Our New Book is Here! It’s Time to Take a TowelJune 4, 2013
Our latest resource, It’s Time to Take a Towel, arrived this week and is available for purchase now through our publications ministry The Seed and the Sower. The premise of the book is service, the kind of service demonstrated by Christ. Each chapter deals with a particular truth highlighted in the intimate setting of the Upper Room just before the death of Christ. Amazingly, Christ crouched to the ground, took the servant’s towel, and washed the feet of His disciples. In so doing, He left behind an example of humility and surrender for all who follow Him.
When we refuse to assume the position of a servant, we work from the premise that we are better than Christ. God is calling the church to lay aside the embellished cloaks of self-indulgence. We are to follow suit of the suffering Savior and take hold of the one article that can change our churches, fix our families, and modify our ministries. We must find the towel, and wrap it around our hearts.
Below is the introduction from the book. If you are interested in a copy please contact our ministry for additional information at 770.962.1245 or visit our publications site at http://theseedandthesowerbp.com
INTRODUCTION to It’s Time to Take a Towel
A well-known, veteran missionary passed away on the field in South Africa. Many notable dignitaries assembled together for a memorial service to honor his life. God used his ministry to cure political and social injustice for a certain province of people. After the dedication ceremony, a poorly-dressed native walked up to the casket for the viewing. When asked how he knew the missionary, he simply responded by saying, “This is the man who used to wash my feet.”
Such service and humility is foreign to our culture. Today’s brand of Christianity is geared more toward accumulation than distribution. Most of the effort in Christendom these days is about what we get over what we give. We measure our ministerial well-being by corporate standards rather than Christ-like service. We build large buildings, implement well-organized programs, and count our money, people, and degrees all while catering to the insatiable appetite of self.
How many people really view success through the menial task of foot-washing? Who among us, in all honesty wants to crouch to such a position and expose our hands to the “icki-ness” of others? Unfortunately, we have produced a generation of people who go into the ministry, yet are repulsed by the ministering. We want to touch success more than we want to touch the sinful, the sick, or the socially-unacceptable.
We want, as the mother of James and John wanted for her sons, to be seated in glory and recognition without drinking the cup of suffering and humility. But glory never comes in that order. True glory is actually discovered through humble service. T.W. Manson accurately observes, “In the kingdom of God, service is not a stepping stone to nobility; it is nobility, at least the only kind that is recognized.”
What good is it to have the recognition of men if we fail to have the recognition of the Master? I believe we would rather hear people say of us, “This is the man!” more than “This is the man who used to wash my feet.”
Above treasures and triumphs we desperately need some towels. Andrew Murray said, “Just as a servant knows that he must first obey his master in all things, so the surrender to an implicit and unquestionable obedience must become the essential characteristic of our lives.” Obedience is the key to service and humility. But beware, obedience is battled and bullied by pride. I believe Robert Morrison said it right when he declared, “The great fault, I think, in our missions, is that no one likes to be second.”
No one likes to be second…perhaps this is the culprit of the contention in Christianity. We would rather sit in the chair with hands folded behind our head, and watch someone pour the water over our own feet. The truth be known, we like being first…all of us.
But such is not the character of Christ. He is first, because He was willing to become last. He is greatest because He was willing to become the servant of all. He, with ardent obedience took a towel and surrendered His life to the service of humanity. He is crowned in glory because He was first crowned with thorns. Every knee will bow at His feet because He first bowed a knee to the feet of His own disciples. Not to worship them, no, worship is only appointed to Christ; but rather to show them an example of humility and compassion.
I would say it is time; it is time to take a towel. For the well-being of our homes, for the advancement of the kingdom, for the deliverance of doomed souls, for the honor and glory of Christ, for the benefit of the church-it is time to take a towel.
Let’s join Christ and His disciples in the intimate setting of the Upper Room and discover the importance of service and surrender as demonstrated by the Master.