Devotions By Jan

Plane Tree Bark

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Scripture for today: John 13:10 “Jesus answered, ‘Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.'”

I love seeing ornamental plane trees lining the roads in France.  They grow quite tall and quickly, providing welcome shade.  They are especially used in urban areas as they do so well in the dirty air.  The plane tree is impervious to the smog as their bark routinely peels off.  The dirty bark is exfoliated and in its place, the inner shades of white, grey, green and yellow show through.

Today’s verse talks about ridding ourselves of dirt.  Jesus is washing the disciples’ feet, a custom normally relegated to the servants.  He uses this image to teach, not only about the humility He expects of believers, but also about keeping our hearts cleansed of sin.  With the exception of Judas, the disciples had already bathed in His complete forgiveness.  But journeying through daily life, feet pick up the dirt of wrong choices, bad habits and failures to withstand temptation.  It is a daily exercise to agree with Him in confession and allow Him to wash our feet.

Agreeing with the Lord about my wrong thoughts or behavior is not always easy or comfortable.  But there is a wonderful sense of renewal when I can stop being defensive and own up to it.  Yes, He has already bathed me in complete forgiveness.  Every sin I have done, past, present and future has been paid for on that cross.  I am under no condemnation for my sin (Romans 8:1).  But when I allow my feet to remain dirty, I am the one who misses out on blessing and closeness with my Lord.

Lord, keep me clean and close to You today.


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