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March 20 Devotional

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, O the depths you were willing to go to in order to show us your love! O the depths to which you were willing to stoop in order to show us our incredible worth. Thank you for your unfailing love. Amen.

Scripture Reading for the Day:  John 13:1-17

Journal: Put yourself in this passage. Put yourself in Simon Peter’s shoes. Jesus kneels before you, takes your dirty feet into his strong and gentle hands. He looks you deeply in the eyes, and then begins to wash your feet. What is your response? What else in you needs to be washed this day?

Reflection: Years ago I was at a weekend camp with kids and leaders from my community. My job for the weekend was to make sure all of the leaders, who were there with their high school friends, had everything they needed for a fruitful and successful experience. Just before our main meeting on Saturday night, one of our leaders came to me with a dilemma. His cabin and another cabin of guys, from a rival high school, had been in conflict all weekend, several times being on the verge of violence. His dilemma was that during the free time, just before our evening meeting, some kids from the other cabin had come in and vandalized his cabin. His fear was that if the guys in his cabin went up after the meeting and saw what the other cabin had done, there was sure to be a fight. He wondered if I might be able to go up during the meeting and take care of whatever damage might have been inflicted. So after making sure everyone was in the meeting and taking care of a couple of more quick requests, I headed up to survey the damage.

As soon as I walked in the door I couldn’t believe my eyes, or nose. What these guys had done was come in and take a bowel movement right in the middle of the floor of their rival cabin. And not only that, they had taken the excrement and spread it all over the walls. When I walked into the bathroom, I could quickly see that they had done the same thing there as well; spreading the nastiness all over those walls too. It didn’t take long before I realized exactly what I had to do. While the entire camp sat in the meeting listening to the incredible story of what Jesus had done on the Cross, I would be on my hands and knees cleaning this incredibly nasty mess off the floors and walls. I must admit that, as I began the process, I was not pleased - and that’s putting it mildly.

So what do you do? You get over it, you roll up your sleeves, and you get to work. It wasn’t until about half way through the process that I was in a state to hear anything other than my anger and frustration. But as I continued on, I began to realize that God was right there in the midst of it all. This is exactly where Jesus would be; just as he was when we bent down to wash the disciple’s dirty feet - why in the world would Almighty God stoop that low? Only because of Love.  

As a matter of fact that was not all, God had something more to say to me. “You know that the kids that did this are listening to the story of my great love for them right now don’t you? You see what you are doing right there, cleaning this nasty mess off of everything? That’s what I’m doing for them right now - even as they hear the story of my Passion. I am washing them. I’m cleaning their filth and their stench and their nastiness with my very own hands; with my very own blood. And you know what else? I did the same thing for you. You were exactly like them; covered in your own sin and filth and nastiness. I got my hands involved in your filth, I washed you clean, and I made you whole.” And before I knew it, tears were streaming down my cheeks; tears of joy, tears of gratitude, tears of recognition of the depths of His amazing love - tears of peace. I, indeed, had been washed as white as snow by the loving hands - and blood - of my Creator. Only because of Love. Thanks be to God!!!

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Bruce and Laura Harris run SEND International’s camp and conference ministry in the mountains of western Tokyo. In this ministry, their goal is to glorify God by serving the church of Jesus Christ through camping programs of evangelism and Biblical education. Pray today for Bruce and Laura as they seek to expand their outreach by offering additional evangelistic programs to new segments of the Japanese community. Outdoor and sports camps are especially effective for gathering young boys and men.

The mission of Compassion Coalition is to inform, prepare, and unite churches to transform lives and communities through the love of Christ. They strive to walk alongside Knoxville-area churches who earnestly desire to slow down and respond to the cry of the suffering, the broken, and the abandoned within their congregations and out in the community. Pray today for the work of this ministry in Knoxville. Executive Director Grant Standefer was our guest at this month’s Global Mission Conference. 

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that you were willing to wash my dirty feet. May I learn to do the same for others. Amen.