There is an interesting conversation between Jesus Christ and the Apostle Peter on the night of their last supper together. When you were invited to supper like this, you bathed at home. But as you walked along the dusty roads to go to the banquet, your feet would become dirty. Typically, there was a servant there to wash your feet when you arrived.
On the night of the Last Supper, the servant was missing. The apostles walked in and sat down with dirty feet, and looked around at one another. Jesus got up, took off His robe, and wrapped a towel around His waist. Then He took a basin of water and proceeded to wash the Apostle's feet one by one. When He came to Peter, who had a hard time keeping his thoughts quiet, Peter told Jesus, "You shall never wash my feet!" Then this conversation took place:
(John 13:8–11 NKJV) Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!" Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you." For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, "You are not all clean."
So the chosen twelve apostles, who walked with Jesus daily, who cast out devils, and healed the sick, had to occasionally wash their spiritual feet. Even Peter, who walked on water with Jesus, for they would become dirty from walking on the Earth each day.
Many teach a wet you, set you, forget you, type of gospel. You get saved and then wait patiently on Jesus to come to get you. I want to tell you that there is more! Jesus Christ never preached a passive gospel where you did nothing, and He did everything. Oh yes, we tend to sing that in our songs, but it is not what He actually said, is it? Consider these words written in red:
(Mark 8:34 NASB) And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me."
So you have to ask yourself one question: Have you denied yourself lately? Oh, don't get me wrong, we are absolutely saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, the rewards you have waiting in heaven are being earned right now, and some people are gonna be broke. It's time to get an honest look at your spiritual retirement plan.
Many of us are coming out of a thirty-day fast, our April Intentional Growth challenge. Where we denied ourselves pleasures of the flesh for thirty days and spent intentional time in prayer. I find it very interesting that right after Jesus spoke about fasting, He taught about storing up treasure in heaven:
(Matthew 6:17–21 NASB) "But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Please note that I don't mean this message in any negative way for those who could not join us. It is for all of us! I am simply reminding us all that Jesus said: (John 14:15 NASB) "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments."
Our feet can become dirty from walking on this Earth, and we need to cleanse them sometimes. To put it bluntly, as God's people, we need to set aside some of our evil ways. This message is nothing new! The Apostle John wrote the same thing:
(1 John 1:5–10 NASB) This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
(1 John 2:1–7 NASB) My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.
How dare we teach that we can walk in the darkness and live in the light. Bah humbug! Hogwash! Restrain your flesh from evil and train your body that no means no. I won't list the things I am talking about, because the Holy Spirit is speaking it to your mind in private right now. Many of us have been taken hostage by the enemy and are caught in his snare, but the Lord will help us go free when we get sincere.
It's not that we have to live a sinless life, but for the love of God, we should at least try! He forgives us, and as we work with Him, He will gradually cleanse the evil desires out of us. He will change us from the inside out, but we have work to do:
(Isaiah 1:16–18 NKJV) "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool."
People get ready. A separation is coming between the sheep and the goats. It is time to wash your feet, to wash your robes in the blood of the Lamb. It is time for the bride to put on her wedding garment. (Isaiah 60:1 NKJV) Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
You can pray this with me if you like:
Prayer: Heavenly Father, wash me, and I will be clean. Separate me from the bonds that hold me and set me free to serve you. I need Your help and guidance, Father. I want what You want. May Your will be done in my life. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org