Message for 4th July 2021

BMS WORLD DAY OF PRAYER MESSAGE: “WHAT BEAUTIFUL FEET!”

 

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion,’ Your God reigns! (Isa 52:7)

 

A church that is not concerned about the world is not a church. A church that is not concerned about lost souls – is lost. A church that is only concerned about maintaining its premises or the status quo – is essentially a social club - and will inevitably die, so it’s probably not a good idea to join it. The Enemy is not troubled by the church which refuses (at the command of Jesus Himself) to be salt and light in the world…

 

The mission of God’s people has always been to be a light to the nations. In the book of Isaiah there are (at least) 25 references to this task - to attract and reach all the peoples of the earth and to (try to) fill it with the knowledge of, the fear of, the glory of and the salvation of the Lord.

The LORD chose Israel for that very purpose.

 

But Israel failed in her calling. She was exiled (by the LORD) for her failure and, not for the first time, would find herself oppressed by her enemies. In effect God’s people wanted to keep the LORD in ‘a box’; they wanted Him as their local, tribal god; and when God said, “Go” – His people, over and again, planted their feet and said, “No!”

God said, “Ok, then, I will reveal myself to those who did not ask for me…” (Isa 65.1)

 

The mission of the church is no different. It is and always has been global in scope.

William Carey (the father of world missions and the founder of the Baptist Missionary Society) knew this: the Great Commission of Jesus Christ, to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation…” was binding upon him, every church and every believer.

 

Carey faced great opposition but refused to do nothing. He asked, “Can we do more than we are doing?”

Carey left for India, “expecting great things from God” and determined to enlarge his tent and “…attempt great things for God.”

 

Carey’s feet followed his heart…

WC must have known a great deal about feet. After all he was a cobbler!  Some would walk a million miles for one of your goals! Proclaimers would walk 500 miles (x2) to fall down at a loved-ones door.

Feet will always follow the direction of their heart…we will always go to that which we love the most…

 

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion,’ Your God reigns! (Isa 52:7)

 

Beautiful feet?! When these words were first uttered there were no cushioned souls, no odor-eaters! 

In the days of Isaiah people wore sandals if they were lucky, many went barefoot with the risk of injury, disease and dirt. Feet were the dirtiest, smelliest part of the body 2.5k years ago. (Some things never change!)

 

It was a sign of great hospitality to bathe a weary traveller’s “cheesy” feet before breaking bread. (I love bread and cheese!)

 

But these feet are those that have been guided/guarded down God’s path (1 Sam 2:9). This makes them beautiful feet. They have obediently gone where God called them to go, and so they are deemed lovely. These feet have gone a great distance to the mountains (the nations) and beyond and walked in faith as all God’s missionaries do.

 

I have never seen Matt and Suzanne Gregory’s feet but they went to Albania, not just to say that they had been there and seen the sights, but to bring the gospel to a lost and broken land they came to love. In God’s sight they have beautiful feet, lovely feet.

 

Nahad (lovely, Heb) carries the sense of timely or ready feet, feet being used as they were intended or designed.  Feet that will march to God’s drum.  This is why we should remember our missionaries and care for them. They will need our prayers and support, and we will need to emulate them.

Lost people matter to God.

 

We may not be called to go abroad. But my calling and yours is (exactly) the same as theirs – to be and bring good news; to be and speak peace; and to tell people, wherever you’re feet take you (when possible), that you freely received the saving grace of God. Try it – proclaim salvation…and tell them that your God reigns!  Simple. But so very difficult.

People might reject the message but at least you’ve shared it.

 

11 As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.’ 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

14 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? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’

 

If your feet take you to someone in need and with God’s help you enable him or her to walk with God, then your feet are being used for a purpose that matters for all eternity.  Those feet are beautiful.  It is not the external beauty of our feet that is recognized. 

It is the beauty of the message we bear, both in our words and in our actions that speaks to the love of God for all people. 

As they say, if we’re going to talk the talk, we’ve got to walk the walk. 

And we walk with our feet.

 

It is impossible to think about feet without considering the feet of our Lord Himself: where he walked, how he talked and what he did; what they did to his feet for bringing the good news…

 

Christ has no body now but yours.

No hands, no feet on earth but yours.

Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.

Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.

Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,

yours are the eyes, you are his body.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”


― Teresa of Avila

 

 

 

 

 


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