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Taking on the Towel

Taking on the Towel

Words of Faith 2-20-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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1 Peter 5

    [5] Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."  [6] Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.


         Who is in charge around here?   We humans always seem to want to know.  And how easy it is to fall into the power struggles that are a part of the world.  You would think it would not be so in the church.  After all, Jesus said that to be great in God's Kingdom, we must become the servant of all. The last shall be first and the first last.  But somehow, we miss that and struggle in the church as much as anywhere.  


        Peter has just instructed that shepherds are to lead with humility, "not lording it over them.”  Now he urges that others in the Body of Christ are to serve with humility.  The young are to be submissive to those older, but all are to be clothed with humility, young and old alike.  Peter uses a Greek word that describes a servant putting on an apron to serve.

       Perhaps as Peter dictated these words to Silas, he was remembering with some pain the night when his friends were arguing over who was the greatest.  Perhaps he recalled the moment when Jesus got up from the table, girded Himself with a towel, and began washing feet (John 13:4-17).  That was the evening when Peter attempted to refuse the foot-washing until he learned there was no other way.  The way of Jesus is to be washed and then to wash-- be served, and then serve.  Peter knew what it was like to discover humility in the most difficult ways.  Being served and serving others washes away pride.

         God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.  It is such a basic truth.  Are you proud?  Are you proud of your church, or humbled to serve there?  Are you proud of your children, or honored to have them?  Are you proud to be a Christian, or humbled by His grace?  Are you proud to be an American, or humbled by His blessing in this land?  Or both? We must learn to walk carefully.

          In the church, one of the signs that will confirm a wise nomination to leadership is that the proposed leader will pray over the position because they feel so inadequate to the task. This is in contrast to those who self‑promote with confident certainty that they can do a better job.  We need to clothe ourselves with humility before we are prepared to serve or lead. 

           But when will I get my chance?  God will raise us up in due time.  He is watching. Honor the wisdom of age.  Put on the towel of service.  Walk in humility.


          Lord, Jesus, teach me to walk like You. Teach me how to lead by serving rather than seizing.  Teach me to take on the towel as my only mantle.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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