KICKSTART DEVOTIONAL

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On every Mission Discovery mission trip, we begin the morning together in God's word. One speaker is chosen to give the word of the day so that everyone else can meditate on the Scripture. Our hope is that volunteers engage in group discussions throughout the day and in their small groups.

Since the way ministry is being done has shifted, our goal is to serve by creating resources that will help others focus on God throughout the day, and influence family and small group discussion.

Join us every weekday as we explore God's word together. We will have speakers from all over the US and the world. Here is today's Kickstart Devotional.

 

Video: Pete Guillard //  To Love is to Serve

 

 

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how do you love?

 

To Love is to Serve

Mission Discovery Mission Trips with Pete Guillard

 

Pete Guillard is the Director of Youth and Adult Christian Education at First Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, Virginia.  He is a great friend of all of us at Mission Discovery and he has another thoughtful message for you here today.  

Hello my name is Pete Guillard and I am with the First Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Roanoke Virginia.  And I along with the church here have been involved with Mission Discovery for a number of years. We've been on several trips both here and in other countries and looking forward to joining them again this summer.

One of the things that's noticed quite prevalently on all of their T-shirts that they send you is their motto, which says "To Love is to Serve" and the other day I was doing a study in John Chapter 13 which is talking about Jesus in the upper room with his disciples. And I was struck with the notion of Jesus demonstrating his love and reminded of this slogan "To Love is to Serve".

Love is an action that's not just an emotion. And so I'd like to read John 13:1. We'll read a few more verses later from John 13 but I want to read John 13:1, just to kind of get this picture of the love that Jesus is wanting to demonstrate. It says

"that it was just before the Passover feast and Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and to go to the father. Having loved his own who were in the world, He showed them the full extent of his love." 

Showed them the full extent, or another version talks about “showed them his love to the very end”. Jesus is displaying to them, a love that would resonate with them as being an identifier as to who they were to be as believers.

Now the context of this I think is better understood if we read a portion in Luke's Gospel, that records an occurrence that took place in the upper room just prior to this in the chronology.  Jesus had already had the Passover meal with them, where He took the cup and the bread and He broke it and drank it and showed how this would be the new covenant in his body and blood.

And just following that, we read about this occurrence in Luke Chapter 22 verses 24 through 27.  

"Also a dispute rose among them, as to which of them was considered to be the greatest.  Jesus said to them "The Kings of the Gentile lorded over them and those who exercise authority over them call themselves benefactors.  But you were not to be like that.Instead the greatest among you should be like the youngest and the one who rules like the one who serves.  For who is greater?  The one who is at the table, or the one who serves. Is it not the one who is at the table?  But I am among you as the one who serves." 

So here we see how Jesus begins to talk to them about what a display of love is really about.

Now they are thinking that Jesus is coming into his kingdom.  And they're vying for a position of greatness, a position within his cabinet, if you would, as he comes.  Now, talks about, John goes on and talks about the washing of the disciples feet in John 13. Now put these two things together.  They had just had the meal, they had just had an argument as to who is the greatest.  John 13 then picks up talking about how Jesus is wanting to show them his love, all the way to the end.So let's pick up verse two and read through verse five. 

"The evening meal was being served and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot son of Simon to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the father had put all things under his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God. So he got up from the meal took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that he poured water into a bass and began to watch his disciples feet. Drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him." 

Now here we read about his display of that love. "To love is to Serve" and Jesus is saying one of the things that needs to mark us as believers, is not vying for greatness at one another's expense.

Not to have someone's feet washed before they came into a home for a meal was not an uncommon practice. They reclined at a table, they didn't set up tables like we did.  And so in that reclining, they would wash, the feet would be washed by a servant.  By the one who was considered a servant or designated as the lowest among them. The disciples wanting to be great wasn't going to humble themselves.

They weren't going to humble themselves to take on this role because they didn't want to lose the position that they hoped for or that they were vying for. And so Jesus saying "Let me show you what love really is". He gets up and he washes their feet taking on the role of a servant. Though he is Lord of all.  Though he is God of all. Jesus wanted to show love to the very end.

Love demonstrated is not simply words spoken. True love is shown, and Jesus was showing that. It reminds me of another verse, whereas in Romans, God's love for us is demonstrated by the fact that Christ himself died for us.  

In Romans 5:8, we read this, 

"but God demonstrates his own love for us in this. While we were still sinners Christ died for us." 

Notice how it's while we were still sinners Christ died for us. We couldn't get our act together to become worthy. As a matter of fact, salvation is never given to anyone who is worthy. Because nobody is worthy. A prerequisite for salvation, is that you're unworthy.

That's why the scripture also says, that we are saved by grace, through faith. Not by works, it's a gift of God. He is the one who gives us salvation through the death of His son by our believing in faith.

God demonstrates his love for us that he took, that Christ took upon himself all that we deserve, so that we might receive all that he has. The righteousness that he has was given to we, who were still sinners by our faith by his pain for our sin. "To Love is to Serve".

So a simple question, a thought that came to my mind, was how is it that I'm displaying my love in a service manner? It's easy to want to do something with the expectation of receiving something in return. But do I show my love by what I do? Or is it with words that aren't backed up by actions?

So there is my thought. Thought I would share with you. We'll catch up again. Bye now.

 

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