Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--71--A Servant of Servants  (Read 3551 times)

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Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--71--A Servant of Servants
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2018, 03:34:05 AM »
Jesus has set the example. He washed His disciples feet to show us how we are by love to serve one another. When we yield the whole heart to Jesus, He lives in the heart by His Spirit manifest in all of the fruits of the Spirit—not one will be missing. May we abide in Christ by beholding Christ continually!!

“Jesus, the served of all, came to be the servant of all. And because He ministered to all, He will again be served and honored by all. And those who would partake of His divine attributes, and share with Him the joy of seeing souls redeemed, must follow His example of unselfish ministry.” – {The Desire of Ages, page 651, paragraph 3}
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--71--A Servant of Servants
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2018, 05:31:06 AM »
Amen! Pastor Sean. So all those who are partakers of the divine nature will desire and want to do some kind of ministry even if it's in "just" the home. What does that look like? When thinking about your post I remembered this from Christ Object Lessons.

There are many who have given themselves to Christ, yet who see no opportunity of doing a large work or making great sacrifices in His service. These may find comfort in the thought that it is not necessarily the martyr’s self-surrender which is most acceptable to God; it may not be the missionary who has daily faced danger and death that stands highest in heaven’s records. The Christian who is such in his private life, in the daily surrender of self, in sincerity of purpose and purity of thought, in meekness under provocation, in faith and piety, in fidelity in that which is least, the one who in the home life represents the character of Christ—such a one may in the sight of God be more precious than even the world-renowned missionary or martyr. {COL 403.2}

Oh, how different are the standards by which God and men measure character. God sees many temptations resisted of which the world and even near friends never know—temptations in the home, in the heart. He sees the soul’s humility in view of its own weakness; the sincere repentance over even a thought that is evil. He sees the wholehearted devotion to His service. He has noted the hours of hard battle with self—battle that won the victory. All this God and angels know. A book of remembrance is written before Him for them that fear the Lord and that think upon His name. {COL 403.3}

Not in our learning, not in our position, not in our numbers or entrusted talents, not in the will of man, is to be found the secret of success. Feeling our inefficiency we are to contemplate Christ, and through Him who is the strength of all strength, the thought of all thought, the willing and obedient will gain victory after victory. {COL 404.1}
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--71--A Servant of Servants
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2018, 05:56:42 AM »
I've been truly blessed this morning as I read "A Servant of Servants."  When we are open to what God wants to reveal to us about our own hearts condition we will see things that we were once blind to. It would be well for us to read this chapter during the week leading up to each communion service. Our hearts would then be humbled and ready for true fellowship with Christ and each other.
  " This ordinance is Christ's appointed preparation for the sacramental service. While pride, variance, and strife for supremacy are cherished, the heart cannot enter into fellowship with Christ. We are not prepared to receive the communion of His body and His blood. Therefore it was that Jesus appointed the memorial of His humiliation to be first observed.
     As they come to this ordinance, the children of God should bring to remembrance the words of the Lord of life and glory: "Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." There is in man a disposition to esteem himself more highly than his brother, to work for self, to seek the highest place; and often this results in evil surmisings and bitterness of spirit. The ordinance preceding the Lord's Supper is to clear away these misunderstandings, to bring man out of his selfishness, down from his stilts of self-exaltation, to the humility of heart that will lead him to serve his brother."
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--71--A Servant of Servants
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2018, 08:48:16 AM »
There are many lessons in today's reading, but none are greater than what brought joy to the heart of Jesus:


“ the joy of seeing souls redeemed

And, what brings joy to you and me? Seeing souls redeemed! What a privilege it is to be workers together with God for the saving of souls. What God can do through repentant sinners is seen on the Day of Pentecost when thousands were converted. What can we do that will produce such a harvest? We need to be filled with the Spirit of God that we might walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh.  What has Jesus given to us that might hasten the soon coming of Jesus? He gave us an example when He washed the feet of His disciples. Foot washing is more than the cleansing of feet. We see in it a power that transforms sinners into saints. What is that power?

It is the grace by which we are saved. Many in the church have failed to see this lesson in the ceremony. If we prayerfully study the matter, we will gain an understanding as to how we can give glory to God by continually walking in the Spirit, rather than walking in the flesh. The foundation principle is the gospel of grace. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8.

Listen to the words of Jesus and learn how He was able to transform eleven sinners into saints by washing their feet. Sadly, it was only temporary, for later that night, self rose up in every one of His disciples and they deserted Him. But, that does not change the lesson we learn as we study what Jesus said and did that last night before His death.

     As the disciples watched Christ's action, they were greatly moved. When Peter's turn came, he exclaimed with astonishment, "Lord, dost Thou wash my feet?" Christ's condescension broke his heart. He was filled with shame to think that one of the disciples was not performing this service. "What I do," Christ said, "thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter." Peter could not bear to see his Lord, whom he believed to be the Son of God, acting the part of a servant. His whole soul rose up against this humiliation. He did not realize that for this Christ came into the world. With great emphasis he exclaimed, "Thou shalt never wash my feet."   
     Solemnly Christ said to Peter, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me." The service which Peter refused was the type of a higher cleansing. Christ had come to wash the heart from the stain of sin. In refusing to allow Christ to wash his feet, Peter was refusing the higher cleansing included in the lower. He was really rejecting his Lord. It is not humiliating to the Master to allow Him to work for our purification. The truest humility is to receive with thankful heart any provision made in our behalf, and with earnestness do service for Christ.   
     At the words, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me," Peter surrendered his pride and self-will. He could not endure the thought of separation from Christ; that would have been death to him. "Not my feet only," he said, "but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit."
     These words mean more than bodily cleanliness. Christ is still speaking of the higher cleansing as illustrated by the lower. He who came from the bath was clean, but the sandaled feet soon became dusty, and again needed to be washed. So Peter and his brethren had been washed in the great fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. Christ acknowledged them as His. But temptation had led them into evil, and they still needed His cleansing grace. When Jesus girded Himself with a towel to wash the dust from their feet, He desired by that very act to wash the alienation, jealousy, and pride from their hearts. This was of far more consequence than the washing of their dusty feet. With the spirit they then had, not one of them was prepared for communion with Christ. Until brought into a state of humility and love, they were not prepared to partake of the paschal supper, or to share in the memorial service which Christ was about to institute. Their hearts must be cleansed. Pride and self-seeking create dissension and hatred, but all this Jesus washed away in washing their feet. A change of feeling was brought about. Looking upon them, Jesus could say, "Ye are clean." Now there was union of heart, love for one another. They had become humble and teachable. Except Judas, each was ready to concede to another the highest place. Now with subdued and grateful hearts they could receive Christ's words.


Yes, all save Judas were reconverted that night by the revelation of grace. So it is when we minister to others, the revelation of grace is what transforms sinners into saints. It is the goodness of God taken into the heart that brings about a repentance not to be repented of.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--71--A Servant of Servants
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2018, 05:05:17 AM »
Like Peter and his brethren, we too have been washed in the blood of Christ, yet often through contact with evil the heart's purity is soiled. We must come to Christ for His cleansing grace. Peter shrank from bringing his soiled feet in contact with the hands of his Lord and Master; but how often we bring our sinful, polluted hearts in contact with the heart of Christ! How grievous to Him is our evil temper, our vanity and pride! Yet all our infirmity and defilement we must bring to Him. He alone can wash us clean. We are not prepared for communion with Him unless cleansed by His efficacy.

This reminded me of Adam and Eve's reaction after eating the fruit when the Lord sought them out. Instead of trusting Him and looking to Him for help they ran and hid themselves because of their sin and shame. And so it is today, it's the nature of sin to cause us to run away from the only One who can help us and yet we must go to Him so He can cleanse us and remove our shame.

By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--71--A Servant of Servants
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2018, 07:26:04 AM »
"These words mean more than bodily cleanliness. Christ is still speaking of the higher cleansing as illustrated by the lower. He who came from the bath was clean, but the sandaled feet soon became dusty, and again needed to be washed. So Peter and his brethren had been washed in the great fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. Christ acknowledged them as His. But temptation had led them into evil, and they still needed His cleansing grace. When Jesus girded Himself with a towel to wash the dust from their feet, He desired by that very act to wash the alienation, jealousy, and pride from their hearts. This was of far more consequence than the washing of their dusty feet. With the spirit they then had, not one of them was prepared for communion with Christ. Until brought into a state of humility and love, they were not prepared to partake of the paschal supper, or to share in the memorial service which Christ was about to institute. Their hearts must be cleansed. Pride and self-seeking create dissension and hatred, but all this Jesus washed away in washing their feet. A change of feeling was brought about. Looking upon them, Jesus could say, 'Ye are clean.' Now there was union of heart, love for one another. They had become humble and teachable. Except Judas, each was ready to concede to another the highest place. Now with subdued and grateful hearts they could receive Christ's words." {The Desire of Ages, page 646, paragraph 3}

The union of heart is what Christ brings to us as we abide in Him and are willing for others to have a higher place than us if that is God's will. We accept God's choice for us in all things. Christ modeled this complete surrender to the Father's will; in washing the disciples' feet, their hearts were brought into union and communion with Him, which is the joy and fellowship brought about in conversion. Only Judas would not surrender. May we come to Jesus to be cleansed and kept by His grace from separating from Him is my prayer!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--71--A Servant of Servants
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2018, 08:13:32 AM »
"When the Saviour's hands were bathing those soiled feet, and wiping them with the towel, the heart of Judas thrilled through and through with the impulse then and there to confess his sin. But he would not humble himself. He hardened his heart against repentance; and the old impulses, for the moment put aside, again controlled him. Judas was now offended at Christ's act in washing the feet of His disciples. If Jesus could so humble Himself, he thought, He could not be Israel's king. All hope of worldly honor in a temporal kingdom was destroyed. Judas was satisfied that there was nothing to be gained by following Christ. After seeing Him degrade Himself, as he thought, he was confirmed in his purpose to disown Him, and confess himself deceived. He was possessed by a demon, and he resolved to complete the work he had agreed to do in betraying his Lord."

This must have wrung the heart of Jesus, knowing that Judas was so close to receiving Him and yet so far. I give my heart again today to the one who went through all He did and He would have done it for only one. This thought overwhelms me as I again read this account of the upper room experience.  This is not a reading to read through quickly. We should savour every word for there are principles here that Christ wants us to understand and practice. Do we really understand what it means to be a 'servant'?
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--71--A Servant of Servants
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2018, 04:31:42 PM »
That's a good question, Sister Dorine. All who love Jesus supremely, experience the joy of sharing Him with others. All of the disciples were willing to concede the highest place to another, except for Judas. They would wash each others feet after they received the grace of God into their hearts. They were re-converted, self was dead. Our great joy in life is ministering to others, even those who hurt us. When we behold Jesus suffering for our sins, kneeling at the foot of the cross is not low enough. 

     In washing the feet of His disciples, Christ gave evidence that He would do any service, however humble, that would make them heirs with Him of the eternal wealth of heaven's treasure. His disciples, in performing the same rite, pledge themselves in like manner to serve their brethren. Whenever this ordinance is rightly celebrated, the children of God are brought into a holy relationship, to help and bless each other. They covenant that the life shall be given to unselfish ministry. And this, not only for one another. Their field of labor is as wide as their Master's was. The world is full of those who need our ministry. The poor, the helpless, the ignorant, are on every hand. Those who have communed with Christ in the upper chamber will go forth to minister as He did.   
     Jesus, the served of all, came to be the servant of all. And because He ministered to all, He will again be served and honored by all. And those who would partake of His divine attributes, and share with Him the joy of seeing souls redeemed, must follow His example of unselfish ministry. 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.