Having Beautiful Feet by Doing Good
Various members wrote the daily devotional for our recent church camp. This meditation on Romans 10:13-15 and Isaiah 52:7 was written by Jonathan Yao.
Take some time to ponder and praise God for each part of the salvation journey which He providentially oversees. We praise God for how He planned and carried out the salvation journey personalised to everyone. It is a due process fraught with challenges of disbelief and disobedience on the person’s part but in His perfect time, God broke through our hard hearts through His Spirit that led us to surrender and accept Christ as our Saviour and Lord.
Praise God for the three persons of the Trinity who are involved in the salvation of every believer: God the Father plans and elects those to be saved, God the Son provides the means of salvation through His obedience and redemptive work on the Cross, and God the Spirit convicts sinners of the need for the Saviour. The triune God continues to work in every believer’s spiritual growth process.
I praise the Lord because He is the one who pursues me, enables me to have a relationship with Him, who desires to dwell with me in fellowship (Psalm 27:4). I praise Him and give all honour and glory to Him, the pursuer of my soul.
Meditation and Application
The Romans passage above speaks of Paul’s deep concern for the salvation of Jews (and gentiles too). Since “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom 10:13), there is a greater impetus for more to be given the opportunity to respond to the gospel. This is shown by the Lord’s patience in “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (1 Pet 3:9).
What then is the process toward that end? “The essence of Paul’s argument is seen if we put his six verbs in the opposite order: Christ sends heralds [or messengers]; heralds preach; people hear; hearers believe; believers call; and those who call are saved,” noted John Stott (The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World, 286). “Preach” here is less about delivery of the Sunday sermon, but a personal proclamation of the gospel. We now have the great privilege and responsibility in bringing the good news to others and living out the gospel as Christ’s followers.
The original Isaiah passage included four proclamations by the messengers: peace, goodness, salvation, and God’s earthly rule. Why did Isaiah/Paul mention “beautiful feet” in that context? Is it because these feet have tirelessly carried the message of the gospel? They are beautiful not because they have been pedicured, painted, or soft. They are probably dirty, scarred, and calloused. They have travelled far and wide to bring the important message to those who need it most. They are beautiful precisely because they have fulfilled an important function in doing good.
Author Jerry Bridges wanted us to preach the gospel of grace to ourselves daily, “In our daily experience, we have all sorts of spiritual ups and downs–sin, failure, discouragement -- all of which tend to make us question God’s love. That is because we keep thinking that God’s love is somehow conditional. We are afraid to believe His love is based entirely upon the finished work of Christ for us.” (The Practice of Godliness, 28). Preach the gospel to yourself daily as a discipline of grace! Preach the gospel to others (God’s people and non-believers) whenever possible! Hallelujah!
I came to know Christ because a stranger sought me out during my campus orientation. He then invited me to a Bible study where I heard the gospel of grace for the first time. Coming from a nominal Christian background, it was liberating to know God loves and accepts me not because I go to church every Sunday or do good works, but because of what Christ has done on the Cross. When I prayed and accepted Christ as my Saviour, He exchanged my fears and my inadequacies with His unconditional love, acceptance, and empowerment. I am free indeed. To love and minister unconditionally.
In a gospel encounter, my wife and I were able to converse with a man who was sharing a kopitiam table with us. He was drinking beer for breakfast. Striking up a conversation with him, we realized he faced certain challenges in his work life. I was led in the spirit to share of Christ as the peacemaker and the good news that it entailed. He was evidently deeply moved although he did not receive Christ. He ended our time with profuse thanks for our concern for him. We are thankful for the joy of sharing the good news in a seemingly random encounter with a stranger sharing a breakfast table with us. It was, however, God’s divine appointment. We continue to pray for his salvation.
Are you looking out for divine encounters to do good by sharing the gospel of grace to someone today?
Pray for us to remember the gospel of grace by preaching it to ourselves daily as part of doing good to ourselves: the bearer of the Good News is to embrace God’s unconditional love in the gospel as a continuing experience.
Pray for us to seize God-given opportunities to do good by sharing the Good News with someone else who has yet to know God’s unconditional love through the gospel of grace: how can others believe and call on the Saviour unless we are ready and willing to be sent and to share the gospel anytime?
Pray for us to remind one another in our faith community of the gospel of grace based entirely on the finished work of Christ, that we are accepted and loved by God solely because we are united to His beloved Son: as a faith community, it is God’s grace, not our works that ought to mark our identity as Christians who have beautiful feet.
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