’t really matter who is occupying it. So, let’s stop waiting around and discussing the matter. Let’s go up NOW.

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