The Position of Love

Dr. Steve Viars February 23, 2014 John 13:1-20

We've probably all heard or used the phrase “fly on the wall.” Generally you hear it when somebody is talking about an important meeting or discussion that they would have loved to have been able to listen in on, to be right there to feel the tension or the raw emotion in the room. To hear not just the words but even the tones in which those words were said; to sense the excitement, the anticipation, the anxiety of the moment. We say, “I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during that particular event.” If I went around the room this morning and asked: what meeting or event comes to your mind when I even raise this issue? It would be fascinating to hear the kind of responses I would hear. I imagine if you're into sports, you would think about some sporting even where you would have loved to have been right there. Or if you're into history, there are just an untold number of examples that might come to your mind where you would say, “Yeah, we had a report that was airbrushed from somebody who had been there and after it was all cleaned up we heard about it but I would have loved to have been right there in the room. I would have loved to have heard it first-hand. I would have loved to have actually been able to feel what was going on and be a fly on the wall.”

You may know there is actually an effort underway right now to place cameras in the Supreme Court. Nobody knows if that's actually going to happen but right now we rely on those drawings that artists make or transcripts from afterward. Wouldn't you love to be in the room? An electronic fly on the wall in a Supreme Court deliberation? That would be something.

Maybe when I raised this topic you thought of this particular event and I’m not trying to make some sort of a political statement here, okay, so don't send me cards and emails about what you think of the various people in this room but let's give our intelligence and our military members and our government leaders their due on this one. This was after the decision was made to authorize a surgical raid at what was believed to be the hideout of, who since 9/11 for our country has been Enemy #1. Nobody knew for sure if Bin Laden actually lived there. Even if they did, there was a question about what was the best way to remove him. Then there was the issue of not trusting the Pakistani government enough to be able to alert them in advance. You may know if you studied this particular day that there was vigorous discussion and disagreement even among members of the President's team whether this was a risk worth taking. They said it very easily could have become Jimmy Carter's Iran. Well, they decided to go in and then in that room, they gathered around to watch the operation and the looks on the faces reveals some of the tension and drama that was unfolding. Wouldn't you have loved to have been in that room? To have been a fly on the wall?

Now, for followers of Jesus Christ, we can think of pivotal times in the history of God's people where we too would have loved to have been right there and the difference is, often we're invited right in, we're given in the word of God a front row seat. It's also instructive to note that when it comes to the Bible, there are not airbrushed press releases after all the embarrassing moments have been reviewed or removed. One evidence, I think, of the reliability of the Scripture is that the details that could be embarrassing even to the key characters are right there. People who could have had some level of control over the narrative didn't take them out. The details are still right there for everyone to see.

Well, when you think about it from that perspective, meetings in the Bible in which you would love to have been there, one of them that probably comes to mind is known as the Upper Room Discourse. That's the extended discussion that Jesus had with his disciples prior to him going to the cross. The Apostle John explains the larger outline of those events in the prologue of his gospel. He says this in John 1:9, “There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.” That's half of the discussion and the other half is, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

If you know the gospel of John, you know that provides a working outline for the rest of the gospel where in the first 12 chapters Jesus is presenting himself as the promised Messiah of Israel to a nation of persons who are progressively rejecting him as their Savior and Lord. Then there's a key transition starting in chapter 13:1 where Jesus is concentrating his time and his attention on final instructions for those who had truly received him, at least in most cases, then, preparing his disciples for what they were to do after his departure. That section of Scripture, starting in John 13-17 is known as the Upper Room Discourse and it's some of the most intimate teaching on the part of Jesus to his followers in all of the word of God. It's our plan to do a verse-by-verse study of this marvelous passage between now and Easter Sunday which occurs this year in the middle of April. With that in mind, I want to invite you to open your Bibles this morning if you haven't already, to John 13. That's on page 84 of the back section of the Bible under the chair in front of you.

You know I think by now, that our church's annual theme this year is “Loving Our Neighbors.” So we started the year by addressing various aspects of the question: well, why should I care? If we're going to deal with this issue of loving our neighbors and actually make progress in that this year, we've got to deal with this issue of apathy. We have to deal with indifference and so we've been trying to address that from a number of different perspectives in these first several weeks of the year. Today, we're shifting gears because now we want to talk about loving the way Jesus taught it. So, why would that be important to our theme “Loving Our Neighbors?” Here's the answer: we certainly live in a culture that talks a lot about love, huh? Certainly in our music, in our movies, all forms of entertainment, it's amazing how many people are talking about love but what the world often means or at least offers as something that is self-serving or fickle or manipulative or shallow and if we don't counteract that at some point with teaching from the word of God, it's quite possible, at least for some, that we could process this annual theme of “Loving Our Neighbors” through a worldly grid and come out with something that is far different than what the word of God would teach. So, the beauty is, in places like John 13, Jesus invites us into the room and I would suggest that what we can learn from the Upper Room Discourse can dramatically impact the way that we accomplish this theme this year of “Loving Our Neighbors.”

Now, let me encourage you to do several things here even before we read the text this morning. One would be: I would encourage you to read the Upper Room Discourse, John 13-17 at least once a week for the next eight weeks. Between now and Easter Sunday and by the way, Easter comes about as late in the year as it could so we've got eight weeks and I want to encourage you to read John 13-17 once a week. I also want to encourage you to, if you have the opportunity to, to read it from different translations of the Bible and I would encourage as frequently as you can to actually read it in one sitting if possible. The idea is to try to get the flow of thought into your heart and into your mind so that we can then love our neighbors better.

I also want to encourage you this morning and every Sunday morning to come with a sense of expectancy that God truly wants to do something in your heart, that God wants to do something in your life because here's the truth: if we're true to the text of Scripture, then we can, with integrity, ask the Holy Spirit to help us identify things about the way we're already loving that are right, that we need to build on. But then, aspects of our life that are deficient and not loving well, that we would need to correct. Did you come today with a sense of expectancy? That as we open the book, that as we open the word, that the Holy Spirit can use it to actually make a real difference and, over time, helping us love him and love others better?

Several weeks from now, obviously if we're going John 13-17, eventually we will get to John 17:17 where Jesus says these marvelous words, “Sanctify them in the truth. Your word is truth.” Isn't that what you want? To be sanctified by the word of God? And aren't you glad that Jesus himself said, “Your word is truth.”

Now, let's concentrate on this marvelous passage today. John 13:1-20 and we're going to talk about the position of love. Jesus taught it, the position of love. John 13, beginning in verse 1, “Now before the Feast of the Passover,” please note that historically, “Jesus knowing” and follow the logic of the text, you're going to see this word “knowing” several times. “Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing,” there you have that again, “that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that,” again knowing assumed, “He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself.

“Then He poured water,” we're flies on the walls, friends, we get to see this in our minds, “then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, 'Lord, do You wash my feet?' Jesus answered and said to him, 'What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.' Peter said to Him, 'Never shall You wash my feet!' Jesus answered him, 'If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.' Simon Peter said to Him, 'Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.' Don't you love Peter? Then dive into the basin, baby. “Jesus said to him, 'He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.' For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, 'Not all of you are clean.' So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, 'Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly,” important point, “I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, “He who eats my bread has lifted up his heel against me.” From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.'”

We're talking this morning about the position of love and with the time we have remaining, let's divide the flow of thought of this passage into three characteristics of people who serve like our Lord. That's the way you want to serve, isn't it? And isn't that the way you want to love? Then let's just wring out everything we can from this text about how to do that well.

The first would be:

I. Loving Servants Live with an Eye on the Future

It's really important to note that the initial focus of this passage, please hear this, is on the mindset that Jesus took to the event. You'll never be a person who washes dirty feet well unless you do this like the Lord does. Now, let's back up for a minute: John points out that this historically was before the feast of the Passover which was a Jewish feast observed annually to commemorate an event just prior to the Exodus in the 15th century BC where God told his people that if they would place the blood of a spotless lamb on the doorposts and lintels of their houses, their families would be spared the terrible judgment that was about to befall the Egyptians because of their unbelief. You may remember God said it like this: Exodus 12:13, “The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you,” 15th century BC, “and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”

As that thought is further explained in the history of God's people, we learn that pictures the Messiah, the Passover, the one who would come and have the sins of the world placed on him and now – think about this – 1,400 years later that sign is about to find its fulfillment in the death of Jesus Christ. “Now before the Feast of the Passover.”

Just push the pause button on that for a moment and I want to ask you just to consider the marvelous nature of the book that you have on your lap. You see, this is one of the many reasons we believe that the Bible is inspired. It's not the product of man, it is breathed out by God, therefore, it's authoritative for our lives today. Why? Well, one answer: because of the way the Scripture all fits together. You got any other book like that? Where things are predicted 1,400 years before they occur and it all fits together? You probably saw several times during this recent dust-up over the marriage amendment that was just passed by our state legislature that every so often and it's frequent in the newspaper and other places, where somebody wants to discredit the Bible so they think they're all that and a bag of chips and so they pull some arcane verse from the book of Leviticus about things like ceremonial law, God not allowing his children to have woven fabrics, “Ah ha, see there the Bible isn't true because of that.” We're talking about loving our neighbor so let's not be mean with folks who might do that but you say, “But how do I respond to that?” Well, it depends on the relationship with the person who's saying it and the setting in which it's said but I have the view that if someone is going to attack the Bible, I’m at least going to engage them in that discussion as opposed to just slinking away and not saying anything, for crying out loud. We're talking about a book that is reliable for all sorts of reasons and just because you don't understand some arcane verse from Leviticus doesn't mean now you're a Bible expert. Which is why I would generally say with a sweet smile on my face, “Well, hey, you want to talk about the Bible? Do you know the Bible pretty well? I mean, you're quoting from Leviticus, for crying out loud. You must know it pretty well.” Again, you're smiling, you're being loving. Here's what you'll see. You'll say, “Do you know the Bible pretty well?” Here's probably what they'll say, “Oh, I've read it.” Lied. “Oh, I’ve read it.” In other words, what they want to say is because they're attacking the word of God, they want to say, “Oh yeah, I’m an expert. I've read it many, many times.” To which I would say, again, smile, right, love? Smile, love. “Well, if you know the Bible so well, let's just talk about a verse like John 3:16. What do you think about John 3:16?” What do you think you're going to get next? A really blank stare.

We're not playing “gotcha” here but when I read things like that in the paper – here's the life of a pastor – I read things like that in the paper on a Tuesday and I automatically say, “I sure hope anybody from Faith would not be intimidated by some sort of an objection like that,” because the Bible you have in your laps is reliable, friends. If you need some help, there are great books out there. This is one: “Hard Sayings of the Bible” by Walter Kaiser and a group of editors. But I’m simply saying passages like the Upper Room Discourse, they ought to bolster our faith in the reliability of Scripture as a unit. Not because we want to force it on anybody else but so that we can counter-attack those who sometimes want to discredit our source of truth when it comes to these matters.

Now, back to the major point: it is the Passover. Not just a Passover, the Passover. Jesus notes that the sign is about to be fulfilled by him dying in the worst way imaginable. We also know, by the way, from parallel passages that the disciples just prior to this have been arguing with one another about who's going to be in charge once Jesus is gone and Jesus knows that. Friends, all of that could have distracted him. All of that could have irritated him to the point that he wanted absolutely nothing to do with them on this particular evening or just giving them the tongue-thrashing of their lives. How did he get to the place where he would wash their feet even in that setting? John's helping us understand. It's by the mindset he took to the event.

John says, “Think about what Jesus knew.” He knew according to verse 1 that he would depart out of this world to the Father. Now, I hope you're paying attention to the text: that is a fascinating way to talk about where Jesus' mind would have been at this moment. Not, “He knew he was about to suffer,” though that was true. Not, “He knew that these disciples were about to betray and deny him,” though that was true as well. No, understand this: he's thinking further down the line and John is trying to help us understand Jesus' mindset of thinking further down the line.

He also knew that the devil had a place in this event. Satan doesn't get center stage, we'll talk about this next week. Judas was still responsible for his betrayal but Jesus knew there were supernatural issues playing out in this event. That helped him wash their feet as well.

John also says that Jesus knew that the Father had given all things into his hand. Hear that: believing in the sovereignty of God frees us up to lovingly serve without worrying and fretting about what might occur in the days ahead. Jesus says, “The Father's got that. I don't need to worry about that. I don't need to fret that. What I know right now is that God has the future in control.”

John even says that he knew he had come forth from God and was going back to God. What I’m suggesting is: John is giving us priceless help by including these kinds of details. Here's the point: the more focused you are on the pain and injustices in your life today, the less likely you'll be able to serve and love those around you, especially if they are the perceived source of that pain and injustice. But conversely, the longer range your view, “here's what I know about the future,” the longer range your view, the easier it is to respond like a loving servant in whatever situation you find yourself today. The writer of Hebrews said it like this, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who,” what? “For the joy that was set before him,” that's the long view, “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

You say, “Okay, I get that but what does that mean for the way I live? How do I get to the place where I would be motivated to wash dirty feet?” Great question. Here's the answer from this text: security in the future frees us up to serve God joyfully and confidently today. Here's what you're saying in your heart: I don't have to worry and fret about being treated fairly today. I don't care about that. I don’t need the approval of people today. I don't need the applause of man today. We know our sovereign God will make things right when and how he chooses. I would suggest that mindset affects everything. “My Father will take care of the future. My Father will take care of making things right when he wants.”

It affects the way we position ourselves before God today. We want to be like young Samuel who said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” I wake up in the morning and I say, “Lord, where are some dirty feet?” It doesn’t have to be fair, it doesn't have to be right, it doesn't have to be reciprocated, you have the future. Just like Jesus: knowing, knowing, knowing. You've got that under control, therefore, I’m free to wash dirty feet. “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Or, like Isaiah, “Here I am. Send me. I know you have the future under control for me and everybody else in my life. I don't need to try to force those issues before their time. I don't need fairness today. I don't need applause today. I'm happy to serve you even in hard places. In fact, even if the people you're calling upon me to serve are the ones who are actually the source of the discouragement and trial.” I will cling – what did we just sing? - I will cling to the old rugged cross and exchange it today for a crown? Is that it? I will exchange it if my spouse washes my feet first. I will cling to the old rugged cross and exchange it some day for a crown.

It affects the way we position ourselves before God, it's affects the way we position ourselves before people. Have this attitude in yourselves which is also in Christ Jesus who “although he existed in the form of God, did not regard a quality with God a thing to be grasped. He emptied himself.” If we're going to love our neighbors well, we have to be all over that taking the form of a bondservant. Can I ask you this? Do you present yourself to the Lord that way every day? Do you, when you wake up, say, “Lord, here I am. Send me. Lord, it doesn't matter if the other people in my life are treating me fairly. I doesn't matter if the dirty feet are people who drive me nuts.”

“Therefore I urge you, brethren,” Paul said, “by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice.” Not worrying about fairness today frees me up to wash dirty feet. Paul said, “I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh, for just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness resulting in further lawlessness, so now,” here it is, “present your members as slaves to righteousness resulting in sanctification.” Really, this is all about the relationship between theological depth and wise living. What do you mean by that? Well, being able to connect the dots between what you believe about the future and the freedom that gives you to live for and serve God today. That's why I would encourage you to consider taking one of these Faith Community Institute classes that's firing up in the next week or so on Wednesday nights. You've got some information about that in your bulletins but gaining theological depth, what God is up to and what he's promised for your future, can free you up to serve him well today.

We could illustrate this in so many different ways. Here's just one example: isn't that what motivates a mom or a dad to faithfully serve their young children? Even when there's no immediate reward? Just trusting that God will make things right in the future? Has your infant ever thanked you for changing their dirty diaper? Ever? Did you get immediate gratification for that? What is the reward for changing a dirty diaper? By the way, full disclosure, not that I have a whole lot of personal experience on that matter. But does your baby ever say immediately, “Thank you, mom, for your gentle care. I promise to love you forever.” Do you get immediate gratification for being a godly parent? No, what is the reward for a dirty diaper? Another dirty diaper, right? And isn't it amazing how you just changed the thing and five minutes later it's got to be changed again. You say, “Couldn't you have done it all at once?”

You see, it doesn't have to be fair and right today, does it? Loving servants live with one eye on the future just like Jesus did in this text. Secondly this,

II. Loving Servants Often Have a Platform for Ministering Life-Changing Truth

You see, the disciples come into the room and their feet are smelly and they're about to recline at a meal, meaning they're going to have their feet in one another's noses. But it's a rented room, there is no servant to wash their feet and there's no way any of them are going to take on that position because, after all, that might knock them down a few notches on the totem pole of who's going to run this show after Jesus is gone.

So, in this gorgeous picture for all of us, Jesus girds a towel himself and he begins to wash their feet. Peter objects, “Lord, do you wash my feet? Never shall you wash my feet.” Which I suppose says something good about Peter's view of Christ but something terrible about his view of servanthood. But because Jesus positioned himself in this way, it provided a marvelous opportunity for teaching. Some of us miss opportunities to teach because we refuse to take on the form of a servant. So, Jesus now begins to explain to Peter, “If I don't wash you, you have no part with me.” So, in typical Peter fashion, he's constantly and quickly talking, going from one extreme to the other, so he says, “Lord, then wash not only my feet but also my hands and my head.” The fact that the Lord was willing to assume this position now allows him to teach and he says, “A person only needs to be bathed,” saved, “once.” It's a beautiful picture of the doctrine of justification where because of what Jesus was about to do on the cross, when a person repents of his sin, believes in Christ as Savior and Lord, spiritually speaking, on the account books of heaven, he is completely clean once and for all. By the way, if you've never trusted Christ, we would invite you to do that for that reason.

But also, the process of sanctification is ongoing for those who have been spiritually bathed. In that culture, your feet needed to be washed all the time, far more than you would need to take a complete bath. It's a great illustration of the relationship between justification and progressive sanctification but what I’m saying to you this morning is: that was only made possible, that teachable moment, because Christ was willing to assume the servant's position. That's frequently true in our day as well. Serving others without any expectation of reward or maybe even doing it to or with those who are disappointing you at that very moment. What were the disciples about to do? It can be a powerful teaching moment.

That's one of the things that we're emphasizing in our Adult Bible Fellowships and in our small groups that are studying “The Art of Neighboring” book. We want to love our neighbors. On the one hand, if we live out the Great Commandment, an environment is created where the Great Commission can be effectively obeyed. Sure, we want to serve with the hope, the ultimate motive that perhaps that will lead to other spiritual conversations. On the other hand, if it doesn't, it doesn't. We're going to leave that in the hands of our God. But I’m suggesting Jesus had a platform to minister life-changing truth because of how he served.

Friends, that is an essential attitude in the home. When mom and dad set an atmosphere of serving one another – now hear me – especially when the other spouse is not doing very well at the moment, just like what's occurring in this text, that is a powerful teaching opportunity for your children. I would just ask you if you're married: do you serve your wife? Do you serve your husband? And not, “Well, are they going to serve me back?” How were the disciples doing right then at serving Jesus back? We're not worried about are we going to get it reciprocated today, God has the future under control. He'll figure out when we need to be rewarded, etc. That frees me up to serve today even when it's hard.

It's a delightful posture in the work place. I'm not talking about putting on some sort of a show but choosing to serve when and where you can. All sorts of ways: if there's beverages at the meeting, why not pick up the coffee pot and refill everybody's cups? You say, “What? The people who are further down the totem pole than me?” Especially the people who are further down the totem pole than you. What about when one of your co-workers is jammed up, maybe even because of their own inability or their own laziness? Why not serve them by offering to help them in that particular thing? There are zillions of examples of what godly servanthood looks like in the work place.

Do you love your neighbor because you assume that position? It has a powerful impact in the neighborhood. I could not say enough about what Pastor C has been leading our youth group to do. We've had a snowy winter, have you noticed? Wasn't it great to get a little dusting last night? Just to remind us of what it looked like. But they've been going around and made it known in these neighborhoods that if you're old or if you're single or if you just need help, we'll be happy to shovel out your drives. The same thing has been happening over at Faith West and I’m glad for both of these campuses and both of these teams. They've had days where they've shoveled out over 100 driveways. Bring on the snow, right? I'm not sure they would say that anymore. Who knows? The opportunities that that will give to model and teach truth in the days ahead but they have assumed the position of love. Washing dirty feet.

It's an effective platform for the church. We were just able to serve 1,930 people from around the world at this Biblical Counseling Training Conference and I’m so glad for the work that Pastor Green and Pastor Folden and Edris Olsen and just so many....hundreds and hundreds of people from this church serving together. What impact that's going to have, who knows, but I’ll tell you this: what we consistently hear from our guests, literally from around the world is, the way the people at Faith serve. It just accentuates the teaching. That's exactly what happened here: because Jesus assumed the position of love, he had an opportunity to teach crucial truth. I know some of you are just kind of digging your way out from everything that you had to put off in order to serve in the Conference a couple of weeks ago. Thank you. Thank you for serving in that way.

You're going to hear us talk about Serve 14. That's going to be the emphasis during the month of March where we fill all of our children's ministries serving positions for the following academic year. There are 184 opportunities right now. You may say, “Well, those kids, they have stinky feet.” Or slobbery, whatever. Isn't that the point? Isn't that the point.

Now, aren't you glad that Jesus ends this text by saying loving servants find joy. By following his example, he says, “Do this with one another. I gave you an example that you should do just as I have done to you.” I realize some might hear this message today and will say, “Well, what if I think I’m too good to serve?” Well, that's why Jesus said what he said in verse 16, “A slave is not greater than his master.” If we think we're too good to serve, then we've got a heart problem. That's nothing more than selfish pride and that, by the way, is the root of much confusion in the home, much confusion and chaos in the work place and in the church. May God deliver us from that.

“What if I don't like the people I’m supposed to be serving? I don't like my neighbors. I don't like these children that need to be ministered to. I don't like these people from the community. I don't like. I don't like. I don't like.” Well, tell me what were the people whose feet Jesus was washing about to do to him? I mean, if you say, “Well, I can't serve my wife because she's a profound disappointment to me.” Seriously? What do you think you are to Christ? And what do you think the disciples were to him? What a great opportunity to serve even if you believe in that particular situation the person does not deserve it. In fact, I would suggest to you: that's when serving starts, is when the other person does not deserve it.

III. Loving Servants Find Joy in Following Our Savior's Example

Listen, here's a promise: there is great joy in loving others by serving them. This is a promise. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. You know what? Some of my greatest memories at this church, some of the most joyful times I’ve ever had in my 27 years here have been serving with other people in this church. That promise is true and I know it's counter-cultural, I know to some degree it's counter-intuitive but it is true. I know that there are a number of people who will hear this message today and the fact of the matter is, you're a godly servant. You've let Jesus do this kind of work, you're known for that in your home, known for that in your family, known for that at work, known for that in the church. I would just say, “Praise God for you, for learning to love the position of love.” But if you would say, “You know, I’ve got some work to do.” Well, let's ask God to give us some opportunities this week, huh? To adopt the position of love by washing dirty feet.

Let's stand together for prayer, shall we?

Father in heaven, Lord, thank you for the opportunity to consider these matters today and I do praise you for the many in this church. They wash a lot of feet and they do so joyfully. I praise you for that but, Father, many of us would say that we struggle with pride that is more concerned about people washing ours. We struggle with indifference. Lord, I pray that as a result of hearing your word today, the position of love would come more naturally to us. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and four grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video