The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace
How beautiful on the mountains are the
feet of those who bring good news…
As long as we are here on earth, believers can have peace with God, but not from the devil. We are at war with him because he doesn’t like us, in fact, he hates us…that’s why he is called our adversary and is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
We’ve established that our battle is not against anything in the physical world, not our prodigals’ lifestyle or the choices they make, not the friends they have or the way they think about God. Our battle is not against a person who hurts us, or a co-worker that we disagree with. It’s not the violence on TV or in the world. This is not always easy to remember because the physical is where we live and experience life with our five senses. Our spiritual senses must be developed so that we will be able to live in the spiritual realm while simultaneously living in the physical realm.
The readiness that comes from the shoes of the gospel of peace means being ready to share the gospel wherever we go. The gospel is a gospel of peace.
For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews
and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross,
he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.
If I had to guess, I would say that most every believer feels inadequate or ineffective in this area to some degree. At least that is true of me. When I was in college, I taught 5-day clubs in the summer. I presented the gospel every day for five days at every club I led. I usually had 3-4 clubs each week. I had the privilege of leading many children to the Lord. I didn’t think about it being hard because the children had come to me and I was following a script. Since that time I have not led a single person to the Lord. Because I have to go to them and they might ask questions or dismiss me…something the children never did. Oh I have witnessed a handful of times, feeling awkward and uncomfortable…and seeing no positive results. It’s discouraging and frustrating! I feel guilty that I am timid and don’t seem to care enough about the lost to get over my fear. I feel like a phony because I say I have a heart for the lost and then rarely follow through with an opportunity, usually not even looking. I don’t say that to get your sympathy…I say that because I’m pretty sure many of you feel the same way. I know God is saying, “Lynn, I want to help you conquer this fear. There are so many people that need to hear about Me and I want to use you. We will do it together!”
The good news is, God doesn’t want us to feel that way. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) God doesn’t want us to be paralyzed with fear or feel guilt-ridden for our seeming lack of compassion…God wants to heal us and free us from this power that is over us through His life-giving Spirit. We have already been set free from sin’s power (Romans 8:2) and He knows how weak we are, he remembers we are only dust (Psalm 103: NLT). He wants us to be fitted with our shoe armor so we will be prepared to take the gospel of peace wherever we go.
I’m not there yet. I sometimes wonder if I ever will be. How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring Good News. Oh how I want to have beautiful feet. The verse goes on…who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” In Isaiah’s time, the good news may have included announcing the end of the exile but even then it was also about the coming of the Messiah. Today, the Messiah has come. Jesus has died for our sins and rose again victorious. Salvation is here and the world needs to know.
When we put our spiritual shoes on, we are ready to go and spread the gospel of peace with those who God sends us to…a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, a relative, even a stranger on the street or in the grocery store. We want to get to the place where we are aware of when God is saying, “This is the one I want you to share Jesus with…by your life, by your words, and yes, by the gospel. Is He asking you to pray with them? Speak life into them? Share the gospel? Listen to them with compassion? Meet a physical need? These are all ways God can and does use to bring the lost into His kingdom. They are vehicles to soften their hearts so they are ready when Jesus says, “Now…it’s time to tell them about Me and what I did for them!” Even then, you might only be one in a long list of people God has lined up to share with them the good news.
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on
him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?
And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures
say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
Romans 10:13-15 NLT
There it is again. Beautiful feet bringing good news! Being ready to go! I think the more we set apart Christ as Lord in our hearts, the more we will want to be ready.
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer
To everyone who asks you to give them a reason for the hope that you have.
1 Peter 3:15
This verse leads to another point. We want to live our lives in such a way that people will ask us about our hope (as this verse tells us), our joy (1 John 4:1-4), our peace (Romans 12:18), or our attitude (Philippians 1:27)
John Piper writes, Giving the gospel away is one of the best ways of experiencing its power in your own life. The best way to taste the power of God for your own soul is to venture something on it. It's the great old truth of the Lord himself when he said, "He who loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it." The more ready we are to move with the gospel, the more life and power and joy and security we will know in the gospel.
God wants to transform us during this wait. The more free we become, the more positive influence we will have on our prodigals and the more passionate we will be about praying for them. If giving the gospel away helps us to experience its power in our lives, then that means we will be able to love our wayward ones more like Jesus does.
Our God Reigns
How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, good news proclaiming peace, announcing news of happiness: Our God reigns! Our God reigns!