Categories
Christian Living love

Famous Last Words

The Setting: Christ’s final Passover with His closest friends. (The time has come to sacrifice his life as a ransom for many. He shows the full extent of His love.)

Here’s how an epic Hollywood movie would have envisioned the moment:

As supper is served, Jesus rises from his seat, unsheathes a gleaming sword and says (holding it up to bask in His own reflection),

“Men, this is our finest hour. It’s time to show these religious bigots who we really are–warriors of the Living God! (raises sword toward ceiling) So be brave. Be strong. We shall all die well–except for the traitor.” (drops sword to His waist and stares out the window)

But we both know that’s not what happened.

What Jesus actually did was wash His disciples feet; something none of them was willing to do. His final act of love for them–before His death–was an act of service.

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

We are all aware of the seven last words of Christ, the things He said while hanging on the cross, but this was at His very public execution. What was the last thing he said (before His death) to those closest to Him–in a more private, peaceful setting?

Back at the supper table, sandwiched between His prediction of Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial, we find these famous last words:

“A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus – (John 13:34 NIV)

Service and Love

These are twin beacons of a true follower of Christ, reflections of God’s nature shared with the world.

Sadly, this is not what we see so much today. Many Christians now act more like Simon the Zealot than Simon the Leper (who hosted a dinner in Christ’s honor).

We have politicized and marginalized the simplicity of the Gospel, mixing it with a militant piosity that would make a proud Pharisee blush.

And how does this look to a lost world?

Perhaps Mahatma Gandhi said it best:

“Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians–you are not like Him.”


Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Categories
Christian Living obedience

On Outsmarting a Smart Watch

It feels like I’m wearing a slot machine on my wrist! Yes, I’m talking about my new Apple Watch’s hand washing timer.

Each time you lather up, a twenty second countdown (encircled by soapy bubbles) pops up on the screen. Keep scrubbing until zero and you get a congratulatory message as sparkling bubbles sail across the screen.

I love seeing my watch’s, “You Did It,” but twenty seconds is a long time for a squirrel like me.

So sometimes I cheat.

It looks like this: I give my hands a quick soapy rinse, dry them and then keep rubbing them together until the timer hits zero. I get an “atta boy” with a bubble show and the watch is none the wiser.

My wife shakes her head. “Sweetheart, it takes you the same amount of time to do it wrong as to do it right.” 🧼🙃


It’s also like this sometimes with Jesus. I go through the motions to get His “Well done,” but it’s a half-hearted effort. Like Paul warned Timothy, I resemble those who “maintain a facade of “godliness”, while their conduct denies its validity.” (2 Timothy 3:15 – PHILLIPS NT)

But God is not a gadget so easily fooled.

The people of Isaiah’s day were “quick rinsers” who felt no shame at the disconnect between their hearts and hands. They went through the motions– fasting and humbling themselves–but God literally told His prophet to shout them down for their sins! (Isaiah 58:1-9)

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice…to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter–when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” (Isaiah 58:6-7)

It’s intriguing here that God’s, “not-so-well-done”, focuses on the people’s relationships with each other rather than with Him. Evidently, we best demonstrate the Lord’s love when we share it with those in need. And when we don’t do this, God isn’t fooled by our half-baked “holiness.”

Real Life Scenario #2: when asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus offered a two-for-one special:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, AND love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31).

It’s not an “either or,” but a “both and.” No one who truly loves God neglects their neighbor (1 John 4:19-21). And just in case we want some wiggle room, like the guy who asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”, Christ’s answer is this: EVERYONE (Luke 10:25-37).


My new gadget is so smart it sometimes catches the con.

A drop down list seeks an explanation:

  • I was not washing my hands.
  • This was just a quick rinse.
  • I already scrubbed for 20s.

The second one was my final answer. But something tells me God won’t accept, “That was just a quick spiritual rinse,” on the day of judgment. (Matthew 12:36)

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

Jesus – Luke 6:46
Categories
Christian Living kindness

The Emotional Gas Gauge

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Proverbs 12:25 (NIV)

The blogsmith Jeffrey H. King recently wrote about the need for doing random acts of kindness in his post, Quote for 12/13/2020.

However, at least for him, it sounds more “plan”dom—as he watches for opportunities to say kind words to strangers who cross his path.

The efficient waitress, or the couple out in public with a well-behaved toddler (I know, it’s like seeing a unicorn)😉 are perfect candidates for what I shall henceforth refer to as that, “Mister King Thing.”

After all, says Jeffrey, “There’s no way to know how close someone is to the end of their rope.”

I often find myself writing comments on Jeffrey’s blog that are long enough to be posts in themselves. Sorry, brother. It’s a wonder you don’t edit my philosophical ramblings for length and clarity!

The morning of 12/13/20 was no exception, as, when I read the quote above, I immediately envisioned how convenient it would be if everyone had an emotional “gas gauge” pasted on their forehead. This would be super helpful for knowing who needs a kind word and who doesn’t.

However, Jeffrey and I both agreed–in our back and forth comments–that since the EGG (emotional gas gauge) hasn’t been invented yet, it’s really anyone’s guess how close someone is to running on fumes. Plus, who doesn’t appreciate a sincere compliment–even from a stranger?

Therefore, the “Mister King Thing” is ALWAYS the best practice.

Kindness Matters!


Here are a few of my favorite scriptures about the value of kindness:

“A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.” Proverbs 11:17 (NIV)

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15 (NIV)

Do you have a favorite scripture about the importance of being kind, or maybe a story about how you’ve personally seen the power of kindness at work? Please share!