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Christlikeness in One Word, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
March 31, 2023 7:05 am

Christlikeness in One Word, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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March 31, 2023 7:05 am

Compelled by the Cross

The Charlie Kirk Show
Charlie Kirk
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Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
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Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
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Sam Main

Just one week from today, Christians around the world will observe what's commonly known as Good Friday. Good Friday represents the culmination of political betrayal that escalated with Jesus' crucifixion.

What followed, of course, was His death, burial, and ultimately, His resurrection. In the hours before He was turned over to the mob, Jesus modeled love and sacrifice in a manner the world has never seen before. Chuck titled today's message, Christlikeness in One Word. I'm reading for us today from John 13, verses 3 through 15. I invite you to turn in your Bibles to the 13th of John.

Beginning our reading in verse 3, I'll be reading from the New Living Translation. Jesus knew that the Father had given Him authority over everything and that He had come from God and would return to God. 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, drying them with the towel He had around Him. When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, Lord, are you going to wash my feet? Jesus replied, you don't understand now what I'm doing, but someday you will understand.

No, Peter protested. No, you will never wash my feet. Jesus replied, unless I wash you, you won't belong to me. Simon Peter exclaimed, then wash my hands, my head as well.

Lord, not just my feet. Jesus replied, a person who has bathed all over does not need to wash except for the feet to be entirely clean, and you disciples are clean, but not all of you. For Jesus knew who would betray Him.

That is what He meant when He said not all of you are clean. After washing their feet, He put on His robe again and sat down and asked, do you understand what I was doing? You called me teacher and Lord, and you are right, because that's what I am. And since I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet. I've given you an example to follow.

Do as I have done to you. You're listening to Insight for Living. To dig deeper into the Bible with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scriptures Studies by going to slash studies.

And now the message from Chuck titled Christ Likeness in One Word. I have a friend who left the business world and became a part of a small Christian college. The college was struggling a bit to get on its feet and to make its mark in the community.

The desire was to become a qualified academic institution, of course, and to graduate students who were competent in various fields of study, along with a knowledge of the scriptures. They also decided that since they were not large enough to field a football team, they would focus on and highlight a basketball squad. They had a small gym where they could practice and their hope was the ability to develop a team of players that would be competitive in the athletic realm. So they were searching for good players and very few were drawn to a school this small since the larger schools got the better players, as always. My friend was at his office one day when the phone rang and the receptionist who had received a call from an older gentleman knew no one else to connect the call to since the coach was not there that day. So she plugged the phone call into my friend who was in his office in the finance department.

So the man identified himself as simply John. And he said, I followed the game of basketball for for a few years and and I really like it. And I also am very impressed with with your school. And I know you're you're not one of the larger schools, but I I appreciate the desire of the school. And since I live not far from where you're located, I've I've attended some of your games and I happen to sort of keep my eye out for various players.

And I happen to know of one young man that might might work out for you. For some reason, the bigger schools have bypassed him and not offered him a scholarship. He may have tried out and they did not ask him to come.

So said, I'd like to pass his name on to you if that would be OK. My friend took the name down and and thank John for the call and and passed it on to the coach. Long story short, the coach got a hold of this young man and he came to to try out for the team. And he was fantastic, really a great young basketball player. And he, of course, made the squad and soon became the star of the team.

And immediately their their popularity grew as as their win column increased. And and they were they were thrilled, especially to have this this new young man that they would not have known about without this call that came as as the as the season came toward the end. My friend decided it was time to to get back in touch with the older gentleman who had recommended the player and and and thank him. And so he happened to have found in his notes the man's private phone number and and he called him and he said, I just want to thank you for for recommending this athlete. He is he's a terrific ballplayer. And we have and the man the other in the line said, I've noticed he's I've been to some of the games and I agree with you. He's really doing well, isn't he? He said, yes, he is.

We want to do an article on him in our school paper. And I'd like to tell about your phone call to me. He said, but you know what? I never even got your last name.

So if you don't mind, please provide that for us. He said, of course. It's w o o d e n. My name is John Wooden. My friend on the other end of the line about dropped his upper plate when he heard that. He said, you're John Wooden.

You know, the UCLA. Yeah, yeah. But he said those were that was then. This is now.

And there was no attention drawn to that. Here is this winningest basketball coach in the history of college basketball. Maybe he's being surpassed now. But back then, his name was known all over the country. John Wooden, my pleasure to have met him and to have observed the one quality that marks his life more than any other. He's now gone from us. But I remember him as perhaps the most humble. Of well-known coaches I've ever known. He was never significant to himself.

It was always about the team or the boys that played on his on his team or the school where he coached. I love that that quality. Part of the reason is. It's so.

Represents the quintessential quality of Christ's likeness. Humility. We're short on it these days, aren't we? How few in the high positions and prestigious.

Titles on their jobs. And there were. Walk in humility. But of course, Jesus did. It was the one thing that caused others around him to to wonder about him. Many expected Messiah to to arrive with power on a white horse, flashing a sword, taking charge. Here comes this this individual born in an obscure village. To a peasant woman. And they never could understand his birth. They never could explain how this unknown could could have done those miracles.

Especially this one who. Couldn't even trace his. His genealogy to an earthly father. In fact, those who ultimately hated him. Despised him saying.

You are of your father, the devil. He was forever a mystery. I mean, he's Messiah.

Surely there would be some. Earthly grandeur and. Power that could be seen evident in his life. But Jesus was wrapped in. Authentic.

Humility. Right up to the end. Right up to the end. At the at the very last supper he has with his disciples. His mind must have been preoccupied with a few hours ahead when he would be arrested in the garden. Put through a series of illegal trials, all of them illegal. Pushed through times of questioning and and torture and ultimately nailed it to a cross. And here he is.

Serving the bread and the wine at the. At the last meal with his 12. It's interesting when you see him.

Here. Though he doesn't call attention to it. He has on one occasion in his ministry revealed the truth of himself. I don't know if you've made a study of Jesus, a serious study of. Of his life, but I in my research have found only one place. Only one place where he lifts the veil. Of his makeup to tell us.

What it was like. He said to a group of people gathered to hear him preach. Come to me, all you who are overburdened. And I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for here he comes. For I am. I am gentle and. Humble in heart. My yoke is easy. My burden is light. Unlike the religious authorities around them.

Here was Jesus offering an easy yoke. A place of rest. From one who calls himself humble. The Greek word translated humble.

Is an interesting term. It means to to bow low. To stoop. To serve. It doesn't refer to shame and humiliation because one has nothing to offer. It has to do with an attitude of gentleness.

Here is the significant second member of the Trinity in human flesh known on Earth as one who is. Bowing. Serving.

Right to the end. Did you notice in what I read that he demonstrated this unusual. Spontaneous act of humility.

Without a word. In fact, I would like to point out in the brief time we have together four characteristics of true humility. They're all foreseen right here in this passage. Before I get to the first one, let me remind all of us why he did this. Why did he wash their feet? First, because their hearts were proud. When you read Luke 22, you get the other side of the story of what went on at the last supper. Do you know what they were conversing about?

You know what the conversation was? Who would be the greatest among them? That's right. Who would come out on top when the kingdom came? Who would be first?

Who may come in second? This petty argument over their own greatness. He heard that without interrupting. He listened to it. There's another reason he washed their feet.

It may seem obvious, but I do want to mention it. It's because their feet were dirty. They came in the house, in the room, without ever washing the feet at the door. You see, back in the first century, streets weren't paved. Oh, the Romans paved a few with stones, but those were the significant roads. The main roads of a city or of a town and the back roads were all dirt roads. If it rained, they were instantly muddy.

If it was dry, they were dusty. People wore loose-fitting sandals for their shoes, and so when they walked to their destination, if they came to the home of the wealthy, there would be a servant there with a pail of water, and the servant would wash each person's feet after slipping off the sandals. Sandals would be left at the door, and they would go in and bare feet that were clean.

The custom is still the same in the Far East. When I was on Okinawa, we had to get used to going into homes and rooms where there were tatami mats, and you never walked in, and your shoes, you took your shoes off at the door. But these were shoes. Back in those days, they were sandals, so feet needed to be washed. Now, if it wasn't a wealthy home, those who arrived would wash their feet and would often turn and wash another's feet.

No one in this crowd had washed anybody's feet, not even his own. Jesus noticed that. The first characteristic of true humility is that it is unannounced. We read that he simply disrobed, wrapped a towel around his waist, drew water in a bowl, and then stooped, hands and knees, to begin washing the feet. Perhaps beginning on his right would be John, the beloved disciple, and then around the circle of the table.

No announcement was made. I love it that he doesn't stand up and say, Now, because of your proud heart, I'm going to demonstrate true humility. Well, that's what the Pharisees would have done. Always bringing shame to others as they display their own self-righteousness.

None of that. Not a word is called to the attention of the master. He simply slips away from the table, begins to wash their feet. You see, for him to call attention to it is to contaminate the humility with pride. Not even a hint, he simply started washing the feet. You see, the way the others knew about it, they could hear the splashing of the water.

But they were used to that being done out at the door. Here he is doing this in the room. Ruth Harms Calkins says it best in her poetic piece she titles, I Wonder. You know, Lord, how I serve you with great emotional fervor in the limelight. You know how I eagerly speak for you at a women's club. You know how I effervesce when I promote a fellowship group. And you know my genuine enthusiasm at a Bible study. But how would I react, I wonder, if you pointed to a basin of water and asked me to wash the calloused feet of a bent and wrinkled old woman, day after day, month after month, in a room where nobody saw and nobody knew, I wonder.

As we hear a message on this timely and delicate subject, begin by reminding yourself, if it's humility you're after, no words are needed. Not even a hint. We have a very interesting family that lives in our neighborhood. In fact, they live right next door, have a house full of children.

Two mothers-in-law live in the house, mom and dad, the grandmothers, and I think five or six children, it's a busy place, it's a Jewish home. We've really admired them time to time. The secret of the home, I believe, is the dad, the gentle man that he is. We've watched him do the greatest things when birthdays come. They'll sometimes, they'll bring in a zoo out front. They'll fence the front yard, out of the trucks come all kinds of little animals, and the kids are jumping up and down and just having the best time. And here are the chickens, here are the ducks, here are the donkeys, and here are the ponies, here are the little calves. It's really something, it's just a birthday, you know.

I mean, a cake would do, not for this dad. When the storm, the ice storm overtook us not long ago, we were all socked in and our walkways were covered with a layer of ice and a smidgen of snow, but mainly ice, which is hard to get off a walkway. Cynthia said to me, honey, honey, come here, look.

And I looked out front and here was my neighbor scraping my sidewalk and my walkway, getting it free of the ice so we could walk in safety. I spoke and I thanked him for doing that and he just could hardly respond. Oh, there's nothing to it. I figured, hey, I've done mine, why don't I do this for you?

It may help you. True humility, not a word, no doorbell ringing, not even a little bill left, that'll be 50 bucks, please. Just a random act of an hour and a half of kindness on a very cold day, which brings me to the second because I have a confession to make with this one. True humility is being willing to receive without embarrassment. And here's my confession. I'm not very good at receiving. I have many faults.

This is a glaring one. I feel awkward when people want to do real nice things. I felt awkward that day, my neighbor. My first thought was, dad, come on, I didn't just create my own sidewalk.

Shoot. True humility is able to receive without embarrassment. Chuck Swindoll has much more he wants to say about this second point regarding true humility. And so we urge you to keep listening when Inside for Living continues his message called Christ Likeness in One Word. This is the fourth sermon in a brand new teaching series called Compelled by the Cross.

It's a study that helps us understand the Easter season better. And to learn more about this series and to access Chuck's online study notes, go to slash studies. By the way, you're invited to participate in a special online worship service made possible by Inside for Living.

That's right. Thousands around the world are taking advantage of this opportunity to enter the worship center where Chuck serves as the senior pastor. We were touched by a note we received from a man who views the worship service from overseas. The note said, Dear Pastor Chuck, I'm a Bible teacher.

Both my wife and I have been training men and women at the grassroots level for the past 33 years. In a time when sound Bible teaching and meaningful worship have become so scarce in India, we find it spiritually encouraging to attend your online worship. Thank you, Pastor Chuck.

Isn't that great? Through technology, your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are finding refreshment by viewing Chuck's messages from their homeland. And you can, too, no matter where you live. You can view the service as it occurs on Sunday morning or watch it at a time that suits you best. All the details can be found online at This daily program is made possible through the generous support of friends just like you. So as God leads you to give and support this worthy effort, please follow his prompting to give a donation today. Call us if you're listening in the United States. Call 800-772-8888 or go online to slash donate.

I'm Bill Meyer. Join us when Chuck Swindoll continues his brand new teaching series, Compelled by the Cross, next time on Insight for Living. The preceding message, Christ Likeness in One Word, was copyrighted in 2022 and 2023, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2023 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-02 18:14:04 / 2023-04-02 18:22:22 / 8

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