Happy Feet

“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” (Romans 10:13–15 ESV)

All Christians are “preachers”

“As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’(Romans 10:15)

This is a quote from Isaiah 52 where Isaiah speaks of a herald who goes to the destroyed city of Jerusalem and declares, Our God reigns! For the stragglers and squatters in a destroyed city, how do they hear that message? Yeah, right. If our God reigns, it sure doesn’t look like it. Is the herald’s job to change their minds? No. A herald is called to herald. To declare. To communicate. Often in gospel evangelism it feels like we are shouting in a destroyed city the love, kindness, and grace of God. Many people will scoff. Our responsibility is not to do the saving, but to do the sharing.

If there is a downside to Missions Sundays, it is the misconception that missions is what our missions partners do, and we support them with money and prayers. No. Mission and gospel sharing and gospel neighboring are all our responsibility. Jesus’ Great Commission is for all of us. Is it urgent that Hindus in south India be reached with the gospel through Abraham Thomas’ efforts? Yes! Any more urgent than Hindus who live next to you, or Muslims, or the unreligious or those hostile to the gospel? It’s all critical.

Friend, in your home, neighborhood, work, or school, how goes the heralding?

Our feet are beautiful when the gospel (to us) is wonderful

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:15)

“Preach” here is not simply sermon-type preaching but it means to herald. To share. To communicate. Most gospel sharing of impact is interpersonal. Person to person.

This is striking because of all our body parts, our feet are the most not beautiful. And our feet look much better than first-century feet that walked in sandals everywhere. They didn’t have Nike gel pad shoes or Dr. Scholl’s inserts. They walked on paths that animals walked. I was recently on Mackinac Island, which is both charming and stinky with horse manure everywhere you go. It’s hard to have beautiful feet at Mackinac and frankly, anywhere else.

What makes our feet beautiful? When our feet take us into relationships with people that we love and earn the right to share the gospel with them. The mouth goes were the feet go. Did anyone leave their mouth at home today? Beautiful feet are connected to Christians whose hearts are treasuring Christ and his gospel.

Can we be honest? Why are we so often quiet? Why don’t we share the good news of Jesus when we will share any other good news? The reason we don’t share the good news of Jesus is that often we don’t treasure it as good news. It’s news. Maybe old news. But too often not good news or not good enough to share.

The people who have been most effective in their evangelism are those for whom the gospel is great news. “The feet are said to be beautiful because their movements betray the character of the message being brought.”[1]

There is a kids’ movie about penguins called, Happy Feet. This little penguin can’t help but dance. The dance is infectious to the other penguins. That’s the sense of this verse. Do you have gospel-happy feet? This isn’t urging us to have beautiful feet, rather it is urging us to so treasure the gospel of Jesus that happiness in Jesus causes happiness to flow out of our mouths. Happy Christians have happy feet that take the infectious gospel dance across the street and around the world. “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:15)

Can I ask a question that challenges my soul too? Is the reason you don’t share the gospel because to you it’s not good news or not good enough news? If so, let’s repent together on this. Think of the effect of a church-wide repentance for our devaluing of the gospel and our silence in sharing it.

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

© 2019 by Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address (www.bethelweb.org) on the copied resource.

[1] John Murray, New International Commentary on the New Testament: Romans, p. 59.

To hear the message of this excerpt in its entirety, click here

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