Talaya Crawford was poised to run a 200-meter sprint. (5/9/2022) The gun sounded, and she exploded down the track – BUT she left her shoe on the starting block. Race over, right? No, she doubled back, forced the shoe on and then ran.
She started 6 seconds later than the rest of the field in a race that typically lasts 30 seconds. But she ran like a tornado and won it by a wide margin.
In this Cinderella story, the glass slipper was a sweaty sneaker.
Amazing! Most would have picked up the shoe and gone home. But she wanted to win, and knew she had to have her shoes on to do it.
Christians need their shoes too!
Paul once described the spiritual armor of the Christian. He pictured us in a battle with our adversary the devil. God supplies the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the Scripture which is the sword of the Spirit – and He didn’t forget our feet.
Paul wrote, “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” – Eph 6:15 KJV
It tells us that a Christian needs to be prepared to share the Good News with others.
The word preparation means to prepare – duh! We do that by putting on Gospel shoes.
– What is this Gospel of peace?
Paul wrote in Romans 5:1, “…we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Those without Jesus are at odds with God (Romans 5:10) having rejected Him and His righteous ways. When they receive the gift of God, their sins are buried beneath Jesus’ blood. And God the frightening foe becomes God the faithful friend. Peace is brokered between God and man.
– But what does this have to do with shoes?
The prophet Isaiah predicted the day when Jesus the Messiah would come. There would be those who would herald His glorious arrival. Of them the prophet said, “How delightful it is to see approaching over the mountains the feet of a messenger who announces peace, a messenger who brings good news, who announces deliverance, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7)
The Lord brought deliverance. It is good news which translates as “Gospel.” It is the message of peace with God and the feet of those who bring it are beautiful.
Personally, my feet are not so attractive, but to see a pair of feet cresting a hill with the sweet message of peace with God – well that’s a beautiful sight.
– But how does this fit with the Christian’s armor?
The entire collection of armor was modeled after that of a Roman legionnaire. He wore “caliga” on his feet. This was an open-toed half-boot tied to the ankles and shins with straps. The most interesting feature of the boot was its sole which was studded with nails. Think of the cleats they wear in sports.
These boots were made for standing. The nail-studded soles gave the soldier stability as he braced his shield and wielded his sword in the fray.
In the same way, the Gospel is foundational – it is the unchanging message on which we stand. Without the Gospel – the ideologies of this world will overwhelm us and others will never hear the life-giving message.
Unfortunately, some of us are not prepared to speak the Gospel. We serve others by rebuilding homes after a disaster, and feeding the hungry, and protecting the innocent – all worthy and wonderful things. But too often the Gospel of peace with God goes unspoken. Without it there is no eternal hope for those that we have served.
If you are missing that Gospel shoe – run back and get it and get back in the race.
A PRAYER: Lord, I am prepared to share the Gospel, but I don’t. Help me change this.
This has been Jim Johnson and pickleheavenpress.com
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Scripture passages are from the NET Bible ®