Let us pray: Dear Savior, today we thank You for providing us with the Gospel. We thank You for comforting us when we’re hurting from our sins and from the pains of human existence. We thank You for giving us public and private messengers of Your inner peace in the form of both pastors and Christian friends. May we never grow tired of hearing any of them speak Your words of love, forgiveness, and help to us. Amen
GRACE MERCY AND PEACE ARE YOURS FROM CHRIST, WHO MAKES US BEAUTIFUL FROM THE INSIDE OUT!
TEXT: Romans 10: 5-15
Fellow Redeemed Sinners:
I have a niece who wanted to be a model. But, she didn’t get to go to New York like she planned. No, instead she met a nice young man, got married, and soon became pregnant. Today she is blest with a lovely little daughter. God gave her something far more important to do in life than become a fashion model. He’s working at turning her into a model parent.
Probably the least desirable part of the human body is the foot. I know there are foot models out there, but no one seems to be clamoring to get into that aspect of a modeling career. I suppose the reasons for that are that the foot isn’t very interesting or attractive. Plus, people’s feet get dirty, sweaty, and sometimes don’t smell very good. So, if I were to hang a sign out on the street which said in big, bold letters:
WANTED: FOOT MODELS—SEE GOD FOR DETAILS
I probably wouldn’t get too many inquiries, would I? So, when St. Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah by saying: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!” it’s a little bit jarring to our sensibilities, isn’t it? Today, we’re going to find out exactly what he means.
Most Christians are pretty passive when it comes to their faith. The rationale behind our passivity is the very nature of that word: faith. Faith is belief, or trust, specifically in Christ and what He accomplished via His life and death in saving us from a restless conscience and from eternal uncertainty and eternal death. Because faith is personal, that is it is God’s gift to you, alone; and because you cannot do anything on your own to possess it—it’s “a gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast” these next words might seem a bit unsettling. “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
Is Paul saying that passive faith isn’t enough? Yes! He is! Faith grabs hold of the holiness of Christ and makes it our own possession. But as soon as God-given faith does that, the mouth is invigorated to speak, to confess, and to spread God’s wealth around among all we meet. That’s what he’s getting at when he states: “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart.”
It is said that the dirtiest part of your body is your mouth. It is home to more germs and bacteria than anywhere else on your body. But God cleanses our mouths by having our hearts put words of joy, wisdom, kindness, and love in them. Christianity sterilizes our hearts and also cleanses our mouths at the same time so that when we kiss God’s Son in joy and thanksgiving we don’t defile either Him or ourselves.
Just as the mouth shows what’s in the heart, so also the feet. For an active heart leads to an active mouth which also shows itself in active feet. And active feet are beautiful to God—when they are active for Him!
Remember when Christ washed the disciples’ feet? He wasn’t afraid to stoop down and take off their dirty sandals. He wasn’t ashamed to soap up their filthy feet and wash away their accumulated dirt. He made their feet beautiful by washing them and they stayed beautiful because those simple men used those feet to go and proclaim His love and forgiveness around the entire globe. Today He does the same for you and me. He does so as we actively engage in His public and His private ministry.
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”
Whenever this passage crops up, my wife reminds me that I have beautiful feet! Why? Because the Lord has issued a formal call to me through you, His congregation, to preach His message of peace. Indeed, this passage is really a command of God for the office of the public ministry that I occupy here at Pinewood. That being said, He wants and expects each of you to be His Foot Models, too. He wants and expects you to share Christ with others in your private life. Attractive feet are busy feet.
Just this past week some of you were busy modeling your feet. We hosted our annual Vacation Bible Camp and the teachers and staff literally ran around all day. But when it was ended, although our feet were sore, we felt uplifted. Why? Because we knew that we had made an eternal difference in the lives of those kids. You cannot say the same thing when you jog, or hoof it around the city going to work. You cannot say the same thing when you hike in the woods or dwaddle along the seashore. We use our feet every day for literally every thing. And our reward is usually sore feet. But when we use them in God’s service by making an eternal difference in people’s lives; when we use them to share Christ’s love with others; well, such service brings joy to us, to others, and to our God.
My friends, this week use your feet and your mouth for something more memorable than merely chomping on a hamburger, or shopping, or walking around your yard. Use your feet and your mouth to show the Godly strength that’s in your heart through faith. “Speak God’s truth in love.” Tell others how Jesus died to save them. Tell them how you cope with problems because with God in your corner “all things are possible.” It is said of dancers that they have “happy feet.” Well, by God’s grace, so can you….Amen