Are your feet beautiful?

“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!”” (Rom 10:15)

As Christians we have been sent out to make disciple-making disciples. We are to make these disciples “as we are going” about our day. We don’t have to travel half way around the world to be “on mission” for Jesus. We can live “on mission” for Him right here in our own community.

Paul reveals in this section of his letter to Romans that we are sent to preach the good news. It is a beautiful thing. Beautiful can be translated as “the appropriate time; timely” or it can be translated as beautiful in the sense that it is an appropriate action or a lovely action.

If we translate the word timely, which it seems many commentators lean towards, the idea links more to God’s plan being worked out in His time. The preaching of the gospel as the message of hope to both Jews and Gentiles has come at the appropriate time in God’s plan of salvation.

While at the same time, the feet of those who come with the good news of the gospel are beautiful, they are lovely. It is a beautiful action for someone to preach the good news of Jesus to others.

We are to be those beautiful feet who in God’s timing are bringing a message of hope and light to those who live in darkness. Are your feet beautiful?

Our inadequacies don’t limit the Spirit

“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24)

These were not just words spoken. Paul lived these words out each and every single day. Plots were concocted against him. He was slandered, beaten, arrested, and chased out of cities. He left good friends behind to continue his mission. He followed the urging of the Holy Spirit knowing that afflictions and imprisonments awaited him in every city (Acts 20:23). Paul was determined and a unique man.

But his determination and dedication to the gospel was not due his personality. He was captivated by Jesus. Paul wanted others to be captivated by Him as well. To experience the same hope, joy, love, and blessings he experienced. He traveled around the known world sharing the good news of Jesus with all who would listen despite the difficulties he faced daily.

Admittedly, Paul’s love of Jesus is convicting. When I look at my life, I don’t risk as much as Paul did. I don’t risk relationships, comfort, bodily harm, or even my life for Jesus. That doesn’t mean Paul was super human. He wasn’t super human, instead He was empowered by the Holy Spirit.

The same Holy Spirit that empowered Paul empowers us as well. Though we might feel inadequate for the task of making disciple-making disciples, we aren’t inadequate. The Spirit empowers us for the task at hand just as He empowered Paul. While we all might not travel around the world sharing the gospel, starting and strengthening churches, we can accomplish what God has planned for us. We can be used by Him to accomplish His will, despite our felt inadequacies because the Spirit empowers us to do the work of ministry.

God is doing an amazing work in our day!

“‘Look, you scoffers, be astounded and perish; for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.'” (Acts 13:41)

Paul, preaching to the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia, tells the Jews that they should expect the Lord to do a work that they would not believe. The work is that their wise men will perish (Is 29:14). In other words, God will do something among the people that will astound them – He will save the Gentiles. He bring those who they thought could not experience salvation to Himself. He will do it through their belief in a crucified Messiah. While at the same time, He will give the Jews over to their enemies (Hab 1:5-6).

After the Jews rejected their teaching, Paul explicitly tells them the work God is dong in verse 47 when he says,

“For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'” (Acts 13:47)

Again quoting from the prophet Isaiah to show that this has always been God’s plan. A plan that was hidden but is now revealed (Col 1:26-27). Salvation has come to the Gentiles. God’s plan has always been to unite them as one man in Christ (Eph 2:11-22).

Through Jesus we are all united to one another – Jew and Gentile, poor and rich, slave and free. In Christ, we are all equal. We are all brothers and sisters. We are adopted into the same family through the death of Jesus for our sins and the forgiveness extended by the Father and the work done by the Spirit to draw and regenerate. Because of the Work of God, an amazing work we cannot even fathom, we all experience salvation in Jesus alone.

God is doing a work in our day. A work no one would believe if told beforehand. God is uniting us all in Christ. He breaks down divisions. If we want to experience unity, we must turn to Christ. We must recognize that at the foot of the cross all men and women are equal. No one is greater than another. No one is loved by God more than another. We are all one, a new humanity, a new people in Christ.

Reach the nations in your backyard

“And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.””(Acts 10:15)

In a vision, God makes it clear to Peter that the gospel is for the nations. Peter is sent to Cornelius, who was a centurion, a Gentile. He was not a part of the nation of Israel by birth, but Peter was sent to fellowship with and present the good news of Jesus to him and those who were with him.

In this instance, God shows that He is for the nations. The good news that Jesus provides forgiveness of sins is not solely a message for Israel. Rather it is a message for the entire world. As Peter says in verse 43,

“To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:43)

Everyone who believes in Jesus, no matter what background or nationality, can experience salvation. They can be forgiven of their sins and experience peace with God.

We are a testimony to God’s plan for the nations. Most of you who are reading this post are Gentiles who have been grafted into Israel. We are the nations. In order to continue to reach the nations, we don’t have to go much further than our own community. That is not to say we shouldn’t send missionaries overseas, we certainly should. But we must not forget that the nations to whom Jesus directs the disciples are you and me. We have the nations in our own backyard.

Part of living life “on mission” for Jesus is to reach the nations. We have an opportunity to do that each and everyday. Will you begin building relationships with your neighbors and co-workers in an attempt to reach the nations? Will you have someone over to your home for dinner in an attempt to reach the nations? Will you walk across the ball field and talk to another parent on the sidelines in an attempt to reach the nations? Will you have lunch with a co-worker in an attempt to reach the nations?

The nations are right here in our own backyard will you make an attempt to reach them?

Are you prayerfully depending on the Spirit to build your church?

“And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.”” (Acts 8:29)

The book of Acts follows directly from the gospel of Luke. It is a continuation of the story. One of Luke’s purposes is to show how the promised Spirit guides and directs Jesus’ disciples so that the church is built.

In Acts 8, the church is scattered as Paul begins his reign of persecution. Philip finds himself on the way to Gaza. As he travels, there is a man, a Eunuch, who worked in the Ethiopian queen’s court. Traveling in a chariot, he was reading from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit directs Philip to join the Ethiopian in his chariot. He has the opportunity to explain the passage he was reading, connect it to Jesus and the good news of Jesus life and death for us. The man believed and was promptly baptized as a public profession of faith. After baptizing the Ethiopian, Philip was directed once again by the Spirit to another place.

Today’s passage teaches us to rely on the Spirit. He is the One directing and guiding us as we live “on mission” for Jesus. If we are going to be disciples who make disciples, we need to prayerfully depend on the Spirit to guide and direct us to those in whom the Lord is at work. We are Jesus’ instruments used by Him to build His church.

Are you prayerfully depending on the Spirit to build your church? Are you praying that the Spirit would provide you an opportunity to minister to someone today? Are you hopeful that the Spirit is at work in your life, your family, and your community, drawing people to Christ? Do you long to be a part of the work the Spirit is doing?

To whom is He directing you today?

Rely on the Spirit to live “on mission”

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.”

John 15:26-26

We are able to live life “on mission” because the Spirit dwells within us and empowers us.

The degree to which we rely on the Spirit is the degree to which our mission will be successful.

Relying on the Spirit doesn’t look like us sitting on our hands. Rather it looks like us depending on Him to provide us the Words to say in difficult or foreign situations.

It looks like us trusting He will bring people into our paths. A “divine appointment” if you will.

It also looks like us petition the Spirit to change the hearts of those whom we know and asking that He would use us as His instruments to bring about change.

It further looks like us trusting that the Spirit will convict, convince, and regenerate.

Instead of seeking to build the church and make disciples in a man-centered way, we must rely on the Spirit and align ourselves with God’s will found in God’s Word.

Jesus sends the Spirit for a reason, let’s not deny His existence and power. Instead, let’s allow the Spirit to empower us to live life “on mission” for Jesus, making disciple-making disciples of all peoples.