Being forgiven is a gift, not a title of rank. We are servants of Jesus, yet a royal priesthood of the least of these of equal rank. That is what “Wash Feet” means. Keep your shoes on it is a metaphor.

Peter writes that we are a “Royal priesthood” a “Chosen Nation” selected for service in the Kingdom. Paul calls individuals ambassadors for Christ and hands over the “Ministry of reconciliation” to you and me. Click on the underline to check the reference or source of quote.

When Jesus washed the disciples feet as they were arguing who should set where based on rank and Satan filled Judas with bitterness, we see in action what Jesus will, does and has done many times with His bitter tears. Jesus will pick up our muddy, filthy feet and wash the world’s dirt from our life. (Hebrews sez Jesus’ blood sacrifice paid it all) Sometimes He uses the rod of discipline on me, sometimes it is His staff pulling me back from the danger I just do not see because of the bright lights and glitter of the golden idols the world has for me.

I found these 10 quotes on a clickbait site. I quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer and add a thought of my own numbered and bold before Dietrich’s. The more I study the writings of God I find gentle souls that looked outside the box. Especially today when many realize that the lukewarm worship of entertainment and the sage on a stage is not fellowship with Jesus we see in the Gospels or the Ekklesia in Acts or the letters. I hear many voices saying similar things. Numbers say the mainstream model is broken in many places and for far too many sheep that are wandering. I pray for unity. Unity will take the Holy Spirit to melt prideful hearts and gently break soft ones.

Mr. Bonhoeffer was a martyr during the NAZI occupation of Europe.

1. Mutual respect for another means I love you too much to sin against you or God in your presence or to allow you to continue in sin against others or God. Not about judging, but about saving.

“Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.”

2. Jesus was/is a friend of sinners, lived with the poor and least of these. Who is going to serve the “least of these”, dones, nones, ?

“Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. ‘The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people.”

3. Being forgiven is a gift, not a title of rank. We are servants of Jesus, yet a royal priesthood of the least of these of equal rank. That is what “Wash feet” means.

“If my sinfulness appears to me to be in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all. … How can I possibly serve another person in unfeigned humility if I seriously regard his sinfulness as worse than my own?”

4. We can build a church of sticks and bricks, or as Jesus did with living stones on the foundation of the Rock of Ages.

“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.”

5. Prayer in the name of Jesus separates the Ekklesia from the “religions of the world”. Our redeemer lives!

“A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner.”

6. Be prepared to be used, if one time like Ananias with Saul or thousands like Phillip.

“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions.”

7. “Tame the tongue” Train the ear! This one is mine. James sez “rudder” as in control your boat. Paul sez we can control the tongue

“There is a kind of listening with half an ear that presumes already to know what the other person has to say. It is an impatient, inattentive listening, that despises the brother and is only waiting for a chance to speak and thus get rid of the other person. Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by Him who is Himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God.”

8. Who are you compassionate about? Wash the feet of your brothers and sisters. Be kind to neighbors. There is a difference.

“The Christian, however, must bear the burden of a brother. He must suffer and endure the brother. It is only when he is a burden that another person is really a brother and not merely an object to be manipulated. The burden of men was so heavy for God Himself that He had to endure the Cross. God verily bore the burden of men in the body of Jesus Christ.”

9. God is in the details, watching.

“Who can really be faithful in great things if he has not learned to be faithful in the things of daily life?”

10. Thankful, and able to be thankful of others.

“If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all in Jesus Christ.”

Got to work on these! pray for your neighbors!

The New Birth 1866 https://christianstandard.com/2019/03/the-new-birth/?fbclid=IwAR1gkOsGQ8dHc7fo1dX_OmQR1e0eWQ9m6DxqCRsXR4KYJxuLFAUCDwT8qWo

The New Birth

The pendulum swings, both ways

Most issues with the meaning of life, God and what are we to do are answered with pendulum swings from the extreme pharisaic rule keeper to the liberal side with all that pc stuff.  A Pendulum swing goes extreme, over to the side and leaves no doubt we have broken the agreement with God. In an effort to avoid the blade we run to one side or the other. From one extreme to another. Two truths opposed to each other are either true on one side or the other. Diametrically opposed truths cannot exist in the real world we live in. Math teachers tell me there is only one correct answer for a proper question.  How many times must God say something to be clearly heard? 

How many people handle snakes for a worship service? I don’t but I have known people that do or did as some are passed on. I am not afraid of snakes I just don’t think God wants us to handle dangerous pets or play with fire to prove our love and obedience for our Savior.  I do believe we must give up our lives to Jesus, not in foolish, stupid stuff but poured out as an offering with nothing in our will, ego, conscience or actions holding back. A disciple obeys out of love for the master. A slave responds to the whip. 

How much obedience must you do to be saved? Oh! Are we saved by Faith Alone “Sola Fida”? You say the Theif on the cross did nothing but believe that Jesus could save. You are right and if you are ever nailed to a cross to soon die a gruesome death God will know your heart and give you perfect justice. What would the Theif do if he was removed from the cross as was a friend of Josephus? and let’s say he was removed before He got past the point of no return in that he survived the agony and pain of the cross. Let’s imagine he meets Jesus a few days or weeks later and talks with him. What will Jesus tell him about being a disciple? Will Jesus ask the Thief to “Fulfill all righteousness”? What would be an answer to a “Good conscience toward God?” What would Peter say to the lost? Something new and improved to meet current liberal views? Why not just be a Mormon, they are good people, great family values. Of course, the Mormons, Muslims or LDS don’t believe in Jesus as “The very image of God” or the “Word become flesh” or “Mighty God” of the old covenant. Do you? Then obey Jesus in His commandments. “His commands are easy His burden(Yoke) is light” Which ones do you skip because of family, friends, tradition, ego, pride? 

Some pride themselves on what they obey or not do because it is in the Bible. Of course they mix the covenants and combine or ignore what they deem important or irrevelent.  Most of these resemble social clubs with rules, rituals and leadership you will not find in the New Covenant. 

I do not have enough faith to be an atheist or a gameday fan of God. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Protestantism

Have you obeyed the Gospel? https://www.biblestudytools.com/kjv/2-thessalonians/1-8.html

Have you obeyed your master? Is Jesus the writer of the Book of Life?https://www.biblestudytools.com/kjv/passage/?q=heb+5:9;heb+11:8 

My belief should bring forth action. I can do as the demons did or I can obey Jesus and be his witness where I am. The Gadarene demonic Jesus healed obeyed. The demons got pigged out. 

Paul taught you should obey and show that you believe the Gospelhttps://www.biblestudytools.com/kjv/passage/?q=ro+5:19;ro+6:16;ro+15:18;ro+16:19;ro+16:26

You have a choice. Who will you obey? 

Water of Life

Gal 6:12 Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God. 17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ 

Paul wrote this to the followers that were being told they must follow some of the old covenant rules and rituals in the Churches of Galatia. Paul said the same things in the letter circulated in the Churches of Phrygia 

Col 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised byChrist, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

If one reads the two letters and has prayerful focus on where Paul shows disdain and worthless value for the works of the Law, Jewish customs and even Abraham’s covenant! One comes away with these questions.

Why are we doing mixed covenants today? I would love to celebrate Hanukkah but I would only do so if Christ is exalted as Messiah. I would love to celebrate all the Hebrew Covenant rituals but only if Christ is the head and center of Worship.

To reach back and pull a practice up tells Jesus that the new covenant is not enough. If an angel told your prophet or the Holy Spirit spoke to you? Did what you heard or saw contradict the “Royal Law”, “The Law of Liberty”, the Elders you have a relationship with, the clear words of God in the new agreement? 

Why are traditions of men developed into a rule of faith or practice? Who does it serve? Power? Control? Money? Is the thing/practice/rule an added expedient? Does it obey Christ in all things? Does it continue the mission?  

Or does it divide and separate the very Church Jesus died for?

Does the practice or teaching focus the “Followers” to practice pure Religious Worship that Jesus’ brother reminds us that the balance of faith and works is based on Love for one another? 

In the first and only recorded Holy Spirit, Apostle and Elder decision in the book of Acts of the Apostles is the divorce letter to the Hebrew Nation of Israel on the rules and rituals, laws of a moral nature and Moses to the hard-headed Jews of that day. As James, the brother of the Lord says” The Law of Liberty”   is the Law of Love

If we keep the “Royal Law” do we need more or any other? To do so seems to me to be telling Jesus we don’t need Him or His Grace. If I must show up on a special “holy” time to meet God, cough up some cash, sign the guest list or be a member and watch the show. If I must keep a sabbath, tithe or some rule/ritual then I am a lawbreaker of the worst sort because I can’t keep up the act without hypocrisy and deceit to my conscience. 

More later………..