Let me tell you something that was MUCH more encouraging to hear Sunday evening...
As we viewed the first of 6 videos that will cover the final few hours before Jesus’ crucifixion and the first few hours AFTER He was raised from the dead, we focused specifically on how Jesus, knowing exactly what Judas was getting ready to do, washed Judas’ feet. Jesus. KING. JESUS. Lord of ALL. CREATOR OF ALL. GOD HIMSELF. He humbled Himself, and lovingly served His friend (who He knew would soon be His betrayer) in a manner that was reserved for the lowest of the servants in a house - washing the dirt, mud, street grime, fecal matter (poop), and other nasty bacteria and germs off Judas’ feet. And Jesus did it to show His friends that they shouldn’t be arguing over who would be the greatest in Heaven, but rather, they should be arguing over who is going to lead through serving.
Not only did He talk about it, He SHOWED THEM. HE DID IT. This action FLOORED the disciples. BLEW. THEIR. MINDS.
I think the video of service really sank in with some of our folks at commUNITY church.
Afterwards, when we broke up into smaller groups to discuss what we’d just seen, I was not leading the discussion, but was listening to the discussion with the men… and I was encouraged. And I was lightened. And I was overwhelmed. My eyes were welling up with tears… here’s why -
I was listening to men, who, 24 months ago were headed down a much different path in life. They were stressed from relationships, stressed from their work environment, stressed from financial burdens, stressed from national and world events. STRESSED. LOST. Lost in LOVE. Lost in LIFE. LOST. HOPE-LESS. As in, WITHOUT HOPE. And they were leading their families down these very same paths they were on.
Then, as they spoke, they all spoke from a standpoint of this one, singular, RADICAL event that had happened in their lives. EACH of these men spoke of their life and struggles, and then they added, “and then I gave my life to Jesus…” and they spoke of ways to serve. they spoke of ways to love. They spoke of HOPE. They spoke of DIRECTION. They spoke from a standpoint of STRENGTHENING.
My heart was overflowing with joy… with peace.
In fact, I texted Nici during our discussion and I said this - My eyes are welling up listening to guys like ______, _______, and _______ answer some of these study questions about how once they've given their life to Jesus, they're seeing so much they were missing in life before. I just keep thinking if this church does NOTHING else, we've led these men and their families to Jesus and changed their eternities. Mind-blowing, and VERY humbling.
Let me say two things to you, Church -
1. Hearing stories of how Jesus is changing your life NEVER GETS OLD. to me, to others, to whomever you can share it with. IT NEVER GETS OLD!!! JESUS is a GAME-CHANGER. A LIFE-CHANGER. An ETERNITY-CHANGER!!! We ALL have a story, and EVERY STORY MATTERS TO GOD!!!
2. I mean it that if this church ceases to exist tomorrow, we’ve had an ETERNAL IMPACT AGAINST THE PIT OF HELL. Celebrate that!!! BUT, this doesn’t mean we sit back and rest, this means we recognize the work of the Holy Spirit through us and get ENERGIZED!!! WE PRESS ONWARD!!! WE GO FARTHER, HARDER, DEEPER, BIGGER!!!! The Church’s BEST DAYS are ahead of her!! Let’s DO THIS!!!