washingfeetshort1Would Christ wash my feet? It depends on who you ask and upon the condition of the feet. I guess in these days of manicures and pedicures it does not matter.  I know the Lord washes feet. The Bible says so. It is just so hard to imagine.  I mean after all he’s….Jesus.

So I am trying to imagine myself reclining with them at that table. I would be thinking, “Is this all necessary for him to wash their feet and even mine?” Is he rubbing this in, forgive the pun, because we did not do the most simple of cultural practices at that time? He would use this as an object lesson demonstrating how we should serve one another. I get that. But the feet, man…the feet they are so dirty. My feet are so dirty. Yet no one even thought about it. Jesus said nothing at first.

Roads were muddy and dusty back then. People wore sandals. Feet were rough and abused. In most homes water was provided so people could wash their own feet.  Rich people had a slave who was in charge of foot washing in their homes. You know what bothers me? We are eating reclined at a low table so dirty feet are an issue-at least with me. Seriously, who wants some Apostle’s dirty feet near your food?

Jesus still -saw my filthy feet and still went on with the dinner and teaching the new commitment God was making with us. This bread is MY BODY…this cup IS MY BLOOD. Then he fed us. This was his object lesson about His body being broken for our healing and his blood was being spilled for our forgiveness. Although it was just bread and drink something spiritual was happening. It was as though he gave us spiritual meat and drink so that we could know that we live in HIM, and HE lives in us (John 6:56).  We are and were healed. Awesome.

What could show his love for us more than this? NOTHING. So, what did he have to prove? He could have waited just to show his love later on the Cross. Instead he does THIS.  It seems he uses as many opportunities as he can to show his love to us. So I began to think that it did matter they had dirty feet.

I mean Jesus let the disciples eat with dirty hands one time (Mk. 7:1-23) and explained that it is not unwashed hands but a dirty heart that was the issue. That time He left them as is, but not here.

Dirty feet and all, raw, uncultivated rejects of society (I fit in there) he selflessly and tangibly loves us. He goes right ahead and touched and washed their dirty feet. Then Christ, the eternal Son of God washes my feet and I am still confused why he would do this for me (John 13:7). All I could do is touch his shoulder and say, “Thanks Lord” and probably start crying. What else can you say to such an unmerited act of grace? But again what I sense is more than clean feet. The whole thing was refreshing. Then he tells us that we are all clean, except one. Judas. His feet were clean but not his heart.

Christ washes us by his name and Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:11). Hearing about Jesus will cause us, his genuine followers, to be filled with his presence. By this He refreshes my soul and your soul. (Psalm 23:3). He has cleansed us. He has washed us. He rejuvenates us and we feel refreshed.  We are and were washed.

He washes us because he loves us perfectly. This is why I plead with preachers and churches to preach the Word-even Jesus, the living Word. This is why we should study and contemplate the scriptures, which focus on revealing Christ, the Word becoming flesh (John 5:39; John 1:14).

All this just shows he rejects the dirt not the disciple. We often think of Christ being so repulsed at us that he must wash us because we stink so bad. Nothing could be further from the truth. He washes us because we are his own. He does not wash us because he is repulsed at us but because we are his body. We are one with him.

He said that if he does not wash us we have no part with him (John 13:8). Jesus prays at a later time and says, “For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” (John 17:19).  Sanctified in this context would mean he is clean so we are clean. As he is, so are we (1 John 4:17). We are made clean through his Word, the truth and Jesus is the Word and Truth. He brings a washing-not out of repulsion but love. He washes us because we are one with him. The mystery of the church is that it is his body, his flesh and his bones (see Eph. 5:23-32). We are and were one with him.

PatienceA very bad week is over. It is amazing how the Lord can help you recover.

Here is a tip for going through trials: you may feel strong emotions-nothing wrong with that-but you can choose how react despite what you feel without letting your emotions become your tyrants driving you to do things you will regret.

Don’t let anyone try to put you down by saying you are emotional. Unless they have recently had a lobotomy they are emotional too. You blew it? You got angry or something. Look, all is forgiven. Let it go, guilt will only make you more irritable and uncontrolled guilt will make you miserable.

It is not easy controlling your emotions. Some people are just more emotional than others-that is they way God made them and it is part of his own fingerprint on them.   It is not easy putting a leash on emotions but I think that is what patience is all about. I mean I used to see patience like an picture of a Roman Catholic saint a person with a serene look and a halo over their head. Nah, that’s not it at all!

While reading this article to my wife, she got me thinking as she pointed out that there are people who just seem more patient or who can hold it together better than others. That is so true. Those people just have not encountered a circumstance or person that will bring out the lunatic we are used to seeing in the mirror everyday. But you know what?-God made every kind of personality or life would be dull.

In all this you will really need the Holy Spirit’s help.  The Holy Spirit produces patience in us. That is what HE Does. He does it, not you. The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us and seeing the real biblical Christ is calming to the heart of a Christian. As you read scripture Jesus is always saying, “Fear not” or “Peace be with you.” and if I might paraphrase, “It will be all right, take it easy. I will take care you and this problem.”

Is that it you say?  Yes.

Can you be patient on your own? So what is the choice, another face plant after you lose your cool? Or, believe the truth of God’s incredible and profuse promises that are …wait for it…all TRUE! Much more true that your emotional reactions. All you need to do is say, “Holy Spirit I know you are in control of my life and circumstances. I know you are in control of my emotions as well.”

You are going to make it and God’s promises are still true-FOR YOU.

DV0103You see this picture? Its from John 8. The woman caught in sin.

You and I were caught. No, it is not a scandal in the news perhaps but the shame and fear of consequences does something to our entire being.

Your mind and heart has a race and you cannot catch your breath. God catches people doing everything from stupid to evil things, everyday, all the time.

See the frowns of the religious, even so-called church people and the tenderness of Jesus?

Yes he is looking at you. he stands in between you and them.

The jury of the religious are powerless to hurt you despite your sins.

This is the day Jesus says with a smile of love, “I don’t condemn you, go and sin no more.”

Today, is the day Jesus showed you forgiveness of sin and freedom from sin.

He shows you mercy despite your crimes.

You did not ask, he just does it. Your spirit comes alive and your desires now have changed.

Jesus Christ shows you justice as well.

The justice of the cross.

He died in your place. He was glad to do it. He loved you as he did it. He loves you gladly now.

All the LAW and its law-men could do was justly bludgeon you with stones.

You see that smile? Jesus has spoken in his justice and righteousness and all is well.

You will never be condemned. The consequence and power of sin has been broken by Christ the Almighty Savior. 

il_340x270.623982910_pj66When Christ announced the fulfillment of the wonderful day of God’s good news, freedom, recovery, healing and favor in which we live the scriptures declared, “All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.” (Luke 4:22).

The word for gracious is charis. It is the word we use for grace. His words of grace spoke then and reverberate now not like an echo but a continuing transmission.

Despite the rejection of some, blinded by unbelief (2 Cor 4:3), these words Jesus spoke immediately exerted an influence upon those that heard them.

All of a sudden the light of Christ shined into the hearts of the people like when the first words God spoke in the empty chaos of earth and said, “Let there be light.” (Gen 1:3) in the Old Creation, but NOW in the new Creation (2 Cor. 5:17) the gospel speaks and brings the light of the glory of God-not planetary light, or the sun, moon and stars but the uncreated light of the face of the SON-Jesus in dark empty hearts. (2 Cor. 4:6). In him was light, shining in the darkness that could not put that LIGHT out (John 1:1-5).

In Jesus a bright undeniable light shined in in what was once called, “Death City.” (Mt 4:16). These gracious words were like “honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (Prov. 16:24). Gracious words are words of beauty.

Christ shepherds us with two shepherd’s staffs and he named one “Beauty or Favor and the other Union or Unity” (see Zech. 11:7). We have the favor God showed Christ, the union Christ had with his Father. You see, Christ is our unending, unbroken covenant. This is what the LORD says: “At just the right time, I will respond to you. On the day of salvation I will help you. I will protect you and give you to the people as my covenant with them. Through you I will reestablish the land of Israel and assign it to its own people again.” (Isaiah 49:8NLT). 

Christ is The Promise, our promise. He is The oath, our oath. That was God’s promise directly to Christ! It was primarily to the eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ he said, “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you.”  He helped Christ through his death through HIS glory (Heb 5:7; Rom 6:3). Now those promises are ours because it is to Christ we belong and he belongs to us. For us in CHRIST- “no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” (2 Cor 1:20).

Today Jesus himself has beautiful feet, though nail scarred, with beautiful words good news, freedom, recovery, healing and favor for you (Isaiah 52:7). Just hearing the steps of the Son of God and his gospel has already started the process, enlightened your eyes, opened your ears, make you leap for joy (Isaiah 35:5) and revived your spirit (Gen 45:7). He has made you glad (Ps. 92:4).

You will taste these gracious words and see that the Lord is good. (Ps. 34:8).

-Stephen Gibney

jesuscalmingstormGod’s peace is yours today. It really is yours.

He says, “Peace I give, MY peace I leave with you.”

Just trust these words. You do not have to make anything happen.

  • Anxiety has no stranglehold over you anymore.
  • Fear will no longer enslave you.
  • Loneliness will no longer dog your steps.
  • Addictions power is broken by the blood of Christ.

You are his beloved child!

Symptoms and circumstances do not rule your life. Christ does. JESUS IS LORD! His grace, mercy and PEACE are multiplied in your life.

Multiplied is made up of two words in the original “fill” and “multitude.”

It means abundance, overflowing, increasing and to fill to maximum potential.

May God give you more and more MERCY AND HELP and GRACE AND FAVOR and PEACE AND TRANQUILITY OF SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

Believe your Lord, He can be trusted. He never fails. He loves you all the time.

04psalm139_3-vi“My journeys and my rest you scrutinize with all my ways you are familiar.” (NAB)

How God knows us, He is familiar with us. We are of great interest to God. This is difficult to comprehend. God must be love, grace and mercy. All who put their faith in Christ are his friends. To the most boring and mundane person, to the most active and exciting. It is no matter. The all-seeing, all-knowing God is familiar with all our ways. He being familiar, does not mean he just knows us, but he associates with us.

The word “acquainted” in the KJV and familiarity in the NAB are colder than the Hebrew teaches. God is associated with us by friendship. He makes it a habit of being around us, being seen with us, talking to us. He has decided to be our friend and He enjoys our company. Jesus is the friend of sinners and the friend of saints. He likes us as friends and loves us as children. I mean we all have people who love us but do not like us. It seems crazy but it is true. When people like us they like being around us and being with us.

This verse three of Psalm 139 says he “scrutinizes.” us. The word in Hebrew is sift or winnow. He inspects our travels and rest closely. It would seem he looks closely at our activity and leisure. He likes being a part of what we do. He lives in us and his word lives in us. It is no wonder that he is our friend.

When he scrutinizes it teaches that God isolates that which is most important or useful and gets rid of that which is undesirable. This can be a reference to growing in holiness as he purifies our heart, very true.

But it would also indicate that God is not pettily criticizing every word, action and thought. He KNOWS us. He sees the big stuff, the deep stuff, the stuff that counts in our lives and he loves that about us.

After all, we reflect who he is as he gives us holy desires and abilities.

known“You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.”

God our Father seems so interested in us. We would think he has better things to do, but He is watching us from the beginning of our day to the end of it. He closes the distance with his presence in everything we do. He watches every time we sit, or stand. When we wake up and go to bed. It is hard to imagine.

He sees with perfect knowledge our thoughts, words and actions. We know we fall so far short that we are ashamed. Instead of seeing a smiling proud Father, we see him as one who frowns and is frustrated and even angry with his children. This could not be further from the truth.

What God sees is that we are seated with Christ in heavenly places. Just as the Son of his love, Jesus Christ sat down on the right hand of His Majesty on high, the highest place of honor, so we are seated with Christ. He loves us as he loves Christ.

He sees when we sit down.

He sees us doing all to stand, as we use the armor he gave us, the armor Christ wore, the armor of designed by God. He sees us standing upon his Word and in prayer: in truth, righteousness, peace and faith. His royal sons and daughters fighting against Satan and his schemes.

He sees us when we stand.

PS 139“O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.”

Do you realize how much God KNOWS you. He knows your heart. You do not have to be afraid of that knowledge.

If you are a child of God. God no longer sees a heart that is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. Why would he? That was the old you. That was B.C.

He loved you as a sinner. Christ died for you as a sinner. He took your sins to the cross and forgave you, forever. This power of the gospel cannot be underestimated.

God has given you a new heart! He has put a new spirit in you! You no longer have a heart of stone-he removed it. Now you have a soft heart and God’s Spirit dwells in you. His decrees and laws are written on the very fiber of your being.

This is all his work and it is marvelous in our eyes and he delights in you.

Cutting-and-Self-Harm-The-Lies-You-Believe-and-the-Truth-that-Sets-You-Free

The Bible exposes Satan as THE FATHER OF LIES! Jesus said, “Whenever he tells a lie, he’s doing what comes naturally to him. He’s a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44).

I find that fascinating. People and inventors like Jubal in (Genesis 4:21) were the father of all who handle the harp and organ. He was the first one to invent that instrument.

Satan is the first liar.  How does one become a liar? He must believe a lie. Once he believes that lie he must tell that lie. 

Satan’s number one original lie is not what he told Adam and Eve (Gen 3) but what he told himself: “I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). Satan’s position, wealth, talent and power led him to become vain and arrogant and he was so deceived he began to believe he could rule heaven better than God. He began to believe that his will was greater than God’s will.  He challenged God’s Sovereignty. His claim that his own will was greater than God’s will brought him crushing humiliation.

But even after his eviction from heaven he still believed his own lie.  Every lie that has ever been told can be traced back to him. Satan is not only the first liar but the father of all liars, “Whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” (Rev 22:15). One version says, “All who love to live a lie.” (NLT).

John 8 exposes people who live a lie. Jesus Christ was and is the light of the world and the Great I AM, Yahweh who sees and exposes all lies. At first blush, we see the adulterous woman was caught in a lie but once exposed she was forgiven and given a gentle reprimand. She no longer lived the lie. Christ only rebukes and chastises those whom he loves or those with whom he has a permanent spiritual relationship by sovereign grace.

But the church leaders of that day and their followers learned to live lies. They wanted to murder Christ (v.40) ! They were children of the devil (John 8:44) who thought they were children of Abraham (v. 33) and children of God (v. 41).

Jesus told them they were spiritual slaves, that unless they obeyed his teaching they could never be free from the lies and oppression of sin and Satan. They said they were never slaves as descendants of Abraham. Yet, years earlier they had just come back from Babylonian captivity! They were so blind! So in order to do this their religious leaders had to redefine SIN and SLAVERY. Just like today. 

Sin is either made into breaking petty rules instead of obeying God from the heart. It requires doing the right thing in the eyes of people and no fear of God. You can seem moral, give your tithe, say the right words, participate in the latest spiritual trends and read the right books, go to the latest religious music concert and you will fit right in. But all the while you are a child of the devil and a slave to sin.  Nothing has changed.

Jesus said, “These people, says God, honor me with their words, but their heart is really far away from me. It is no use for them to worship me, because they teach human rules as though they were my laws!’ “You put aside God’s command and obey human teachings.” (Mark 7:6-8). This is where all the self help guru’s, marriage counselors, financial wizards with a form of godliness come in. They deny the power because their rules coagulated with a scripture here and there become the worst dogma of men and create a pseudo christian life that is no more that a mirage and a huge lie and it cancels out God’s Word.

It is easier for some to live codes and rules of man because it does not require a heart relationship. Their life has no relationship to the Son or God. It does not require a new heart just the ability to please man and it is the darkest form of slavery and deception for it rejects the teaching of Christ while calling itself Christian.

Truth Lies Wallpaper__yvt2

Jesus said to them, “I am telling you the truth: everyone who sins is a slave of sin.”

Christian, if sin dominates your life-you are its slave. If you continue in a sin or sins and have no repentance, no sorrow, no plan to deal or resist that temptation, simply you treat sin lightly. You can be sure that you are a child of the devil. You cannot have a permanent relationship with sin and call yourself a child of God. Why?

Jesus said, “A slave does not belong to a family permanently, but a son belongs there forever.  If the Son sets you free, then you will be really free.” A slave is only a temporary employee, an outsider, not a family member. No slave belongs to a family permanently.

This means first, a true child of God does not keep on sinning against God because they have the nature of God. They love God and hate sin. This does not mean they do not fail God, but they treat sin and temptation aggressively. They repent immediately, obtain god’s forgiveness by the Cross and they seek for God’s strength not to do it again through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Secondly, a slave of sin cannot be a permanent relationship because SIN will KILL it victims, its slaves. The Puritan writer said well, “Be killing sin or sin will kill you!” Only children are family members and they must be born into that family. We are all born slaves in an unseen prison and only through the intervention of God’s Holy Spirit can we be given a new life and a new nature.

The church goers Jesus addressed were not of the family of Abraham and God’s family because they were sinners by nature and birth. They were spiritually dead because of their disobedience and sins. They followed the world’s evil way, their selfish desires; and they obeyed Satan who controls all who disobey God. God was angry at them! (see Eph. 2:1-3).

Jesus makes it clear that all people are NOT the children of God. They can only become thee children of God by being born again (John 3:3-8). Only those who obey Christ’s teaching will never die. Jesus says, “If the Son sets you free, then you will be really free!”

Jesus is actually the only holy child of God, the only begotten, God the Son! He is the eternal Son of God begotten before all worlds! He is the firstborn son among many brethren. He is the only one who can set people free! Jesus makes it clear to them that IF they were God’s permanent children spiritually and children of faith like Abraham they would love him. A person who does not love Christ is a slave on borrowed time and is a child of the devil.

Jesus makes it clear that if they do not accept the teaching his Heavenly Father has shown him, they are under the control of Satan (v. 34-41). In fact, the children of the devil hate the truth so much some have gone to the extreme and murdered those that taught the liberating words of Jesus. But most are like those who you may have heard say, “They are dead to me?” This means that they ignore their existence. They treat them as though they were dead. That is how many people crucify Christ afresh by ignoring his words and teaching. He is dead to them and they are dead in sin.

Jesus makes it clear that many people do not understand his message because they cannot bear to listen to it (v. 42-47). He insists that only those who are from God listen to God’s words. It makes me weep that Jesus is saying to some church goers today, “I will go away; you will look for me, but you will die in your sins. You cannot go where I am going…You are from this world, but I am not from this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. And you will die in your sins if you do not believe that ‘I Am Who I Am’.” All they have is devil’s faith and are of their father the devil. 

Some church people today they reject God’s words. They become furious and incensed at anyone who exposes their sin and error. Anyone who dares question whether they are children of God! In fact, the most intense persecution are by those who attend so called churches that persecute truth preachers. They may not physically kill them, but they ostracize them, ignore them and treat them as if they were dead. They will think that by doing this they are serving God.” (John 16:20). The Bible and Church history has shown this to be true. Rejoice for so they persecuted the prophets which were before you!

Are you a child of God? Has Christ set you free? Wishing and hoping is not the way. He says whoever the Son sets free is free indeed! Free in reality and activity. Free in experience. Christ is not only our Savior but our Liberator-setting us free from the power of sins forgiven. Those who he sends out forgiven and says to them, “Stop sinning.”

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