In my mind that morning as I was bothered by it I was thinking, but this is so silly and why would that bother me? I mean what is the big deal, I don't even have one!!! And why would listening to other people talk about theirs, bother me? I just found it odd at the time. I shrugged it off and went into work, but I prayed and asked the Lord to show me or speak to me why I had this feeling. I have learned over the years that it is the Holy Spirit that does that to me and it is ALWAYS for a reason!! So I went about my day at work and honestly didn't think anything else about it. I had other things on my heart and mind and knew that the Lord would show me in His timing (that is the theme of my life right now).
And so I come to this morning in God's word seeking His face and it slapped me in the head like a ton of bricks as I read scripture. " 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, drying them with the towel he had around him." John 13:4-5 That was it, He wanted me to see that Jesus knew these were His final hours! Get it? Final hours!!! He had only hours to live and He was NOT concerned about himself and all He wanted to do or see or go!!! In His final hours, He SERVED others. He had no concern for the flesh or it being all about Him. He could have easily said, "hey friends, I am about to die in hours and I would like to enjoy these final hours with the things that I want and you guys need to be seeing what I want and doing what I want" Cause that sure sounds like what I would have said. Hey everyone, it's all about ME tonight!!! Talk about hard to swallow - but then it got even harder!!!
He says in verse 15, "I have given you an example to follow". Okay Lord, thank you for that example and you know that will be extremely hard for me, since I am a sinner and flawed in my thinking and ways. But, Lord, I see what you are telling me. I don't need a bucket list that would make me focus on myself, satisfying my own desires & wants causing me to lose site of my final hours. See since we have no idea when our days will come to an end, aren't we always living in final hours? I mean this could totally be my last day on earth, I may never again get a chance to hug necks (I love some neck hugging) or tell someone I love them, or serve someone, or help someone or share truth with someone. So God wants us to live each moment as if we knew it were our last and serve others. Our society says just the opposite and my fear is that we are raising generation after generation of self absorbed, me - me - me, entitled thinking people. God wants us to see and live by the example that Jesus left us. I mean I had to ask myself some really hard questions. I had to be honest that if I knew I had hours to live, would I honestly be serving others or would I gather all my friends and family together to hide out and soak up every last minute of love, hugs, laughs and memories that I could? I didn't like my answer, I would focus on myself and what I wanted in those last hours!!! I even found myself trying to justify to God right here this morning in front of His word why I should have that time. I hung my head in shame!
And that was not all, here comes the real kicker - you think that was tough (I did) watch this!!!!
"Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and He exclaimed, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray Me!" John 13:21 Wait there is more. "Jesus answered, "Die for Me? I tell you the truth, Peter - before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know Me." John 13:38
I was speechless (no wise cracks)! Seriously Lord, not only do you want me to serve people in my last hours and not worry one bit about myself, you want me to serve those who betray me and ignore me like they don't even know who I am? You have got to be kidding me right? Look Lord, you have no idea how some of these people have hurt me and you want me to serve them? And as the tears began to fall, I felt a spirit of "YES my sweet child" fall over me. But God how can I do that? "You can't, but I can"; I felt Him say. But God why would I want to spend my last few hours on people who have hurt me and not with those who have not? Because that is easy and anyone can do that. But My people, who are called by My name, who have My love, don't love and serve like that. Okay Lord I am a total mess right here and so ashamed of myself for thinking I was doing pretty good about not being as self focused as the environment and culture I live in and You have totally showed me I am still missing the mark!!
So you can say I have been taken to the wood shed and back this morning by the Lord, but I am thankful! I think that we can get to a place of comparing ourselves to the culture and world we live in and by using that measuring stick we feel pretty good about ourselves and where we fall. But when we pull out God's measuring stick and see where we fall on His, it doesn't look so good anymore. God pulled out His measuring stick for me this morning and I didn't fair too well friends. I can only speak for myself, but I sure was shocked. I think God wanted to show me the danger of where I have been measuring myself lately and to remind me that only HIS example matters. Sure in the worlds eyes compared to most others I may doing pretty good, but that doesn't matter!
So maybe there are some hard questions you need to ask yourself today. Maybe you need to see what measuring stick you have been using. Maybe you needed to be reminded that we are living in the last hours now. Maybe you needed to be reminded that we are to be serving others like Jesus, even in our final hours. Maybe you needed to be reminded that you have been a little self centered lately. Maybe you needed to be reminded that there are those in your life that have hurt you and you need to serve them. Or probably a big one for our culture today is that maybe you are too busy serving YOURSELF and your FAMILY to serve God and others!!! Maybe your allowing your family to be ruled by schedules that are not of God. Maybe you needed to be reminded that the only people you serve is your family, or people you like. Maybe you needed to know that it is okay if you don't have a bucket list. I don't know what it is, but I can promise you that the Lord does. And He will speak to you and show you things, no matter how many times you have read those verses or heard them preached on. He has a word for you today, I promise.
This is perfect for what God showed me this morning!
Thank you for keeping up with us and all that you do for us, we are eternally grateful. We have had some new people join the prayer partnership of our ministry and that is so exciting!!!!
1. Big meeting at the Ranch this month
2. Luke Everette as he travels for the Ranch and is away from family
3. All the teachers, staff and kids that are there now
4. For 90% of our funding to start coming in quickly
5. For our marriage and families - satan is trying to discourage and destroy
6. For our spiritual growth as we walk in obedience to Him