Sunday Morning 11-4-2012

Posted by Sherry

Mindset for Ministry 
John 13:1-20 
CBC 11/4/12 SM

In 1904 the heir to the Borden Dairy Estate, William Borden, graduated from Chicago High School a millionaire. 
He made a decision to prepare for the mission field. 
When he made that decision he wrote in his Bible the words, “No Reserve.”
When William Borden arrived at Yale University the next year as a freshman his passion for Christ was already kindled. He was disappointed to find the school morally bankrupt and the teaching filled with empty philosophy. So during his first semester, he asked a friend to begin praying with him before breakfast. As a result of his leadership other prayer groups began to spring up. And by his senior year, 1,000 of the 1,300 students were meeting in prayer groups.
Upon graduation he was offered high paying jobs. But he turned those offers down and continued to pursue God’s call on his life. While making those decisions he wrote two more words in his Bible, the words “No Retreat”.
When he completed his studies at Princeton Seminary he sailed to China to work with the Muslims. On the way he stopped in Egypt to study Arabic. But there in Egypt he was stricken with spinal meningitis and within a month at the age of 25 he died. What his friends and family found written in his Bible was a great source of comfort. Added to the words previously written, “No Reserve, No Retreat” were two more words, “No Regrets”.

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing for you and me to arrive at the end of our earthly journey with those words written in our hearts, “No Reserve, No Retreat, No Regrets”?

William Borden is an example of a person who entered into his ministry and fulfilled God’s plan for his life and could come to the end with “No Regrets”.

consider the mindset behind his actions and words of our TEXT... 
13:1 Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.[a] 2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas,[b] son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 (Jesus knew) that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
9 Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”
10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet,[c] to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.
Jesus Predicts His Betrayal
18 “I am not saying these things to all of you; I know the ones I have chosen. But this fulfills the Scripture that says, ‘The one who eats my food has turned against me.’[d] 19 I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I Am the Messiah.[e] 20 I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me.”

 Here is a key that unlocks the door of fruitful ministry and a fulfilling life.

What kind of thinking empowers you and me to serve with joy and not lose our passion for ministry? 
What do you need to know in order to take the place of a servant and follow the example Jesus gives us here?

I. Know who you are in God.

  • if we don’t know who we are...
    • we will spend most of our time trying to figure that out
    • song “looking for (love) identity in all the wrong places”
    • not found in
      • accomplishments
      • honors
      • attainment & positions
      • human recognition
    • identity not found in what we do
    • our identity is who we are by the grace of God
    • Paul explains in Ephesians “WHO THEY ARE IN CHRIST”

 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” 

  • We don’t minister in order to find out who we are. 
    • We minister out of who we are. 
    • The first thing you and I need to have as a foundation for effective ministry is a revelation of who we are in God. 
    • I am what I am by the grace of God.
    • Out of who I am in God I serve you. 
    • And in the same way you serve me. 
    • If I don’t do that, I stand in danger of taking more from you than I give.
  • None of the disciples were secure enough in who they were to embrace the job of a servant.
    • But Jesus knew (VS3) that the Father had put all things under his power. 
      • He was not insecure about his identity. 
      • Therefore, taking the lowly job was not threatening to that identity. 
      • When we can only define ourselves by what we do, we will be so busy trying to do something that will put us in a good light that we won’t do much service. 
      • But when we are firmly centered on who we are in Christ, we can take the lowly position without worrying about being marked as insignificant.
      • I am secure in doing comedy characters occasionally or participating in AWANA crazy hair night b/c I know who I am in Christ and who He called me to be.

In the context of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, John makes this comment in verse 3, 

“Jesus knew” – Knew what? 

1. “that the Father had put all things under his power,

2. and that he had come from God

3. and was returning to God.” 

1. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power...
  • looks like 13 guys hiding from the Roman Government...
    • reality - power center of the universe in that upper room
    • Jesus wasn’t helpless victim of sinister plot to assassinate Him
    • Jesus was the willing, voluntary Lamb slain before foundation of the world
    • Jesus knew His authority in God

2. He knew his commission. 
  • not acting on His own initiative
    • sent by the Father w/ a specific mission to accomplish
    • I’m on a mission
    • You are on a mission, or You’ve yet to accept your mission
    • Why are you here?
    • Do you have that sense of “mission” William Borden had in his soul?
    • no greater satisfaction in life than to DISCOVER & PURSUE your mission
John 20:21 “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

  1. Jesus also knew where he was going. 
  • v3 “...and was returning to God.”
    • do we talk about Heaven enough?
    • cares of this life tend to occupy our mind
    • this life is a vapor compared to eternity
    • that thought alone will keep our PROBLEMS in perspective
    • shouldn’t that MOTIVATE us to do something with eternal perspective?
 “1 Cor 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 

II. Know who you are serving.
  • Love is one of the most amazing dynamics there is. 
    • In a way it defies explanation. 
    • I can talk about self-preservation and the survival of the fittest and 
    • I can develop theories of evolution and other theories based upon the biology of all that and make a little sense of it. 
    • But when I’m confronted with the reality of love, 
    • I am looking at something that biology alone cannot explain. 
    • God is love.”
    • And outside of God there is no reasonable explanation of real love. 

  • Love will cause a person to sacrifice personal comfort and gain for the well-being of another. 
    • Love caused William Borden to forsake a life of comfort and ease in pursuit of lost souls. 
    • Love motivated Jesus to pay the ultimate price for our redemption. 
    • What the world needs now is love—
      • not a Hollywood distortion of love, 
      • not lust  
      • not selfish desire
      • —but love. 
      • Love will win the lost sinner.

  • How can I love stinky, selfish, rebellious people enough to serve them? 
    • “God so loved the world that He gave...”
    • That is the motive for service. 
    • But how do I get motivated that way? 
    • First, I need the influence of the Holy Spirit shedding God’s love abroad in my heart. 
    • Without God I cannot truly love other people.
    • But how can I nurture that love for people? 
    • I must go back to the word of God and remember how God looks at people. 
    • God sees something in people that is so precious to Him that He would send His Son to suffer and die for their salvation. 
    • I’m convinced that His love is so personal that were you the only person on the face of the earth Jesus would have paid that same price for you.

  • In Hebrews 12 we are told that Jesus endured the cross
    • —there is no greater example of personal sacrifice and service than that
    • —Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before him. 
    • Here is the amazing thing. 
    • You are that joy. 
    • I am that joy. 
    • And so is that sinner that Jesus wants to reach through your testimony. 
    • Heb 12:1-3 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” 

  • Are you weary? 
  • Are you losing heart in your service to others? 
  • Consider JESUS. 
  • Consider the joy that he was looking to as he endured the cross. 
  • Consider what that person means to him.
  • I’m talking about attitudes nurtured in our hearts that will cause us to serve others. 
  • I’m talking about a way of thinking that naturally leads to effective ministry. 
  • May we all have the mind of Christ in these matters?

I invite you this morning to pray a bold prayer—to ask God to let you see yourself as He sees you and see others as He sees them—to ask Him to give you a servant’s heart like Jesus.


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