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I want to talk about how we can serve effectively.

John 13:3-5
Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His
hands and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and
laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that He poured
water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with
the towel with which He was girded. (NKJV)

Before Jesus could wash their feet He laid aside His
garments. What we can learn from that act is that before we can really serve as
ministers we must lay aside certain things that can prevent us from coming down
to serve the people we lead. The ability to come down and serve is a clear
indicator of one’s maturity in the Lord. The text above said that Jesus knew
what God had given Him and where He was going. He was secured in His identity.
That was why He could go so low as to wash their feet. Washing of feet was a task
given to the lowest of servants in a household. No wonder Peter protested. What
Jesus did blows my mind. Such humility!

If we can also do that we must grow and be secured in our
identity and we must also lay aside some garments. The garment is a figurative
description of anything that is your source of pride. I want to single one out
and talk about it today. I am talking about the garment of age.

Age is very significant in this world but in the Church or
kingdom of God, it is not according to age but grace. We should be able to
respect the grace of God on people’s lives even if they are younger. Also we
should not let our age prevent us from coming down to serve people. There is a
classic example of what I am talking about in the Bible. When Mary went to visit
her older cousin Elizabeth, she referred to Mary as the Mother of my Lord and
counted it a privilege to have been allowed to meet Mary (Luke 1:43). She was
far older than Mary in terms of age but she respected the grace that was upon
Mary. That was the heart of a servant leader. True humility is when you can
come down for those who are below you in terms of status, age, riches etc.

Respecting and submitting to those above you, is not
humility. It is wisdom. But coming down for those below you, is humility. That
is the kind of heart we need for ministry. That is the kind of heart Our Lord
Jesus had. Remember God wants us to lay aside the garments ourselves. Walking
with God demands that we strip off certain things. If we strip, it is called
Humility. If He strips us, it is called humiliation. Let us pray for grace to
be humble. Because much as God gives grace to the humble, it also takes grace
to be humbled. We shall continue next week with other garments.

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