Do You Understand

I just finished reading your $20 Stories, and on behalf of the Deacon’s I want to thank you for partnering with them in investing in the kingdom. I praise God for your discernment of where to give your $20. I praise God for your creativity, and in some cases extra generosity in multiplying your gift. Again, as I said in the message prior to handing out the $20, I realize many of you have already developed a habit of lavish sharing—you are constantly looking for opportunities to bless someone. On the other hand, maybe for some of you, this was the first time you experienced the joy of God working though you to meet another person’s need. The point of the exercise, of course, was to model the power of koinonia.
As I reflected on the joy I was feeling knowing how our congregation was actively seeking to be a blessing to a watching world, I was reminded of the joy Jesus must have felt after modeling to his disciple’s how to love and serve others. A passage that has grabbed my heart this week is from John 13 where John records the story of Jesus washing the disciple’s feet. And the question I have been meditating on is when Jesus asked his disciples, “Do you understand what I’ve done for you?”
See, I think what makes this question so powerful is, the more we understand what Jesus has done for us, the more eager we are going to be to serve others. The greater understanding you and I have of Jesus’ gift of forgiveness, the more willing we will be to forgive others.  The more we understand that everything we have is a gift from God, the more excited we will be to share it. The more we understand that following Jesus means laying down our lives for the good of others, the more attentive we will be of the need around us.
As you and I grow in our understanding of what Jesus has done for us, I hope we find great joy in lavishing God’s love on other people. And so in the midst of all the pain and brokenness around us, “may we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scoring its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. And may we consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:2-3).
Again, thank you so much for wide variety of ways I see you investing in the kingdom. As Jesus said, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

Seeking to understand, Mike

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