36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life [in the eternal kingdom of God]?37 For what can a man give as an exchange (a compensation, a ransom, in return) for his [blessed] life [in the eternal kingdom of God]?
Many people spend all their energy seeking pleasure. Jesus said, however, that a world of pleasure centered on possessions, position, or power is ultimately worthless. Whatever you have on earth is only temporary; it cannot be exchanged for your soul. If you work hard at getting what you want, you might eventually have a "pleasurable" life, but in the end you will find it hollow and empty. Are you willing to make the pursuit of God more important than the selfish pursuit of pleasure? Follow Jesus, and you will know what it means to live abundantly now and to have eternal life as well.
I thank You for a fun weekend with my family and friends. I thank You Lord for this new day and all that You have in store. I look to You Lord as I caught up on email and will have some new opportunities this week and will need your wisdom, discernment, and strength to press in and through all of it. Help me Lord in stepping up and pressing in to all that You bring before me. Your Word tells me Lord that You will never give me more than I can handle, so I hold onto that truth knowing that You are with me and will show me the way. Help me Lord to keep my focus on You so that in all I say and all I do, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Verse of the Day
31 So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples.32 And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.
1 [NOW] BEFORE the Passover Feast began, Jesus knew (was fully aware) that the time had come for Him to leave this world and return to the Father. And as He had loved those who were His own in the world, He loved them to the last and to the highest degree.2 So [it was] during supper, Satan having already put the thought of betraying Jesus in the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son,3 [That] Jesus, knowing (fully aware) that the Father had put everything into His hands, and that He had come from God and was [now] returning to God,4 Got up from supper, took off His garments, and taking a [servant’s] towel, He fastened it around His waist.5 Then He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the [servant’s] towel with which He was girded.6 When He came to Simon Peter, [Peter] said to Him, Lord, are my feet to be washed by You? [Is it for You to wash my feet?]7 Jesus said to him, You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later on.8 Peter said to Him, You shall never wash my feet! Jesus answered him, Unless I wash you, you have no part with (in) Me [you have no share in companionship with Me].9 Simon Peter said to Him, Lord, [wash] not only my feet, but my hands and my head too!10 Jesus said to him, Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is clean all over. And you [My disciples] are clean, but not all of you.11 For He knew who was going to betray Him; that was the reason He said, Not all of you are clean.12 So when He had finished washing their feet and had put on His garments and had sat down again, He said to them, Do you understand what I have done to you?13 You call Me the Teacher (Master) and the Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is what I am.14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher (Master), have washed your feet, you ought [it is your duty, you are under obligation, you owe it] to wash one another’s feet.15 For I have given you this as an example, so that you should do [in your turn] what I have done to you.16 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, A servant is not greater than his master, and no one who is sent is superior to the one who sent him.17 If you know these things, blessed and happy and to be envied are you if you practice them [if you act accordingly and really do them].
Service. Not the most fun word out there. It usually means work, so why do it? Why volunteer to serve others? Well, there is precedent for it – Jesus did it. In today’s reading, we are going to look at the example Jesus set for us by serving others.
In this passage, two levels of service are demonstrated:
1. Jesus engages in the ministry he loves, that he was created for – teaching and preaching to others. (This is found in the chapters surrounding John 13, so it doesn’t say this exactly. In fact, it doesn’t say it anywhere in John 13, because he and those on his ministry team [a.k.a. disciples] are taking a break from ministry to relax and eat together.)
2. Jesus serves the people he is working with. Its finally time for a break, and Jesus chooses to serve his team during his downtime.
Look for ways to serve God using your greatest passions. If you could create your ideal ministry in the church, what would you want to do? Would you sing on a worship team? Maybe paint a picture during the sermon? Help teach kids? Whatever you do, try to do it with a group. This group that you serve with could become your closest friends, as you serve God together. If you are already serving in church, what are some ways you can invest in those you serve alongside?