A Blessed Life

Nearing his final Passover, Jesus takes the basin and towel and bending his knee he blesses his beloved disciples as he washes their feet. One by one. In Hebrew the word for bless is BRK (Barak) and it literally means to bend the knee. This week as you pause to pray, you might listen for where God is inviting you to bend your knee to receive or to serve. They go together in living a blessed life.

John 13:1-17 (NLT)
Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. 2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
9 Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”
10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet,[c] to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.
•  13:1 Or he showed them the full extent of his love.

For Reflection and Prayer:
Was there a word, phrase or image which caught your attention you as you listened to or slowly read the text? Quietly reflect on it in your prayer with Jesus. Journal your conversation.

Place yourself into this scene. Who are you? What feelings and thoughts are going on inside of you as this scene unfolds? Talk it over with Jesus in your prayer.

Where have you or long to experience Jesus loving you in such a humble way? Journal about that experience or your longing.

Savor any consoling words or pictures as you quietly rest in God.

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A Place of Great Abundance

The great teachers remind us that abundance is not situational, transactional, or a destination. Abundance is something which happens within us. The overflow of our heart is praise and gratitude to God. As you enter into prayer with this text, come and see what our God has done.
            Open our eyes God to see what you have done.

Psalm 66:1-12 (NLT)
Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth!
2     Sing about the glory of his name!
    Tell the world how glorious he is.
3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
    Your enemies cringe before your mighty power.
4 Everything on earth will worship you;
    they will sing your praises,
    shouting your name in glorious songs.” Interlude
5 Come and see what our God has done,
    what awesome miracles he performs for people!
6 He made a dry path through the Red Sea,
    and his people went across on foot.
    There we rejoiced in him.
7 For by his great power he rules forever.
    He watches every movement of the nations;
    let no rebel rise in defiance. Interlude
8 Let the whole world bless our God
    and loudly sing his praises.
9 Our lives are in his hands,
    and he keeps our feet from stumbling.
10 You have tested us, O God;
    you have purified us like silver.
11 You captured us in your net
    and laid the burden of slavery on our backs.
12 Then you put a leader over us.
    We went through fire and flood,
    but you brought us to a place of great abundance.

For Reflection and Prayer:
What word, phrase, image, or feeling caught your attention as you listened? Bring it into your prayer. Journal your conversation.

Can you name an emotion which you felt as you heard these words? Where do you feel it in your body? Without judging it, can you bring it before God in prayer?

Reflect on your own experiences of trials and abundance. Is there anything from them which you want to talk over with God?