New Hope Notes
Pastor Jon Burgess
Jesus is coming soon for His Bride (the Church) and He happens to believe that His bride should only be interested in a covenant relationship! In other words, He is not okay with just being your favorite; He wants to be your first and only love! That is discipleship. Maybe you’ve never heard it put that way, but discipleship is choosing to belong to only one love, above all others. When Jesus says I want your whole heart, that’s what He’s talking about!
None of us would be okay going on a date and having old boyfriends or old girlfriends showing up, yet sometimes we treat our Savior that way! We will say, “Jesus, I love you, and I’m so glad You died for me and that You’re taking me to heaven, but I’m going to spend a little time with this little pet project over here, a little time with this little sin over here, and a little time with this habit over here. But I love You. You’re my favorite, Jesus!” We don’t say that, but sometimes we treat Jesus like that.
Most of us would consider ourselves a disciple of Jesus Christ; however, ask yourselves this question: “Is Jesus really not just my first love, not just my favorite, but my only love?” Out of this love will flow love for every other relationship in my life! Let’s read…
John 13:1 NIV says, “It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
Here’s an interesting point: Love is mentioned 31 times in the last five chapters of John (as Jesus is headed to the cross and the resurrection) and mentioned only six times in the previous 12 chapters! When a word is repeated over and over, scripture is causing us to understand that God is highlighting His motive (reason for being here, for coming, dying, and suffering) because of His one love—His love for you! Discipleship says, “I will have the same kind of love—a love that is willing to learn from Jesus and lay down my life to follow Him.”
1. What You Are Choosing To Love Is What You Are Choosing To Serve.
Love is very much a choice. Love is a verb. It’s an action, and we don’t happen to fall in or out of love with Jesus—we choose to love Jesus by serving Him or choose to love other things by serving them. What we choose to love is what we choose to serve. We see this in Judas’ life…
John 13:2-5 NIV says, “The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so He got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”
Scripture says, “The meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas’ thoughts - twisting the things that God was doing to ways that would serve his own agenda, revealing where Judas’ love really was—money, fame, power! At first it may have been an inception of an idea: “Hey, Judas, why don't you betray Jesus. He's not spending any time with those in power. If he were the Messiah, he would be making alliances with religious powers, but He's spending time with the poor, widows, drunkards, and prostitutes. He's not the Messiah!”
On the other hand, Jesus knew that the Father loved Him and His identity and purpose were secure. Jesus had clarity that He was called to take on the servant’s role and become a ransom for many. When you don't care about your reputation—you're secure. You’re not posturing for position and not held back by pride. You serve and that's exactly what Jesus did.
However, an insecure person doesn't know His identity and does not serve people; they serve themselves, constantly posturing to make sure that people know how good they are.
The Great Commission says to make disciples (lovers of Jesus) not converts! It's an invitation to intimacy. Ask yourself: “Am I serving Jesus as one among many, or is it Him alone?” Which leads to the second point…
2. To Love Jesus Is To Serve Others.
Many are familiar with Mother Teresa; she spent her entire life serving the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India and was a great inspiration to the world. She said: "Love is a one?way street. It always moves away from self in the direction of the other. Love is the ultimate gift of ourselves to others. When we stop giving, we stop loving. When we stop loving, we stop growing. And unless we grow, we will never attain personal fulfillment. We will never open out to receive the life of God. It is through love we encounter God." Love is a one?way street! Jesus said in…
Matthew 22:37?39 NIV says, “37 Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Notice that the first commandment is not love your neighbor as yourself and then love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. The order is extremely important.If love is not in the right order, and you serve your neighbor before you love and serve God, you will inevitably run out and have nothing left to give others!
However, Jesus’ love never runs dry! When He is your source, passion and pursuit, the one that you think about, talk to, that drives your motives and agenda, it doesn't matter how weary you are, what your teenager said last night, you won't run out of love because Jesus won't run out of love for you. Jesus becomes your source and ability to love when you have nothing left. You’ll be willing to do what Jesus did—get up from the table, put a towel around your waist, and wash the feet of those around you, even if they don’t love you back!
Luke 22:24-27 NIV says, “24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.’”
Jesus is seated around the table with His disciples at the Last Supper and He had just told them about presenting His body and blood (a form of communion) to be the sacrifice for the world. Instead of the disciples saying that it is so great that Jesus will do that for them, they are disputing among themselves who will be ruling with Jesus and be the greatest??!!
Whenever I read the following verse, I remember Pastor Wayne Cordeiro’s (our senior pastor) message that, “If you want Jesus to be among you, you must be among those who serve.”
John 13:12-15, NIV says, “12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. 13 ‘You call me “Teacher” and “Lord,” and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.’” Jesus is inaugurating a new way of doing ministry.
[Video - Pastor Jon with Directional Team Pastors]
God gave me a word at the beginning of this year, and I knew that I would be washing your feet at some point. Communion and water baptism are sacraments of the church that we’re supposed to do; but washing feet, I feel, is something that every now and then God calls us to do. As awkward as it was for the disciples to have their Master washing their feet, I just wondered, if you [fellow pastors] would give me the honor to thank you for being the amazing team of pastors and leaders that you are. You’ve been a support to me and I feel that in obedience to the Lord, I’d love to be able to wash your feet.
What I realized about you guys over the last three years that I have been with you is that the reason you're sitting at this table (Pastor Wayne's table) is because before you walked in that entrance, you walked through the servant's entrance; you keep walking through the servant's entrance over and over and over again.
At the beginning of this year I shared with you that I had asked the Lord for a word, and He gave me three. One of the words He gave me was “There would be a quiet revolution of humility.” You guys are that quiet revolution of humility. We don't always see eye to eye on everything, but we always end up walking heart to heart. The quiet revolution of humility is when you said, “This is not about my name, my throne, or my reputation—it’s about the Lord Jesus Christ!”
We've knelt on these chairs, this carpet, and this place on behalf of the insurmountable things that we weren't sure how we would lead the church, and God has led us through every single one of those! It's because you said, “I am not here to be served but to serve. “
This is really a special place for me because Pastor Wayne put this amazing team together and entrusted me to lead and serve alongside you guys. The New Hope ohana doesn't usually get to come in here and I wanted them to be able to hear my heart for you. I know you guys are so humble that you don't do this for attention, accolade, or appreciation, and I just wanted to be able to express to you guys before our ohana, that we wouldn't be where we are (heading into the health, strength, and future of this movement) if it weren't that each of you have said, “Hey, we are in this for the long haul, and we are not in this for ourselves. We are in this to serve the Lord and His people.”
[End of Video]
Maybe at some point, you had to choose between serving yourself or someone else. Maybe it’s those late nights (parents) when your kids tell you about a last-minute project that’s due the next day! That’s Jesus right there with you when you don’t say, “Hey, figure it out yourself,” but you say, “You know what, I’m going to help you do it.” What about when your spouse comes home after a long day, and you have also worked a long day, and you’re both looking at each other wondering who will make the meal? You say, “You know what, let me make it for you.” Jesus is found right there!
When you come to Jesus Christ, you are handed two things: an apron and a manual (Bible), and He tells us, “I want you to learn this Manual and wear this apron everywhere you go so the people will know who you represent. When you serve them, you’re serving Me. When you love them, you’re loving Me.” Jesus is asking: “Will you love Me that way? Will you serve Me that way?” Every one, every single day, has a choice whether to put this on or take this off. We have a choice whether we will read the Manual or just go by the world’s manual that says, “I’ll keep serving you as long as you’re serving me, or if it’s beneficial to me.”
Why do I need to wash people’s feet? Why do I need to serve? You can say it with words or show it with love. Jesus didn’t just say it with words. The hands that held the heavens held the disciples’ feet, including the very one that would betray Him to the cross. There is a world out there that knows more about what the church is against than what they are for. How do we change that dialogue? How do we bring back the good news to the forefront of our relationships? How do we let everyone know that there’s room for them around the table? We grab our towel and we wash some feet!