“…he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet…” John 13:5 (NIV)
Tonight I came home disappointed in my sermon. It seems I went out of the house eager to preach what I thought was a good word for the people. But as I progressed further into the message I became aware that I was struggling and did not believe the people were nearly as interested in the subject as I had been in the study.
Not that any yawned or fell asleep. I just sensed that I was not connecting as I desired or the people deserved. Nevertheless I struggled on until almost quitting time and finally gave up and quit.
The people after who heard me were kind and then I slipped away quietly. The problem was not their fault, somehow it was mine. After 46 years of doing this would I not be more efficient than this?
Sometimes in our work for the Lord it seems we struggle to accomplish anything that will last or truly bless the people around us. We feel we are not accomplishing very much that is of use and we want to give up or turn to something else to do for the Lord.
It is therefore fascinating to witness Jesus in John 13 humbling Himself to the extent He washed the disciples’ feet. The night He did this simple act of kindness to them one, named Judas Iscariot, would use those clean feet to walk the path of a betrayer. The other clean feet would be used to run away and leave our Lord in the lurch in Gethsemane. Not much of a positive note for Jesus’ kindness.
Jesus knew all this beforehand but He still did the kind thing even though it would not last. Tomorrow their feet would again need washing.
If you have come to a place where you feel that your work for Jesus is not accomplishing very much think of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet that night. He pours loving kindness into our lives even if we are not being very profitable for Him.
You should always take heart at the sight of your beloved Jesus doing such a humble and short lived act. Jesus is willing to do the simplest things to help us on our way in the Christian life. Nothing is beneath Him when it comes to kindness for His people.
So we really need to see that even the simplest act of kindness we do in Jesus’ name will not fall short of being a blessing and a help to the one(s) who are on the receiving end.
Last night at dinner with a dear friend and fellow preacher he related a story of a sermon he preached many years ago where he especially felt discouraged and wondered how anyone could receive blessing from it. Later he learned that the message he had despaired of was used that very night to bring a person to the feet of Jesus in repentance and faith.
Yes, my sermon would not have done my professor of preaching proud but God uses everything we offer to Him and blesses it. Never despise the day of small things you do for Jesus. Your work for eternity may seem insignificant but God uses the small things of life to overpower the mighty. He uses the small people to conquer the great. Be like Jesus and be willing to spend time in lesser things that God in His strength may make great.