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The Model For Godly Christian Leadership: A Basin of Water and a Towel (John 13:1-5;14)

Sermon on 24 July 2022 by Ps Justin


John 13:1-5 - “Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 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.”


John 13:14 - “And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.”


LFC always emphasises that we preach things that we do ourselves, and not things we fail to do. We should not serve with a big ego, with all the luxuries and because of benefits. We serve with a basin of water and a towel. When a person is about to leave the world, they would be gentle to themselves and the people around them. Jesus did the same, and also prepared His disciples for the world. All of us are called to be a servant of God. God doesn't just call those who are pastors or evangelists. He called everyone. In LFC’s ministry month, let’s be reminded that we are all saints of God. We are God’s workman. We are His servants. We are called to be equipped for the work of the ministry. Jesus is the head and we are the body.


Ephesians 4:12 - “Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”


1 Corinthians 12:12 - “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.”


2 Corinthians 6:1 - “As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.”


2 Corinthians 5:20 - “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!””


This is a season of planting seeds and we need good soil. It is about faithfulness, fruitfulness, obedience, humility and love. These 5 seeds are the pillars of LFC’s vision. We need these 5 seeds to be planted in the soil, which are our ministries. If our fruit is always complaining, it is not the fruit of the Spirit. If it’s not the fruit of the Spirit, it belongs to the unclean. The nature of the Holy Spirit is life, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. We need to come together. When someone steps on us, we can see what fruit we give. When we forgive someone, you don’t erase the past but it brightens your future. Jesus said peace be with you after He was resurrected. When you have peace, you will have prosperity over your soul.


‘Diakonia’ means a call to serve (as a servant) in Greek. Everyone is called to be a servant to serve in faith with humility. It is a grace of God upon you and me to serve. We will not review the grace of God in vain. God will give you the ability to serve. All you need to do is step up in faith. You don’t need to be ready. You just need to step up. You don’t have to wait to finish certain things. In everything you do, let no one find fault in you.


2 Corinthians 6:1b - “As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.”


Let us all celebrate the works of our servers. We thank them for their work of faith and labour of love and patience of hope in Christ.


1 Thessalonians 1:3 - “As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.”


We thank them for their dedication and sacrificial love.


Galatians 5:13 - “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”


1 Timothy 1:5 - “The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.”


We thank them for living out 2 Corinthians 6:3-4. In everything you do, show that you are a true server of God.


2 Corinthians 6:3-4 - “We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.”


John 13:1-5 - “Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 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.”


Servant hood has never been in the minds of the disciples. They don’t serve according to what Jesus wanted.


John 13:14 - “And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.”


The disciple’s ministry was to begin with a basin of water and a towel. This is a sign of a successful godly leader/server. We don’t need a big ego server or big credentials. We need someone with a basin of water and a towel. The model of Jesus Christ, the suffering Servant, is the model for Christian leaders today. Make the sacrifice for the glory of God. Stand firm on the truth they’ve learned. Hold the torch. They are fearless in the midst of pressure. They will not be crushed. They will always remain calm in storms.


They are compassionate leaders too. They serve with humility and sacrificial love for one another.


John 13:34-35 - “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.””


They are a team player too. A team will be very strong if they have strong team members. The team won’t be united if they are always complaining and comparing. A team player is very important. Anyone who is not a team player carries a divisive spirit. There is no place for lone rangers in the kingdom of God as we need to grow in our daily walk together as a team with the Lord.


Hebrews 10:25 - “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”


We need to serve one another in love. This is the gospel that can be proclaimed, the Kingdom can be built and God can be glorified.


Galatians 5:13 - “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”


1 Samuel 12:24 - “But be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you.”


You can only serve Him in truth if you have a ministry you submit yourself to. It is by revelations we know God; by surrendering we know His ways.


Hebrews 13:17 - “Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.”


The core of it all is to love God, to love people and to love disciples. We celebrate their commitment, their dedication, and their servanthood leadership, with a basin of water and a towel.

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