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Sacrificial Love

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Who are the hardest people for you to love?

Think about that question and then a few of you give me your answers.
There are no right or wrong answers here; just tell me what come to your mind.
These people that you say are the hardest to love, could you see yourself serving them?
In terms of serving, I mean the lowest societal view of serving that comes to mind?
By the same token, do you have any trouble with serving those whom you say that you love?
How far down the chain in being a servant, are you willing to go for another; even one that you say you love?

OK, heres another question for you. If you knew that tomorrow night was the last night that you would be spending time here alive (you had the knowledge ahead of time to know that you were going to die), how would you spend that last night? (LET PEOPLE ANSWER)

How many of you can honestly say that if it were your last night, you would try to enjoy that last bit of life to the fullest? (Food, time with family and friends, etc.)
How many people would spend the time trying to make things right between you and God, for fear of past failures and wrong dealings with other people?
The cartoon character Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes once said, “God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I’m so far behind I’ll never die.”
Would you picture your final night of life being spent as a lowly slave and doing the dirtiest of jobs for others, freely and voluntarily?
IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER (Written after she found out she was dying from cancer.)- by Erma Bombeck I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day. I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage. I would have talked less and listened more. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained or the sofa faded. I would have eaten the popcorn in the ’good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace. I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth. I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains. I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life. I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime. Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more "I love you’s." More "I’m sorry’s." But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute, look at it and really see it , live it and never give it back.
The late D.L. Moody said this as he was about to die and go on to be with Jesus, "Earth recedes. Heaven opens before me. If this is death, it is sweet! There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go." "No, no, Father," said Moody's son, "You are dreaming." "I am not dreaming," replied Moody. "I have been within the gates. I have seen the children's faces." His last words were, "This is my triumph; this is my coronation day! It is glorious!"
"No, no, Father," said Moody's son, "You are dreaming."
How do we view our final days? Just a thought!
"I am not dreaming," replied Moody. "I have been within the gates. I have seen the children's faces." His last words were, "This is my triumph; this is my coronation day! It is glorious!"

Tonight, we are going to briefly look at a passage in Johns gospel and then share with one another, our thoughts and introspective look at what is being said and how we apply it to ourselves.

Tonight, we are going to briefly look at a passage in Johns gospel and then share with one another, our thoughts and introspective look at what is being said and how we apply it to ourselves.

Tonight, we are going to briefly look at a passage in Johns gospel and then share with one another, our thoughts and introspective look at what is being said and how we apply it to ourselves.

This may be somewhat group interactive and less, teaching per se, depending on how far I get into it!
SHOW YOU TUBE VIDEO OF JESUS WASHING THE FEET
Read
John 13:1–30 ESV
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. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 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.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.” When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
I think that the thing that astounds me of this passage right out of the gait, is the mindset of Jesus. Here is a man, 100% man, whose death sentence is the next morning and He is only thinking of the wellbeing of that of His closest friends. He is still working to train and prepare them for what is about to take place. (He is not going , OK, look guys, there is going to be a group of really bad men come and take me away later and they are going to torture and kill me, but I am innocent I tell you; IM INNOCENT! You have got tot do something to help me!)
Jesus is working to prepare those whom He loved, (prepare them by showing them what the greatest gift of all TRULY looks like! , )
1 Corinthians 13:3–7 ESV
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Jesus was about to give all that He had in this passage and yet even then, He was still giving to those He loved for their good!
This whole scene in the upper room, is even more gripping when you understand that the only enemy to Jesus and His Father, the devil, was present!
Jesus, having all authority and having been given all things, as verse 3 says, could have unleashed a holy war right there on the devil, but that was not the will or the way of His Father and this shows the true heart and nature of love; SUBMISSION, HUMILITY and SERVITUDE!

What Jesus does in this passage, went against everything that the disciples believed was going to happen, or could understand.

They were looking, as were all believing Jews, in the messiah who would come and deliver Israel from oppression and Roman rule and forever establish an earthly kingdom!
They were looking to Jesus for this.......not someone who had all of this power and authority who was talking about His having to die and leave them!
Now, to top it all, Jesus does the unthinkable, as we just read in the passage and He gets up from the meal and removes His outer garment and tied the “lention” (a towel or apron that servants put when working), and He gets the basin and fills it with water and begins to wash the disciples feet!
What Jesus was starting to do to them, was so unheard of that it probably semi-disgusted some of the disciples! (The role of one who washed the feet of the guest in the house, was reserved for the lowest of the servants.
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel according to John 1. Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet (13:1–17)

Some Jews insisted that Jewish slaves should not be required to wash the feet of others; this job should be reserved for Gentile slaves, or for women and children and pupils

The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel according to John 1. Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet (13:1–17)

The reluctance of Jesus’ disciples to volunteer for such a task is, to say the least, culturally understandable; their shock at his volunteering is not merely the result of being shamefaced, it is their response to finding their sense of the fitness of things shattered. But here Jesus reverses normal roles. His act of humility is as unnecessary as it is stunning, and is simultaneously a display of love (v. 1), a symbol of saving cleansing (vv. 6–9), and a model of Christian conduct (vv. 12–17)

This was totally against anything that they understood from a Jewish Holy man, let alone the messiah!
They would have done well to reflect on the account of the woman at the house of Simon the Pharisee, when she washed Jesusfeet with hr tears, kissed His feet and anointed them with expensive ointment and dried His feet with her own hair. (The religious zealots could only think of the unthinkable act that this sinner was doing!)
Yet, Jesus explained that the true love and desire for forgiveness had driven her to regard Him higher than even they with their social rights and rules and because of her great faith and love, she was totally restored and forgiven!
So, here, in this example, we see God incarnate, down washing feet! WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON?

Jesus comes to Simon Peter to wash his feet!

John 13:6–11 ESV
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 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.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
They didn't understand it then, but after the crucifixion and resurrection, they would get it. Jesus, the Lamb of God, was getting ready to take away the sins of the world; that is, He was getting ready to cleanthem of all of their sins!
Unless the Lamb of God has taken away a persons sins, then they can have no part with Him; as Jesus said to Peter!
.
John 13:12–17 ESV
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Jesus was telling them, the same thing that we should understand today; if the Master, the one who sends out the messengers lowers Himself to that of lowest esteemed there is, then the messenger himself, has no right to say that they will not do the same.
Mark 10:45 ESV
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The footwashing was to symbolize the cleansing of the work of the Cross that was about to happen. However, with Peters refusal to let this happen, it opened the door for Jesus to make another point and that is selflessness and humility. And also, that once we are clean, we never need to be cleaned again” (as in keep going to the cross for cleansing, justification; it is a one-time action), but yet due to daily struggles and sin, we need to continually be sanctified and given a little sponge bath or foot washing from the Master!
The lesson that was to be taken from the act is that TRUE LOVE, which is really the theme of this chapter and through chapter 16, is only possible if a person is HUMBLE!
Simply put, you cannot love one another as God has commanded us, unless you are willing to serve and be humble! It is not possible to love as Jesus taught us, if we are not willing to give of ourselves and put others first!
Ephesians 5:15 ESV
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
Ephesians 5:1–5 ESV
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Note first of all with this passage, that we are commanded to imitate God, if we are His beloved children. Well, what does that mean?
It answers this question right after, where it says that we are to walk in LOVE, as Christ loved us. How did Christ love us? It answers this also; by giving Himself up for us, !
SELFLESS and GIVING is loving.
Th reason that you see the sexual, immoral people listed here, is that hedonists, and those that are after the pleasures of this world, cannot know agape love, because they serve themselves and not others. They TAKE, but do not GIVE.
LOVE is always seeking to give away to others, not take from them. .
John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John MacArthur spoke about this and said that this is why abortions are really a matter of sexual sin and not simply of murdering. The people do not kill the baby because they want to kill the fetus, but rather they do so because they do not want to give up their sexual practices. They truly do not love, as God says, but rather they only know the word LOVE as the world defines it.
When the world can take the most primordial and basic instinct of a mother, which is to protect her child at all cost, and change it to where she would rather kill the child than give up her sexual preferences, we have seen a sad and deplorable state and use of the word LOVE!
This love is Eros and Phileo, but not Agape!
Jesus, Himself, just two chapters later, stated what true love would look like, both for His disciples, but for the whole church to follow! .
John 15:12–14 ESV
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.
Jesus follows up with what He had told the disciples at the end of .
John 13:34–35 ESV
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Notice to what great length that Jesus says loves goes?! It may cost you everything for the sake of another!

True love is always seen with humility! .

Philippians 2:2–5 ESV
complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
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