I took this photo the other day, later made it into a graphic for a class I’ve been taking all month that has been way too much fun, and this is what I came up with to share with you today. (It’s now a book on Amazon.)
What I love about this photo, and over the years, I have seen a variety of forms of this verse, especially at missionary conferences…often with crusty bare feet on people who have never worn shoes, is that no matter how ugly the foot looks physically, it is in reality beautiful because of the message it is bringing!
Whether you are a man or woman rushing around doing things in your everyday wear, you are bringing the gospel (translated good news here) and peace to others…or not. If you are bringing good news and peace by your actions and words in your everyday life, your feet are beautiful…no matter how pretty or ugly they are physically!
Encouraging words, loving actions, kind behavior?
They all touch our lives with beauty, the beauty of Jesus!
When you stop to think about it, how many times have you been weak or down or suffering and someone’s kind, encouraging word made them look beautiful to you? You didn’t notice their features because of the beauty of their words or actions!
That is the way it is in GOD’s world…and in the real world! Stopping to think of the encouraging way to say something? the kind way to do something? the loving thing to do? Or maybe you didn’t stop to think about it and notices GOD helped those things come to mind when yours was addled and those words wouldn’t naturally be the ones that would come out! That is GOD working out His new life in you.
You know what a gift it has been to you in times of need. What a grace others have shown to you. And even if you don’t feel you have ever been shown any encouragement or grace by others before, now is the time to start a new tradition in your home, your family, your church, your community.
Is this kind of change easy? No.
But so worth it!
Is it easy? No. That’s why we have to wear running shoes and jeans. That’s why we have to trust GOD to enable us. That’s why we do one thing at a time, one interaction at a time. One step at a time.
Then, one day we look back and realize GOD actually changed us and a few others around us as well! He doesn’t ask us to change everyone. He asks us to live out the good news that He died for sin and rose from the dead and lives to intercede for us! The rest of it is just walking through the life He gives us to live, one step at a time…by His grace, in our running shoes, learning to show the gospel/good news and peace to those around us by the way we live and the words we say. It will never be perfect. We will fail often. But that is why we need Him.
Jesus fulfilled this for us at the cross.
We don’t have to be in bondage to the questions “How much did I share the gospel/good news today?” “How much did I show peace to others today?” It will be a natural outworking of my being “in Christ.”
Where do you see signs that GOD is doing that work in you?
Where do you see signs that you need to respond to the nudgings of the Spirit more often?