In the book of John, chapters 13 through 17, the last words of Jesus while He lived on earth are recorded. These are the things He spoke to His disciples about the night before He was to be crucified. John 13:1 says, “Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that His hour had come to leave this world and return to His Father. He now SHOWED the disciples the full extent of His love.”
If you knew that your time had come to die, what would you say or do with those you are closest? Jesus wanted to show them His love.
John 13:3 says, “Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that He had come from God and would return to God.” Jesus was ‘the man’ and He had control over everything. Many of us like to be in control, or at least think we are in control. We often use our control to GET what we want. Jesus used His control to GIVE. He chose to GIVE His life so that we might GET eternal life. When Christians have the power to control a situation we should check our motives and actions—are we using our control to GIVE or to GET? Do we use the power we have to help others or to help ourselves?
Jesus gave a visual demonstration of His love and the story is told in verses 4 through 17 of John 13. “So He got up from the table, took off His robe, wrapped a towel around His waist, and poured water into a basin. Then He began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel He had around him.” Notice the humility of Jesus, He knelt and washed the dusty feet of His disciples. He even washed the feet of the man He knew was going to betray Him that very night. How hard is it for us on the rodeo trail to love the one who has cheated or used us? Jesus knew Judas was going to be paid for information to kill Him, and yet Jesus loved and served him with compassion.
At the end of the feet washing, Jesus said this to His disciples, “And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you OUGHT to wash each others feet. I HAVE GIVEN YOU AN EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW. DO AS I HAVE DONE TO YOU.” The scene closes with Jesus’ words, “YOU KNOW THESE THINGS—NOW DO THEM! THIS IS THE PATH OF BLESSING.”
We all want God’s blessings—we want His love to be lavished upon us—we want the good things He has to give. To GET God’s blessings we must desire with all of our heart to DO AND BE LIKE JESUS. If it seems that God is withholding blessings in your life—ask the Holy Spirit to examine your heart and show you where sin has kept you from being an example of Jesus.
When we are living for me, myself, and I, we want things, we want control, we want ‘it all’ for me, myself, and I. We are an incredibly selfish human race looking out for what is best for ourselves. That wasn’t the example Jesus set. Jesus considered others more important than Himself. Jesus loved those that hated Him—Jesus wants us to LOVE those that hate, mistreat, and miserably use us.
Even mature Christians often fail to follow these basic precepts of loving, serving, and giving.
Christian cowboys can be examples of Jesus. Here’s how:
Get rid of selfishness—considers others important.
Don’t use, mistreat, or hate others.
Don’t use ‘control’ to get what you want, but use ‘your control’ to help others.
Desire with all of your heart to love others.
Get rid of ‘the attitude’—pride.
Cowboys that live their lives as examples of Jesus are humble and self controlled.
They are honest, work hard, and mind their own business.
They are men that will help even when it isn’t convenient or the best thing for them.
Others enjoy being around them because they are positive and encouraging.
They forgive the faults and mistakes of others.
- They give! They love! They serve!
- Be assured Christian cowboys who are trying to live this way—you are respected by your peers more than you realize.
Give me understanding and I will obey your law;
I will put into practice with all my heart.
GETTING TO KNOW JESUS
An Example To Follow