We have been talking about the best new ever. We can walk in the undeserved grace and favor of God not based on something we do, but on something Jesus did for us. Our life becomes transformed as we grasp the grace of who we are and what we have, not because of what we do, but because of what Jesus did.
Now, let's talk about how this transforms our relationships and empowers us to make an amazing difference in the world. If we allow it, God’s grace will make us gracious. It will turn us from being “grabbers” to givers.
We look on what Jesus did so that we can love the way Jesus loved. Jesus can melt our hard hearts of selfishness into kind hearts of graciousness.
Three things the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet shows us
A. What greatness is in God’s kingdom.
Greatness is what a person displays when they are willing to do even the lowliest most humiliating thing to show others the value that God has put on their lives.
“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”
— Mark 10:43-44 (NIV)
B. Jesus showed and taught a new definition of love. Love is not what we give people because they deserve it, but in spite of what they deserve. God doesn’t give us grace because we are committed to God; He gives us grace to stir up a desire and power so we can be committed to God.
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
— Matthew 7:12 (NIV)
C. We have to humble ourselves and be willing to be cleansed and touched by Jesus’ love before we can give that love to others. The more we realize our need for grace, the more we are able to show grace to others.
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have not part with me.”
— John 13:8
The ability to love on the outside comes from the ability to receive cleansing and be loved by God on the inside.
D. It is through simple acts of service and love that our greatest purpose in life is fulfilled and our hearts and souls are healed.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
— John 13:35
“Forgiveness is setting the prisoner free and discovering that prisoner was me.”
The amazing thing, by refusing to become a victim of others' negativity, we remain free to walk in joy and freedom. Wherever we choose to walk in unconditional love, we open the funnel cloud of Heaven over our lives. Our hearts grow toxic by focusing on the negativity in others. We become burdened by the judgments we make of others. When we choose love: to keep no records of wrong, to believe the best, we free our hearts to be at peace and our souls to be healed.
“This is what I know, the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who’ve sought and found out how to serve.” — Albert Schweitzer
How do we become grace givers, who fulfill God’s greatest commandment and purpose?
A. See the value God puts on everyone; look beyond their faults and see their potential and needs.
B. Ask God to cleanse your heart from selfish ambition and a critical spirit. We don’t just need positional grace; we need purifying grace. We must decide not to let religion, politics, or past disappointments get in the way of love.
“A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered the greatest.” — Luke 22:24 (NIV)
“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else...” — Luke 18:9
“First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” — Matthew 7:5 (NIV)
C. Let God make big His love for you in your heart.
D. Make showing God’s love by serving others and sharing His gospel your life mission. Love people to life in Jesus’ name.
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever."
— Daniel 12:3 (NIV)
You might not shine as a star before audiences on earth, but if you shine God’s love, you will shine as a star forever in Heaven.
E. Never underestimate the power of small things done with great love.
It isn’t the size of the seed but the power of the life within that seed. When we give God something to work with, He can do great and revolutionary things in people’s hearts.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 NIV)
We must carry out the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. (John 9:4 NASB)
“Do all the good you can; to all the people you can; in all the ways you can; and as long as ever you can.”
— John Wesley