Jesus’ Crucifixion

I didn’t sleep so well despite how exhausted I was from last night.  I heard from one of the disciples that Judas Iscariot hung himself first thing this morning.  I am honestly not surprised.  How could he betray our Master and Friend?  But then again, I am no better, I ran away when they arrested Jesus.

I walked to the center of Jerusalem and I saw a crowd of people gathering.  I decided to join the crowd as I was curious as to what was going on.  We all ended up in front of Pilate’s house.  I saw Mary, Jesus’ mom and Mary the mother of James and John, so I went over to be with them.  I also saw some of the disciples mingling together.  I wondered what all the commotion was about. I understood when I saw Jesus on the balcony of the house.  We made our way to the front of the crowd so we could hear what was going on.

Pilate asked Jesus if he was the King of the Jews.

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

The leading priests kept accusing him of many crimes.  Pilate asked Jesus if he was going to respond to the accusations.  Jesus said nothing.

Each year during the Passover celebration it was customary to release one prisoner to the crowd, usually anyone they wanted.  This year there was a man named Barabbas.  Barabbas (meaning son of the father) stood next to Jesus in front of us.  Pilate asked everyone, “Which one do you want me to release to you, Barabbas or Jesus?”

While waiting for a response, Pilate sat down on his judgment seat and his wife began talking to him.  While they were talking, the priests and elders were telling the crowd to say “release Barabbas.”

Pilate stood up and asked the people again who they wanted to be released, they all said, “Barabbas!”

Pilate then asked us, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”

The crowd shouted, “Crucify him!”

My heart sank. This man is my friend.  He has done nothing wrong.  Why are they shouting to crucify him?  Did they not know that Jesus is truly the Son of God our Father, not Barabbas even though his name suggests that?

Pilate asked them “Why?  What crime did he commit?”

But the crowd continued to shout louder, “Crucify him!”

Pilate was very disturbed.  He sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands in front of us saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.  The responsibility is yours!”

People yelled back, “We will take responsibility for his death!”

Barabbas was released to the crowd who were rejoicing.  Jesus was sentenced to flogging and crucifixion.

I began to weep.  I could not believe all that happened in the past hours.  I, the other ladies with me and the disciples followed Jesus to the soldier’s headquarters.  There they stripped Jesus, put a purple robe on him, wove thorn branches into a crown and placed it on his head.  They placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter.  They knelt before him mocking him and spitting on him.

They shouted, “Hail! King of the Jews!”

They grabbed the stick and began to hit Jesus on his head.  The crown of thorns was pushed deep into his skull.  They beat him with a lead tipped whip.  We watched as his skin was torn and blood began to pour out from his back, his sides, his legs and his arms.  I struggled watching this brutality.  I didn’t understand why they were doing this.

When they were finished mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put back on his regular clothes and then led him away to be crucified.

We walked behind Jesus and a crowd followed us.  I even saw my neighbor (the one I had problems with) on the side of the road watching as Jesus carried his cross.  Jesus carried it for quite a way but collapsed due to such a great loss of blood.  A man named Simon picked up the cross and carried it for him up to the hill called Golgotha.

When we arrived on the hill, they nailed Jesus to the cross.  I cringed as I heard the sound of the hammer and watching the nails go into his hands and feet.

Jesus winced in pain but said nothing.

When they rose the cross up, we saw a sign they placed above Jesus’ head; it said “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews” in different languages.  There were two other people being crucified beside Jesus.

While Jesus was on the cross, people who were around us were shouting abuse, shaking their heads at him.  They said, “Ha!  Look at you now!  Well, then, save yourself and come down from the cross!”

The leading priests and rabbis also mocked Jesus, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself!  Let this Messiah come down from the cross so we can see and believe him!”

Jesus just looked at them with love and compassion in his eyes and said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

But the crowds just continued mocking Jesus, “He saved others, let him save himself, if he really is God’s Messiah, the chosen one.”

The soldiers shouted, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

One of the criminals next to Jesus laughed at him saying, “So, you’re the Messiah, are you?  Prove it by saving yourself and us too!”

The other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to death.  We deserve our punishment, but this man has done nothing wrong.”  Then he looked at Jesus and said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus said to him, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

From noon until 3 o’clock, a great darkness covered the land.  At about 3 p.m.  Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

Jesus shouted, “Father I entrust my spirit into your hands.”

Then he said, “It is finished!”

Jesus bowed his head. I heard the last gasp of air. Jesus died.

I just broke down in tears.

The earth shook, tombs opened up and bodies of godly men and women who had died rose from the dead!  The Roman officer and the other soldiers were terrified and said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

Inside I was shouting at these people, “Why? You heard his teachings, you saw miracles, but you still didn’t believe.  He showed nothing but love and compassion for everyone.  And what do you do, you have him crucified!”

The crowds began to disperse, people walked back towards their home.  The neighbor I told you about was standing there with tears in his eyes.  He left with his head down.  Who knows, maybe he will truly believe Jesus is the Messiah and our God is the true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

I stayed behind with the other ladies watching as they broke the legs of the criminals beside Jesus.  It was customary for them to do this so people would die quicker.  It was just before the Sabbath.  When they came to Jesus, they saw he was already dead.  I held on to Mary, Jesus’ mother’s arm as they pierced his side with a spear.  Immediately blood and water flowed out.

Mary, the mother of James and John, John, and I held onto Jesus’ mother.  We all just hugged each other weeping.  Words cannot even begin to describe the grief we felt.  Our souls were in anguish.

Joseph, a wealthy man from Arimathea came to take the body down from the cross.  He wrapped Jesus in a long sheet of clean linen cloth. We walked with Joseph and watched as he placed Jesus’ body in his own tomb near the hill where Jesus died.  Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance of the tomb.

We stood there for what seemed like hours.  Then we turned to go to our homes.  I went with Mary, the mother of James and John and we prepared spices and ointments to anoint Jesus’ body.  But by the time we were finished, the Sabbath had begun.

We could do nothing until sundown Saturday night, early hours of Sunday morning.  All we could do now is rest.  There were so many things that were going through my mind.  I was still exhausted, but there was no way I could sleep.

The thing that bothered me the most was even though I knew Jesus said he was going to die, I never thought it would really happen.  I also never got to tell Jesus I loved him.  Mary of Bethany was able to at Simon’s house. I am so grateful for all he did for me.  I am a totally different person since I met him.  I love Jesus and he did as he said at the Passover meal, he laid down his life for me.  He is truly my friend and I am his. I just wish I could have told him how much he means to me.

For further study: Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19

The Passover/Gethsemane

Today is Thursday, which began like any other day, except today we were preparing ourselves for our traditional Passover meal.
 
The disciples asked Jesus, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?”
 
Jesus answered, “Go into the city, you will see a certain man carrying a pitcher of water. Tell him ‘The Teacher says, ‘My time has come and I will eat the Passover meal at your house.’”
 
We all went to prepare the Passover meal in this man’s house upstairs in a large room which was already set for the meal. I and the other ladies with me washed the vegetables and put everything on the table ready for the meal. The items which needed to be cooked such as the matzah bread (it has no yeast) was done a few days ahead of time. All we needed to do is put the food out.
 
Before the meal, Jesus got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash our feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. I felt odd as he did this as it should have been one of the servants who washed our feet before the meal.
 
Jesus came to Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
 
Peter protested, “No! You will never wash my feet!”
 
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
 
Peter then said, “Then wash my hands and head as well, not just my feet!”
 
Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean.”
 
After washing our feet, Jesus put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me teacher, which is correct. I am your teacher. Because I have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. No one is more important than the other. God will bless you for doing this.”
 
The time for the meal came. Jesus reclined at the table with us. As we were eating our meal, Jesus looks at everyone with a serious look and says, “One of you will betray me.”
 
We were all disturbed. Why would anyone want to betray Jesus? We knew the Pharisees wanted to have him killed. I couldn’t believe someone in our small group would want to hurt Jesus. We all asked Jesus, “Am I the one, Lord?”
 
Jesus said to us, ‘One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man must die as the Scriptures say. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him.
Judas Iscariot asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?”
 
Jesus told him, “You have said it.”
 
We all looked at Judas with a disgusted and hurtful look. We knew he took money from us but then to betray Jesus, how dare he! The meal was a bit tense after this revelation.
 
As we ate, Jesus took the matzah (a type of bread) and blessed it. He broke it and gave it to us saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.”
 
I remembered as I ate the piece of matzah Jesus’ words “I am the bread of life. Eat of my flesh and you will never go hungry again.”
 
And then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God. He gave it to us to pass around the table to drink from it. “This is my blood which confirms the covenant between God and his people. This blood is a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.”
 
We drank the wine and I remembered Jesus’ words, “I am the Living Water, drink from me and you will never thirst again.” Jesus told us we were to drink of his blood to have eternal life.
 
The Passover meal was always special. It was a time where we remembered the journey of our ancestors out of Egypt. The matzah represented the unleavened bread (without yeast) they made in haste to prepare to leave. The lamb and the wine represented the blood that was placed on the doorframes of every house on the dreadful night when the firstborns were killed. As we went through the meal, we shared this victorious escape and give thanks to God for his provision and love for his people.
 
At the end of the meal, we sang a hymn together and went to the Mount of Olives to the olive grove. Jesus told us to sit in the grove while he went to pray further up the hill. He took Peter, James and John (they were his closest friends) towards the top. Jesus looked rather worried and concerned. I did not know why, but I knew he was quite anxious.
 
Whilst Jesus prayed, we fell asleep. After the beautiful meal we had, we were full and after the glasses of wine, we were rather tired. So, we just rested and the next thing we knew we were asleep.
 
Jesus came back to us later and said to us with a very disturbed voice, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up! Let’s be going. My betrayer is here! Pray!”
 
We jumped up onto our feet in a daze. The next thing we saw was Judas Iscariot with a crowd of men with swords and clubs. Judas went up to Jesus. “Greetings Rabbi!” he said and gave him a kiss.
 
Jesus said to him, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.”
 
I thought to myself, “Friend? Friend? Jesus did you really call Judas a friend? He is betraying you into the hands of the Pharisees. Do you know what you are doing?”
 
The other men with Judas grabbed Jesus and arrested him. Peter was so angry about this, he grabbed a sword and struck one of the men (Malchus who is a slave of the high priest) slashing off his ear.
 
“Put away your sword! Don’t you realize I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us and they would be sent? In order for Scripture to be fulfilled this must happen.”
 
Jesus then healed Malchus’ ear.
 
Jesus asked, “Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there among you teaching every day. But this is what is to happen according to the Scriptures.”
 
When Jesus was arrested and taken away, we all ran in different directions. I couldn’t bear to watch what they were doing to Jesus. Yes, I am a coward. I should have stood up for Jesus. I should have said something, telling the men to leave him alone. But I didn’t. It was as if I couldn’t speak.
 
I felt awful. I just sat down on the side of the road crying myself to sleep. I cannot believe I just ran away and did nothing. My heart is broken. I am angry. I am sad. I am exhausted…
 
For further study:
Matthew 26:17-30, 36-40; Mark 14:12-26, 32-42; Luke 22:7-20; 39-46; John 13:1-38; 18:1-11

Jesus is the Vine

Jesus teaches us that we are like the vineyards.  He is the vine; his Father is the gardener and we are the branches.  He says to us, “My Father cuts off every branch that does not produce fruit and prunes the branches that bear fruit so they can produce more.  You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.  Remain in me and I will remain in you.  You cannot produce fruit if you are away from me.”

He continued, “I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me, you will bear much fruit.  For apart from me you can do nothing.  Those who do not remain in me will be thrown away like a useless branch.  These branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.  But, if you remain in me and my words in you, you may ask for anything and it will be granted!  When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples.  This brings great glory to the Father.”

As he was saying this, I remembered my neighbor (the nice one on the other side of us) who has a small vineyard.  I understood the work involved with the pruning process.  My brothers and I used to run around the vineyard in the spring.  We loved going up and down the rows.  Every spring he went out to cultivate the vines and prune them. In the middle of the summer he got rid of the bad vines and took time to burn them.  Near the end of summer, the grapes were ready to be picked.  Some were sold in the local street market and others were saved to make wine.  I watched the process happen year after year since I was a little girl.

I imagined being a branch connected to the vine taking in all the nutrients.  I have been listening to all Jesus has been teaching and soaking everything in like a sponge.  I pray my life shows this by my attitude, words and actions.

Jesus continued sharing with us.  “I have loved you as my Father loves me.  Remain in my love; obey my commandments.  I have told you these things so you shall be filled with joy.  Yes, your joy will overflow!  This is my commandment: love each other in the same way I have loved you.  There is no greater love than laying down your life for a friend.  You are my friends.  I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves.  You are my friends.  I have told you what the Father has told me.  You didn’t choose me.  I chose you!

“I appointed you to produce fruit; whatever you ask in my name, my Father will give you.  My commandment is simple:  love each other.”

My heart leaped for joy.  I am loved by Jesus.  The greatest thing he has taught me throughout these years with him is love.  Jesus loves everyone.  He doesn’t care if you are a prostitute, a liar, a cheater, a tax collector, an outcast, ill, or even rich.  Jesus loves you!

And then to be called “friend.”  I am a friend of Jesus’ not just a follower!  He calls me a friend because I have listened to his teachings and followed him all this time.  I am amazed at his love and grace.

I pray that I will bear much fruit for Jesus.  I pray that others will see his love radiating in and through me.  I want everyone to know how much they are loved.  I don’t want them to miss the point and only look for his miracles but be a true friend of his.

Jesus concluded this time of conversation with us by warning us we were going to be hated by the world because we are his.  He said anyone who hates him hates God.  He told us he will send an Advocate- the Spirit of truth.  We are to testify to others about him because we have been with Jesus from the beginning of his ministry.

People already hate Jesus.  He isn’t what they want. They want a king to save them from the rulership of Rome and Caesar.  They want things from his hand, not his heart.  They do not want to take his teachings to heart and try to live pure and holy lives.  If they hate him, I am not surprised they will hate us as well.

I pray that I not only love others as Jesus does but I will be able to tell others about how wonderful he is.  I want to tell them all he has done in my life.  I think my neighbor (the one who always scorns us) is one of the first people I should talk to.  I will have to pray about what to say and how to do so when the time is right.

For further study:

John 15:1-17

Jesus is Anointed in Bethany

We spent most of the day sitting and listening to Jesus teaching.  We were in Bethany for the day.  A man named Simon, who had previously had leprosy, invited Jesus to his house for dinner.  The dinner was held in Jesus’ honor.  Martha served, Lazarus, the disciples and we were among those who were present.

We were eating our dinner and conversing about day to day events.  As we were talking, Mary, Martha and Lazarus’ sister, came in and knelt at Jesus’ feet.  She had a twelve-ounce alabaster jar of perfume.  She opened the perfume and poured it over Jesus’ feet wiping it with her hair.  The house was filled with the beautiful fragrance.

I know we have seen this before.  I completely understood why Mary did this.  She and Jesus were very close.  Mary spent many hours just listening to Jesus, taking in everything he said.  I too, am like Mary, I want to spend every waking hour with him.  Martha was always busy in the kitchen, baking, serving and cleaning.  She talked to Jesus in between her busyness, and she thought Mary was lazy for not helping her.  Martha was not wrong with being busy, it was where her heart was at the time. I have learnt busyness is okay as long as it doesn’t trump my time with Jesus.

Mary was very upset when Lazarus had died.  She poured out her heart to Jesus.  Of course, we know Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.  He is here eating with us. She was beyond grateful for Lazarus’ new life. She had her brother with her again.

The disciples, again, became angry.  They didn’t understand what Mary was doing or why.  I guess it’s because they are men and they don’t understand our emotions, but nevertheless, they started scolding her.  Judas Iscariot shouted at Mary and said, “What a waste!  The perfume could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor!”

Judas Iscariot didn’t care much about the poor.  He was known for being a thief and even though he was in charge of our finances, he was often known for stealing some of our money for himself.

True, the bottle of perfume was very expensive, a luxury which came from far away Asia.  Usually these types of perfumes were given as a family heirloom which was not to be sold but prized and saved.  It was kept in an alabaster jar to preserve it.

Mary gave everything valuable to Jesus today.  She poured out her all in an act of worship and honor.  Why couldn’t the disciples just leave her alone?

Jesus looked at the disciples with a look a father gives his children when they misbehave.  He said to them, “Why are you fussing about what this woman is doing for me?  You will always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have me.  She has poured the perfume on me to prepare my body for burial.  This woman’s deed will be remembered wherever the Good News is preached.”

I thought, “Well, that told them. They should be rejoicing in what Mary has done.”

Then I thought about what he said again.  He said, “She was preparing my body for burial.”  Does this mean his time for his death is coming soon?  I surely hope not.  I have learnt so much from him.

As I was in mid thought, people came flocking in to see Jesus and Lazarus.  They had heard the news Jesus was there and they wanted to see both him and Lazarus who was raised from the dead.  The leading priests in the area came in as well and I overheard them talking about killing Lazarus as well as Jesus!  They said it was because of Lazarus’ resurrection many people deserted their traditions to follow Jesus.  They could not have this happening.

I began to worry about Jesus and his safety.  I prayed that God would protect Jesus and keep him safe.

Notes:

*The perfume Mary used is worth approximately $15,000!

*This type of perfume was usually offered on the specialized incense altar in the tabernacle.

For further study:

Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-11

Temple Cleansed

Today and the remainder of this week are devotions from my book 42 Days with Jesus, from Mary Magdalene’s eyes. They are about the final week of Jesus’ life on earth.
The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as Jesus entered. They asked each other, “Who is this?”
The crowds who followed Jesus replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth.”
Jesus entered the Temple and saw people selling and trading animals for sacrifices. He walked in and sent the people out. He was very angry because of what they were doing. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who sold doves.
Jesus looked at all of them and said, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”
The money changers were not happy but they left with their things. The ones who were selling the animals just took them outside the Temple in the streets.
Jesus got upset with the disciples when they didn’t catch what he was saying or when they complained about the woman who anointed him. However, this was a different anger I had ever seen with Jesus. He was not messing about in his Father’s house. This place is supposed to be holy and treated as such. I could not believe these people made it into a local market.
After the merchants left, Jesus began teaching again. Blind and lame men came to him and Jesus healed them. Jesus always had compassion for those who were less fortunate or struggled with illnesses and diseases.
Children were singing in the background as Jesus was talking to people and healing them. The priests and rabbis were getting upset about this. The children were singing “Praise God for the Son of David.”
I love listening to children singing. They are such a joy. They know Jesus is the Son of God. They know he is Lord. They were singing with such fervor whilst we were quiet around the crowds.
I wish I wasn’t afraid to sing out praises to my Lord when others were around. These children were teaching me to be unashamed in my praise.
The leaders asked Jesus “Do you hear what these children are singing?”
“Yes,” Jesus answered. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures for they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’”
The leaders again were fussing and planning a way to kill Jesus. I was really concerned about Jesus’ safety. But Jesus didn’t seem to care what the leaders thought or said. He always spoke firmly to them.
I would have thought these leaders would have been happy that Jesus sent the money changers out of the Temple, but no, instead, they were complaining about the children. What is wrong with these people? Maybe they allowed the merchants to be in the temple. The Pharisees were just as crooked as the money changers.
I wish they could see Jesus for who he really is. I wish they could understand he truly is the Son of God who loves them, this is why he kept challenging them on their behavior. He truly wanted them to change, to love our Father and to love our neighbor as themselves.
For now, I am going to join the children in singing about wonderful Jesus is. His praise will ever be on my lips. He truly is the Son of God. He is worthy of my praise! Hallelujah!
For further study:
Matthew 21:10-17; Mark 11:12-18; Luke 19:45-48; Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11; Psalm 8:2

 

Brokenness and Healing ©

Colorful panes of glass

Shattered

Across the floor.

Many pieces

Telling a story

Of a soul.

 

Sharp edges

Cut

To the marrow.

Words spoken

Tearing apart

Worth,

Dignity,

Self.

 

Days,

Months,

Years

Broken,

Lonely,

Hurt,

Hating self

Takes its toll.

 

Let go.

Put it in the past.

Move on.

Much easier said than done.

 

Healing is a

Journey.

Forgiveness

Given daily

Until the hurt is gone.

 

Sunbeams shine through

Broken pieces restored.

Some days are good.

 

Other days…

Tears stream down

The cheeks

Longing for wholeness,

Understanding,

Shalom.

 

Scars scratched

Bleed.

Lines from the edges

Reappear.

A constant reminder

Of pain and strength.

 

Not knowing

What each day will bring

I lay down

These pieces

At Jesus’ feet

“Your will be done.”

Until…

 

One day I will see

These pieces

Put together,

My life,

God’s masterpiece.

 

Written March 10, 2020

 

Servanthood- following our Master Jesus Christ ©

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. -Matthew 20:26-28

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus; who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross. – Philippians 2:5-8

The world’s definition of a servant is to find out what their Master says do and then do it.  The biblical truth of servanthood is different.  We are the clay and our Heavenly Father is the potter (Jeremiah 18:1-6).   First, the clay has to be molded.  The clay must be responsive to the potter, so the potter can make any instrument of his choosing.  Then the clay must do something else, remain in the potter’s hand.  When the potter has finished making the instrument of his choosing, that instrument has no ability to do anything whatsoever. Suppose the potter molds the clay into a cup.  The cup needs to remain in the potter’s hands, so the potter can use that cup in any way he chooses.

This is an idea of what true servanthood is about.  When we come to God has his servant, he first wants us to allow him to mold and shape us into the instruments of His choosing.  Then he can take our life and put it where he wills and work through it to accomplish his purposes.  Just like a cup cannot do anything on its own, we do not have any ability to do the commands of the Lord except being where he wants us to be.

We must be two things: 1 be moldable and 2 remain in the Master’s hands.  Then the master can use us as He chooses.  Even Jesus could not do things himself. “Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19).

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

If God is working within us, we can do anything that he can do through us.  Servanthood requires obedience.  Jesus had to do what his Father told him to do, he could nothing without God.  We must do what we are asked to do by God and remember it is not us doing it, but the power of the Holy Spirit (see Zechariah 4:6).

God does not shout out orders and expect us to jump and do them.  He wants us to be in relationship with him.  Then he wants us to respond to him, allow him to hold us, break us from our selfish ways, mold us into what he wants and then he can do whatever he wants through us.

We are a “doing” people.  We always want to be doing something.  Occasionally someone will say, “Don’t just stand there, do something.”

However, I think God is crying out and shouting to us, “Don’t just do something.  Stand there!  Enter into a love relationship with me.  Get to know me.  Adjust your life to me. Let me love you and reveal myself to you as I work through you.”

A time will come when the doing will be called for, but we cannot skip the relationship.  The relationship with God must come first.   Without God we can do nothing.  God wants us to come to a greater knowledge of him by experience.  He wants to establish a love relationship with us.  He wants to involve each of us in his kingdom purposes.  He wants to accomplish it through us. Are we willing to be servants?“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.  My Father will honor the one who serves me” (John 12:26).

I was actually quite surprised at the meaning of servant in this passage of scripture.  I like most would think that this would be like a bondservant and following whatever God our master wants us to do.  Actually, the word “servant” here means ministers and deacons; God wants us all to be ministers and deacons.  If we are to serve him, we must be willing to follow him.  We must be willing to be wherever God is.  If God places us somewhere may it be in a supermarket or the town center or even in our homes, we must be serving him.  We as Christians are supposed to reflect him in everything we do and say.

When God is about to do something through us, he has to get us from where we are to where he is. So, he comes and tells us what he is doing.  When we know what God is doing, we know what we need to do.  We need to join him.  We cannot stay the way we are if we are to go with God.  We will be changed.

Think about the clay, it cannot be changed on its own.  It has to be held, shaped and molded.  We are the same way.  We must be willing to give our all to Jesus and allow him to hold us, break away the impurities, shape and then mold us to what he will us to be.  When we get to the point of him deciding what he wants to make us and what he wants us to do, then we will be able to serve him wherever he is.

What is God saying to us?  We are a serving people. We love to “do.”  But for a bit God wants to stop, reflect, rededicate ourselves, and seriously give ourselves to Him.

Are we trying to change ourselves into what we want?  Are we trying to work our way into Heaven?

God wants us to stop and reflect on our relationship with him.  He wants us to rest and allow him to hold us close to him.  God wants us to trust him, place our lives into his hands, allow him to mold and shape us into his image and then go back out and work. Just like the Sabbath and how God took time off to rest, we must take a Sabbath from time to time to rejuvenate ourselves in his care!!!!  Even Jesus took time off to pray and to rest.  Remember, he could do nothing without God.  He even had the Holy Spirit descend upon him after his baptism and spent 40 days fasting just with God, before he began his ministry.  What does that tell us?

We cannot serve without God!  We cannot serve without his presence in our lives.

Remember:

  1. To be a servant of God, we must be moldable and remain in the Master’s hand.
  2. Apart from God, we can do nothing.
  3. God can do anything through us, we just have to allow him to take control!
  4. When we find out where the Master is, then we will know where we need to be.
  5. We come to know God by experience as we obey him and allow him to accomplish his works through us.

Today, spend time with God. He is saying to us, “Don’t just do something.  Stand there!  Enter into a love relationship with me.  Get to know me.  Adjust your life to me. Let me love you and reveal myself to you as I work through you.”  Untitled design (15)