Lessons Of A Lifetime

Loving To The End
Or
Serving To The End
Sunday Jan. 8, 2023

Scripture To Consider:
“Now before the Feast of Passover, when Jesus knew His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.”

“And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded [wrapped] Himself. After that Jesus poured water in a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.”

“Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, are You washing my feet?’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’ Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!’”

“Jesus said to him, ‘He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.’ For Jesus knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, ‘You are not all clean.’”  John 13.1-11

Something To Consider:
If there is ever a question of who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, all we need to do is to take a good look behind the scenes of any church. Those greatest in the kingdom will be following the example of Jesus by loving and serving others young and old, friends or enemies, even unto the end.

Being concerned over who is the greatest, only breeds contempt. It is evident of the end results as seen in the life of Judas Iscariot, a man who chose not to love or serve unto the end. And at the same time there are great lessons of a lifetime to be learned from the choices Judas made.

Serving to the end is what we do when we have decided to endure to the end. As mentioned in another lesson, Paul exhorted all true believers in Romans 12.1; “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Serving to the end begins with loving God to the end of our lives or to the end of this age. Paul also proclaimed in Galatians 5.13; “By love serve one another.” Therefore, as true believers, we are called to serve God and others unto the end. How then are we doing?

Something Else To Consider:
Betrayal is difficult to endure! There, I said it. But, it happens in the course of our lives as true Christian believers. Jesus spoke of the betrayal of many that will take place during the end times. We read in Matthew 24.10; “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”

And in Luke’s gospel chapter 21 and in verse 16, Jesus warned; “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.” Thank You Jesus for the in advance biblical end time warning! What then shall we do in preparation of the offending and betrayals that are coming? Let us hide God’s Word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him.

Something More To Consider:
Jesus loved even Judas to the end. Jesus also served him unto the end by washing the feet of Judas, His betrayer. Luke 22.3 records, “Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered [or chosen by Jesus] among the twelve.” Judas followed Jesus, but following Jesus is not the same as submitting ourselves to Jesus and observing all of His teachings. That is indeed something more to consider this new year.

John also wrote in Revelation 1.5, “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” We may be betrayed by someone close, but as kings and priests to our God, we are made overcomers in and through the blood of Jesus, even in the midst of betrayal and end time persecution!

Christ’s love for us was and remains love that did no tor does not quit when the way became or becomes rough. His love does not cease when we were unlovable. His love for us is a true sacrificial and unconditional love even unto the end of this life. In the end, will the same be said of us?

Judas was the fulfillment of Psalm 28.3-5 as David prayed; “Do not take [or drag] me away with the wicked and with the workers of iniquity, who speak peace to their neighbors, but mischief [or evil] is in their hearts. Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors; give them according to the work of their hands; render to them what they deserve. Because they do not regard the works of the LORD…”

Judas allowed his own wickedness to not highly regard the works of the Lord. He then allowed the love of money and the deceitfulness of riches to blind him to the truth of enduring to the end. He is also the fulfillment of Jesus’ own words of warning pertaining to His betrayal. Are we hearing and heeding Jesus’ end time warnings? Or are we being deceived by false prophets proclaiming all is well and will even get better?

Are we preparing our hearts for the evil and abounding lawlessness that is just on the horizon and that is soon to crash down upon every occupant of the earth? Are we studying the Word of God to show ourselves approved unto God as workers of righteousness rather than workers of wickedness? Are we about the Father’s business of loving Him and others to the end? What service within the kingdom have we been called to?

A Few Final Words:
Loving to the end and serving God and others to the end is not a friendly suggestion, but a biblical requirement! And Jesus is our most faithful and best biblical example of loving God and serving others even to the end of one’s life.

His serving us to the end of His life even in the face of great opposition, evil persecution, and sacrificial bloodshed, is living proof and more than enough earthly evidence of His loving us and others even unto the end. In His case, it was to the end of His life here on earth!

And according to the eyewitness account of John, “After that, Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” What is it that we are willing to do in the service of Christ Jesus and other human beings? According to the Word of God time may be running out!

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, teach us to love always, even unto the end, even when we are being taken advantage of, and even when we have become weary from our serving. May we ever be found looking unto Jesus as our great exceeding reward and heavenly example on earth to follow. In Him Always, Amen!

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