The Ultimate Exampleā€¯

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:14-15 

On the night before he died, Jesus spent time with his friends sharing a meal, and at their protest, he washed their feet. I find the story of Jesus' foot-washing compelling on many levels. It gives insight into the intimacy of Jesus and his disciples. It helps me picture what it means to set ourselves aside. He offers us the ultimate examples of love in action. And it gives me pause to consider how I might emulate that moment.  

One of the most meaningful opportunities I have had occurred with my father-in-law, Bobby. In the final days of his battle with stomach cancer, I had the privilege of sitting at Bobby’s feet and rubbing them, because the swelling was causing him so much pain. If you know me, you know I’m not much for touching feet, and I can’t stand to have mine touched. However, on this particular day, I remember sitting on the floor and not growing tired of rubbing his feet and ankles to relieve the pain. My sense of the presence of our Lord in this moment led me to do what, in my own sense of comfort, I might not do.  

On April 14, 2005, the world lost an amazing man when Bobby died. At times, it seems like yesterday, and other times it seems like an eternity since I have heard his laughter. At this time of year, I often reflect on that day and think of how such a small act can be an offering. I also think of the story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and how in that act, Jesus was teaching all of them (and us) about servant leadership. I am thankful for the Lord’s prompting to rub Bobby’s feet that day. I am forever grateful that, even though I did not think I had anything to offer, the Lord guided my actions. I miss Bobby...a lot. When I think of how much fun he must be having in the presence of Jesus - the One who came to teach us - I imagine he is happy right where he is. May we all seek to be in the presence of God and learn as much as we can, so that we can emulate servant leadership on earth as it is in heaven. 

Posted by Betsy Butler
Tags: devotion

Who Does God Love?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, That whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 

Who does God love? This question has been on my mind over the last year as we have faced a Coronavirus global pandemic, experienced violence and civil unrest throughout our country, and witnessed polarization in politics and society at unprecedented levels. Yes, there is much of what’s been going on I do not understand. But there are some things I know to be true. 

God loves everybody. God loves the people who think and act and look like you and God loves those that don’t. God loves people who are taking this pandemic seriously and following careful health guidelines, and God loves those who are acting like nothing is wrong. God loves both the victims and the perpetrators of violence. God loves Republicans and Democrats, the right wing and the left wing. God loves those who stand and salute the flag and those who take a knee during the national anthem. 

God loves the good and the bad. God loves the large and the small. God loves those who love God in return and those who never give God a second thought. God loves those who are part of a church family and God loves people who say that organized religion is not their thing. God loves me and God loves you. 

The Bible is clear about God’s unconditional love. It’s a love from the beginning of time to the end of time. It is a love that endures, a love that never ends. God’s love is for every single person without exception. No one is outside the love of God. And God asks us to love everyone too, including those we like and those we don’t like, our friends and our enemies. 

God loves the whole world. And that’s a truth on which you can rely. 

Posted by Bob Winstead
Tags: devotion

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