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!” – Isaiah 52:7 NIV
One morning when our first-born, Joanna, was little, she woke up crying. When I asked her what was wrong, she told me about two dreams she’d had.
The first was about a man who was going to die. “He said he was willing to die, as long as the children would get to live.” I knew right away that this dream was about Jesus, who willingly gave up His life to give life to us.
As I was still processing what my small child had said, considering the depth of her understanding at such a tender age, she cheered up and went on.
“Then I dreamed I had beautiful new purple slippers.”
At the time I was taking a class at church in biblical dream interpretation, so my mind was processing the details. Slippers – footwear. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news … who proclaim salvation … ” Missionaries … Evangelists …
I hadn’t spoken these thoughts out loud, but just then Joanna grew thoughtful and said, “Mommy, all I really want to do is be a missionary.”
As if to give one more confirmation, the children’s Sunday school class that morning was learning about “Having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6: 15)
Yes, I thought, she will have beautiful feet – in the purple slippers – the color of royalty. And I doubt she realized she was tying the two together when she said she wanted to be a missionary – an ambassador of the King of kings. Out of the mouths of little children …
Since then, Joanna has been on just one mission trip, with a youth group that included a young man named Sean, who later became her husband. Sean served as an Army chaplain for several years and has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, while Joanna stayed home, “holding down the fort.” She is now a busy mother of three, who are being raised “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) For now, this is her “mission field,” and of her three little converts, she has at least one child with an impressive grasp of spiritual things and a constant hunger for more of God.
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are called to be a missionary.
This may or may not involve traveling to the remotest parts of the world; our mission field is all around us. Many, many people still don’t know about the saving work of Christ, even with all our high-tech methods of communication. In fact, the more means of communication, the more numerous conflicting and confusing messages are. If you know Jesus, you are called to make Him known to others. Your mission field will be as unique as you are. Your experiences, your testimony, your perspective, your gifts, your contacts, your personality, your lifestyle, even your weaknesses and struggles will all be used to reach those people in your life that only you can reach. The message is the same, but the ways of telling it are as vast and varied as the people God has saved – and wants to save.
If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, let me be the first (or second, or twentieth, or hundredth) to tell you the Good News.
God, the Creator and Sustainer of the whole universe – loves you! He created you to be unique, and He has a unique place for you in His kingdom.
But first, some bad news. Even though I don’t know you personally, I know that you “have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” I can tell you that confidently, because we all have. (Romans 3:23) Since God is perfect and His kingdom is perfect, in order to be part of His kingdom we have to be perfect, too. Otherwise, as soon as we get there, it’s not perfect anymore! But since we are all sinners, the only way to be made clean and whole again is to have our sins wiped out – eliminated.
The only way for that to happen is for someone to pay the price. And “the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23a) But that verse goes on to say, “the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b) We will either pay the price for our sins with our own death – eternal death – or we can place our faith in Jesus and the price He paid when He allowed Himself to be crucified for us. His life was so pure, so holy, so selfless, that His death was enough to pay for the sins of all of us. And because His power is greater than death, He was raised to life afterwards!
When so much of the world is living in darkness, fear, grief, pain and despair, with no hope for anything better, this is Good News!
So, what do we do with this Good News? First, we take hold of it ourselves. We confess to God that we are sinners with no way to save ourselves. We ask Him to forgive us, save us through the death of His Son Jesus, and help us to become what He created us to be.
As soon as you’ve done this, meaning it with all your heart, then comes the fun part – watching what He’ll do with your life! We each have different callings, but one assignment we all have in common – tell others! Whether that means putting on your beautiful purple slippers or your indestructible combat boots, the world is waiting to hear and receive what you have. Jesus is the Man who died so the children – all of us – could live. Pass it on!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, how can we ever thank You enough for paying the penalty for our sins? Our eternal destiny is forever changed. We not only thank and praise you for it, but we also yield ourselves to You. Send us where You want us to go. Let us encounter those You want us to encounter, and speak the words You give us to speak, in Your name. Amen.