Monday, April 6, 2009

preaching to myself

Yesterday, I preached about humility and service, looking at the ultimate example of Jesus in John 13. As we reflected on the Last Supper scene and Jesus washing the feet of His disciples, I posed three principles to my congregation. To follow Jesus' example in serving [v. 15], we must:

1. Choose our bowl: Pilate dipped his hands in the bowl later and washed his hands of all responsibility [Matthew 27:24]. Jesus, on the other hand, dipped His hands into the servant's basin and blessed His disciples. It's a matter of basin theology. We were made for a mission; saved to serve. So, we must choose our bowl.

2. Follow our nose: The moment we decide to serve, serving opportunities will abound. All we have to do is open our eyes, follow our nose.

3. Reap the reward: There is a blessedness when we serve others [v. 17; also see Acts 20:35]. We enjoy uplifting grace [1 Peter 5:6] and God gets the glory [Philippians 2:11].

So, I decided to grab a burger for lunch today and decided to put my own principles to the test. I left the church parking lot deciding that I would serve. I prayed very specifically and asked God for a rendezvous with my friend Charlie. I drove to the typical spots where I sometimes see him on the street, but he was nowhere around. I pulled in to the MacDonald's parking lot [no comments necessary regarding my dietary choices] only to find the drive-thru backed up. So, I chose to run in and grab lunch to go. I ordered, paid and had my hand on the door to exit when a voice from the rear of the restaurant called out, "David!"

I turned to see Charlie smiling ear to ear. "Where have you been?" he asked.

"Me?" I shot back, "Where have you been?" He laughed and gave me a great hug. The fact that he gladly moved toward me, remembered my name and welcomed a lunch partner made my day.

Tonight, Charlie rests warmly in Pearson's bed. We enjoyed listening to his military stories at the dinner table over homemade soup. He shared stories about playing bass in a rock band and reminisced about his sweet aunt, the English teacher. We watched "24" together and talked about all the incredible people at Pantego Bible Church who have shared with him during the last few months.

I love my friend. I love giving to him and receiving from him. I also love seeing the truth of Scripture come to life. God is faithful to give us opportunities to be faithful to Him. So, I'll keep sniffing, seeking, and serving. And, I'll boast only in the cross of Jesus where I see true service most humbly displayed.

6 comments:

da momma said...

we misswed church on Sunday, heard it was good! I will watch it tmw online! Man, what a neat story! I have chills! Your family is amazing! Thanks for the example you all are!

Camille, Blake and Pierce said...

I have never read your blog before but a friend had a link to your page so I had to check it out... I am not sure who Charlie is but I would assume someone that "would be on the streets"... so this story touched seeing I just finished reading "the same kind of different as me"... Praise God for children like you. Press On.

Julianna said...

I'm struggling with this. I know it's good and faithful, and I also know my husband's career choice and authority would prevent us from ever doing this ourselves. How? How did you know this was okay? How did you know he was okay? Again, I know it's good and righteous; I just don't know how.

David Daniels said...

Julianna,
I have a long connection with Charlie so, safety wasn't an issue. I know it's not possible for everyone. For us, it was the "next best step." If i met another person, I might choose a different way to serve. I also think there's a careful balance between wisdom (being careful) and faith (being risky).

The main thing is to do SOMETHING. Too often, if we are unable to do "the thing" that will rescue someone, we end up doing nothing. Anything is better than nothing.

What do you think?

Julianna said...

I agree. Something. Something must be done at every opportunity that presents itself. I also know that I fail miserably most of the time. I thank you for your faithful example and honesty (even when you miss the opportunities--as you've mentioned in sermons past). Both things help your congregation. It's great to know what we as God's people are capable of and it great to know that even our spiritual leaders aren't perfect. Thank you for leading us and thank you for taking the body of Christ at Pantego Bible to this wonderful next level.

Julianna said...

"I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him. The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart ot sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy, and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know I broke the fangs of the unrighteous and made him drop his prey from his teeth." Job 29:12-17