Foot Washing and Serving Others

779a4245177aa68266dde9a8ddac57e0servingThis particular worship service in November was such blessing to me. After singing some songs and hearing a good sermon on Psalm 7, we observed communion and foot washing. Because Jesus became Lord of my life at age 8, I’ve participated in communion most of my life, but it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I witnessed and  participated in the physical worship of foot washing.

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For those of you who have never had the joy of participating in a foot washing service, I’d like to explain how we do it in our church.  The ladies sit on one side of the church and wash another lady’s feet in a basin of warm water and then dries their feet with a towel. We then switch places.  The men do the same on the other side of the church.

 

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The first time I participated in a foot washing service, I was surprised by the fact that I had no qualms about washing other’s feet, but it was very humbling to sit while someone washed my feet!  Like the Apostle Peter, everything in me wanted to scream, No! That’s ok.  You really don’t need to do that.  (That was my pride speaking.)  It was much easier for me to serve than to be served and it took lots less humility!

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The point of this service is to remind us why we are here on this earth….to serve others!  Jesus was the perfect example of this.  He lived a sinless life on this earth, loving and serving others constantly.  After He washed His disciples’ feet, He said, If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. (John 13:17) Whether you believe He meant for foot washing to be practiced literally or He was just setting another example, I think we would all agree Jesus was very clear about the necessity of us loving and serving others….not solely for the purpose of our happiness, although this is a byproduct.

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As my dear friend bowed to wash my feet, it was easy to imagine it was Jesus. This question came to mind.  Why? Why would He, the king of the universe, even care about me much less come to earth to live and die for me? Why would He bow to serve ME?  Love.  That’s why He came. And He would have done it even if you or I were the only one here.  I believe that. It is still hard to wrap my mind around that fact though. If He was willing to humble Himself and serve me, then I should do no less for my fellowman.

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There is always such a sweet spirit in our church after we have bowed and washed feet.  There are many tears of joy, lots of hugs, and many smiles.

 

 

When we serve others, we find that somehow our own needs get met in the process. I can personally attest to this fact. During some of the darkest days of my life, I felt like I was literally walking through the valley of the shadow of death.  One of the things that got me through was believing God had left me on this earth to make a positive difference in someone’s life. I clung to the promise in Proverbs 11:25. (The verse mentioned in the picture.) I selfishly sought to serve others just to survive. Although my motive wasn’t the best, it worked.

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Michael Card wrote and sings a beautiful song titled, The Basin and the Towel.  Please take a moment to listen. May you be blessed as you serve others today!

Bowing the knee,

Gaye Hughes

 

 

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Moving from Blessings to Joy and Contentment

 

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Ouch!

I think I’m decent at recognizing some of God’s blessings in my life, but lately I’ve realized I often stop short of consciously taking the time to thank God for them. Do you understand what I’m saying? This is SO simple, but I’ve somehow overlooked this!  I think there is a BIG disconnect here…an important part of the puzzle I’ve been missing and didn’t even realize it.

joy-quotes-pictures-3-f2ad07eeWhen I fail to take the next step of not only being thankful, but addressing that gratefulness to the producer, which is God,  (James 1:17 says, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and coming down from the Father of lights….) I’m forfeiting the contentment and joy God is trying to give me.  And I’m the only one to blame.

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It’s hard to pour positive things into other people’s lives when there is discontent in my own life. I will go so far as to say it is impossible. I’m a parent and teacher and have been for more than half my life.  I’ve noticed my children and students are much more attentive when I’m happy, positive and enthusiastic.  You just can’t wing it with children!  They see the real deal.

So what happens on the days when I’m just “not feeling it?” They can see right through that! More importantly, God can see right through that. And now that I think of it, probably most everybody can see right through that!  So who am I fooling? No one!

a-contented-heart-is-a-calm-sea-in-the-midst-of-all-storms-quote-1But who wants to just go through the motions of life anyway? Don’t we all long to REALLY live?  I used to ask God to give me a good day, but I haven’t felt right about that prayer at all lately. The very best days are those days, even if they are tough, I really feel God right there helping me! There’s nothing like knowing you are right where God wants you and He is blessing you even when the seas are far from calm.   I’ve come to be satisfied with nothing less. Once you’ve had a taste of that, it’s hard to settle for anything less. And I never want to.

 

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Psalm 34:8 says, O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no lack to them that fear him.

 

David said in Psalm 42:1,2, As the deer longs for the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God…

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A longing for God is a good thing, but when I’m always wanting more of other things, it is more properly defined as discontentment.  Too many times I think, “Oh, this is neat, but….” The joy of God’s blessings get easily overlooked because I’m wanting something more and not thanking Him for what I have.  The more I express my thankfulness, the more contented I become.

I need  to always remember only God can satisfy my thirsty  soul…nothing or no one else.  He has made me.  He knows what I need and what is best for me. I need to trust Him to give me His best and not what I think is best.   If He is always Plan A, I’ll never need a Plan B. Let’s not short change ourselves when God does bless us by failing to take the time to thank Him. Godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6).

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Keep looking up!

Gaye Hughes

 

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West Virginia