The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Washing Judas’ Feet

There are situations in life that give us the opportunity to discover whether we’ve really learned all that we think we have, and in my case, all that we have been preaching to others!  A situation like that occurred in my life this week. A sin was committed against me by a person I’d previously forgiven for the same sin. Learning of this was a knife to the heart. I could barely breathe, so great was the pain.

I was so distraught, I did not trust myself to confront the person. I also felt that a coerced “repentance” upon being found out was not what was best for the other person. There needed to be a deeper repentance and true godly sorrow over the sin, not just an attempt to appease me.

I was up most of the night crying and praying that I would walk completely blameless toward this person, and asking God what my response should be. I confessed my hurt, my anger, and also my willingness to obey God no matter how difficult it might be.

I can honestly say that He changed my heart toward my “enemy” that night. By morning I felt like a new person, a person on a mission.  The person who’d hurt me had become my missionfield. Where there had been insecurity and fear, there was now peace and a sense of rest for my soul. God had visited with me, caused me to feel His presence and comfort, and shown me the path for my feet. It would not be an easy path that would please the flesh, but it would be a path that would cause me to grow spiritually, and could potentially bring my enemy to repentance. It was the path He walked on His way to the cross, when His closest friends would desert Him, and one would attempt to cover a terrible betrayal with a kiss.

I started that very day, deliberately blessing this person and showing more kindness than even before. The response to my kindness was confusion and perhaps a bit of conviction.  I know there is no guarantee that godly sorrow and repentance will follow, but I have the peace of knowing I am following Jesus. I genuinely feel His smile upon my soul.

I know that going forward, continuing to bless and pray for this person, there is no guarantee I won’t get hurt again. When Jesus taught us to bless our enemies, there was no guarantee attached saying we’d never feel pain again. But my security is not in the belief that I won’t get hurt, but in the belief that God cares for me and will carry me through, even to the end of my days. I also know this–the greatest power in the world has been launched against the enemy–and truly flesh and blood is not the real enemy–the power of mercy. The power of the cross. It can break the most hardened heart and pierce through the lies of satan with blinding light.

The following poem came from the depth of my soul while I struggled before the Lord concerning how to respond to betrayal. It acknowledges that sometimes we find ourselves in situations where those who should love us can be turned aside to satan, and walk contrary to love. Satan’s goal is to destroy them, and to hurt or destroy us.  How will we respond in that moment of suffering?

I believe Jesus’ last interaction with Judas testified against his coming betrayal more than words of condemnation could have. There is no doubt that Jesus loved this man and gave him an opportunity to turn from his sin, but he would not. Judas would not, but others may. Peter did! I know that the kindness of Jesus while I was hurting Him is what changed me from a rebel to a servant (Rom. 2:4).

I hope this poem will be a blessing to others. Follow the Lamb wherever He goes!

Washing Judas’ Feet

Two thousand years ago,
You knelt before his feet
To wash them tenderly.
And with him, you did eat.

You pleaded with your friend
To love you back, but still
He kissed you like a traitor
And followed satan’s will.

Great sorrow filled your cup;
You drank it so that others
Would be able to become
Your sisters, brothers, mothers.

You washed the feet of Judas;
And with him, you did sup,
You said that we must follow you
And also drink the cup.

Your fellowship is nearer
When Judas dines with me.
He loves us, he loves us not.
He is our enemy.

I’m carrying the basin,
And I’m going to fetch the towel.
And why is it such agony
To force my flesh to bow?

Now Judas’ feet are in my hands.
Now they are clean and dried.
But I can’t make him love You.
There’s still some dirt inside.

I pray he finds repentance,
And in You, a new start.
For I was once a Judas too,
But mercy changed my heart.

And never was my Lord so near
Than now, when I stooped down
To wash the feet of Judas
On my journey to a crown.

Our tears will all be wiped away,
Our agonies well spent,
If we endure these trials with
A faith that won’t relent.

So set your heart on things above
And count this life as loss,
To win the resurrection
On the far side of the cross.

To all suffering saints, with love.

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