“Let this same attitude and purpose
and [humble] mind
be in you which was in Christ Jesus:
[Let Him be your example in humility].”
Philippians 2:5 (AMP)
An empty religion will betray itself in relationships.
Just eight words, yet startling in their accuracy.
We can say all kinds of things. We can make believe like we believe, but when we rub elbows with the people in our lives, what we really believe often becomes more apparent than we’d like to admit.
Still other times, purity of heart is revealed in the darkest night.
It was Passover. Jesus knew the time had come to return to His Father. He also knew that in a few short hours Judas would betray Him for 30 pieces of silver and a misguided motive. It is here that we read these remarkable words:
“And as He had loved those who were His own in the world,
He loved them to the last and to the highest degree.”
Jesus taught the greatest commandment: Love.
But He did more than teach.
Knowing that Peter would deny Him three times and His closest friends would scatter; knowing that Satan had already put the thought of betrayal in the heart of Judas Iscariot; knowing, Jesus continued to love.
In an act as purposeful as any He had ever taken, Jesus took off His garments, fastened a servant’s towel around His waist, knelt down, and began to wash the disciples’ dusty, dry feet.
The same feet He created. The same feet He walked beside. The same feet He would bleed for, and later shod in peace.
I can but imagine the gentleness with which He cupped the water; the slow, purposefulmovement of the towel as He wiped off the moisture. Love in every stroke. Painful love.
Love that would be betrayed, yet reveal its purity in such a test.
Have you been betrayed?
Have you felt the sting of rejection and loss?
“Let this same attitude and purpose and
[humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus…
…(who) stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity]
so as to assume the guise of a servant…”
Believe your Father’s plan is perfect in love, wisdom, and power.
Obey each whisper, even when it looks foolish.
Pursue harmony and peace. Press in to gain the greater victory.
Trust. He is doing more than you see.
You will face the test – more than once. Will your relationships uncover an empty religion? A belief that is only in word? A core that is still painfully yours? Or will your relationships prove to be opportunities to love in spite of pain? To display the beauty, wisdom, and grace of the One who lives within?
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably
more than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power that is at work within us,
to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Amy Layne Litzelman is passionate about knowing God more intimately in each moment and helping others do the same. Amy released her first book, This Beloved Road: A Journey of Revelation and Worship, in 2011. She has also composed over seventy songs, recorded four CDs, and traveled to teach and lead worship across the United States and in the Philippines and China. She and her husband, Matt, live in Jackson Hole, WY and have two adult sons.
Click here to learn more about gifted faith writer Amy Layne Litzelman