Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Pay It Forward"

A devotional in Radio Bible Class’ Our Daily Bread (www.rbc.org/odb) was entitled “Pay it Forward”, based on the movie by the same title. Trevor, a 12-year-old boy, wanting to make the world a better place, began with himself and a good deed.

The Scripture chosen for the devotional was John 13:3-15, the story of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. Imagine, the Lord of the universe humbling Himself by engaging in the lowly task reserved for servants! Surely a collective gasp and a hush fell upon these gathered in the upper room, as the Lord knelt before each man to grasp his filthy feet.

“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:15)

A lesson was to be learned, and it was about more than foot-washing. Although some take the above verse literally and engage in the practice today, the “example” Jesus was referring to was that of servanthood, not applying a wet towel to dusty toes. As today’s disciples, we must seek – and accept – opportunities to show the spirit of Jesus’ act; to meet the needs of those God places in our paths. Dirty feet needed to be tended to in New Testament days; we can render other acts of service in today’s world.

Let me get back to “Pay It Forward”…years ago, after our community suffered Hurricane Katrina’s wrath, volunteer groups from across the U.S. came to our aid. In addition to Minnesota, Georgia graced us with the most volunteers. Folks from First Baptist Church of Woodstock had come for a particular week, and I met them over a meal at our church. My daughter, Lee, who lives about an hour from Woodstock, had become a single parent, and we had a spare mattress set we wanted to get to her. These servant-hearted fellow believers (see photo) came by our house, picked up the bedding and transported it to their church, where one of Lee’s friends picked it up and brought it to her.

Fast-forward a few years. Last week, Lee was planning a trip to the Mississippi coast, and a friend-of-a-friend had something she needed to get down here. My daughter was able to meet the woman and receive the item - a hand-crafted case to hold the flag used at my friend’s husband’s funeral. She is waiting excitedly to receive the special gift. Lee had the opportunity - and pleasure – of paying it forward.

“…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Matt. 20:28)

Lord, may I not be so busy or inflexible that I miss the joy of following your example of servanthood when you provide the opportunity. Remind me of Your abundant blessings, and let me pay it forward!

Best wishes from lefthandrightbrain:)

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