These Feet are Made for Walking (9/14/14)

Posted by on Sep 14, 2014 in Sermons | 0 comments

Rev Bolton 2014-08-03 _0646Pastor Jim’s sermon on September 14, 2014 challenged us to move out into the “world” and proclaim the Gospel. The sermon was based on Romans 10:11-17 and the sermon was entitled “These Feet are Made for Walking” (apologies to Nancy Sinatra and her hit “These Boots Are Made for Walking”)…

 
Click the “Play” button below to start the recording, open the scripture (click the “down” arrow in the Scripture Box below), then follow along…

 

 

 

Scripture

Rom 10:11-18

As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts 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 they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”

17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.      NIV

 

In the show “Jesus Christ Superstar,” the title song includes the lyrics sung by Judas…

Every time I look at you I don’t understand
Why you let the things you did get so out of hand
You’d have managed better If you’d had it planned
Now why’d you choose such a backward time
And such a strange land?

If you’d come today you could have reached the whole nation
Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication.

What if Jesus came today?  He could just text!  He could ask you to like Him on Facebook.  But He came at a time when He couldn’t hide behind a telephone or computer.  As He traveled around Israel, gave us an example of how WE should be using our feet.

Isaiah 52:7 says…

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!”
NIV

There’s something special about the human touch (see last week’s sermon!).  God knew what He was doing when He picked the time and place to send His Son.  The Internet isn’t all it’s cracked up to be [even this website…].  The Greek word translated as “Beautiful” in Romans 10:15 actually means “Happy.”  It reminds you of Matthew 21:9 where it says “Blessed [happy] is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”  We are called to “come in the name of the Lord”; to share the Gospel.  Feet that are still are not part of God’s will for our lives.

We are called to spread the Gospel.  Here are three points about the Gospel…

 

1:  We Need a Savior!

Genesis 3 tells us how mankind separated themselves from God.  Eve was tempted to sin, but Adam deliberately disobeyed God.  To restore our relationship with God we need a Savior to undo that; to stand in the gap that’s between us and God.

  • 1 Peter 1:8-9 tells us that true joy comes from knowing that we’re saved; that God in His grace has stepped into our lives to bridge the gap caused by our sin.  We know that God has saved us and is molding us into His image.  But as we look forward we can have a deep sense of joy knowing that one day we’ll be with Him and we’ll be like Him.
  • 1 Timothy 2:3-4 tells us that God WANTS to save all people.

But there is only one way that this sin problem can be “fixed.”  There’s only one way we can be saved from eternal separation from God, and that’s Jesus.  Acts:4:12 says there’s no other way we can be saved.

Do you believe what Jesus says in John 14:6?

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. NIV

So think about this question:

Do you believe that everyone should be given an opportunity to hear the Gospel and respond to it?

If your answer is Yes, click here.

Who did you invite to worship this week???

What are our feet doing?  Are they moving and going out to the “less desirable”… to “them?”  In verse 14 Paul wrote: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?”  And how will they ever believe unless someone (us- the church)- tells them about Jesus?

Could it be that we have allowed the truth of sin to be watered down so much that we’ve forgotten how to connect with the need for “them” to come to Christ?  If I don’t know that I’m a sinner.  If I don’t know that there’s a loving God who is willing to allow His Son to become the bridge between my sinfulness and His holiness, then how can I respond?

 

2:  The Gospel is a Search and Rescue Mission

In Luke 19:10, Jesus told Zacchaeus and all of the onlookers in Jericho that He came to seek and save.   If you’re a firefighter entering a smoky building, you’re intent on searching for anyone who may be in the building.  In the same way, our sin has put us in a burning building.  Without Jesus we’re doomed.

God is calling us to be firefighters; to proclaim the Good News.  To join in on the “search and rescue mission.”  If you’re a Christian, it’s because somebody told you about Christ.  Somebody brought you to church.  Somebody modeled the love of Christ in your life at just the right time.  Acts 4:4 tells us that people believed when they heard the truth about Jesus.  In Ephesians 1:13, Paul writes that the people of the church in Ephesus were included in Christ when they heard the message of truth.

Where do we ever hear in the Gospels where Jesus said, “I’ll build a fancy building, put out a sign,  and people will come to me.”  We don’t come to a saving faith by accident.  A “firefighter” must have come to you.  Somebody has tell us that there’s a Savior who will forgive us, cleanse us, and restore the relationship.

We are saved to serve, and the form of service is to share the Gospel.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bohnhoeffer

Dietrich Bohnhoeffer in his book “Cost of Discipleship,” wrote:

“The bearers of Jesus’ word are now Christ’s fellow workers. 

They are to meet those to whom they are sent as if we were Christ’s self.  

We are bearers of Christ’s presence and bring with us the most precious gift in the world: the gift of Jesus Christ.”

In the movie “Forrest Gump,” there is a scene where Gump is visiting a veteran who was disabled while serving in Vietnam. He asks- sarcastically-  “Have you found Jesus yet?”  Gump answers, “I didn’t know I was supposed to be looking for Him.”

Is it possible that people “out there” don’t even know to look for Jesus because our feet haven’t moved?

 

3: The Appeal of the Gospel

How can they preach unless they are sent?

The purpose of the church is to equip people to make a difference for Jesus Christ in the world.

Acts 8:26-35 tells the story of when the Spirit called the apostle Philip to catch up with a chariot that was on the road between Jerusalem and Gaza.  Philip RUNS up to the chariot.  He’s eager to share in God’s word and to answer the Eunuch’s question (about the text we now know as Isaiah 53).  He ran because there might not be another opportunity to share the Gospel with him.  The eunuch couldn’t understand the passage unless someone explained it to him.  Philip was “Sent Out” to share the Gospel with this man.  We know Philip as one of the 12 Apostles.  The word translated as “apostle” literally means “Sent Out.”  In a sense, we’re all called to be “Apostles”- sent out to share the Word of God.

  • In Acts 10:42-43 Peter reminds us that we were called to testify to the people that Jesus is the One who God called to be the Judge of the living and dead.  We are called to be part of the “Priesthood of all Believers.”  We can’t just leave it up to the preachers.

Firefighters can get lost in the smoke.  Disoriented,  Not knowing up, down, left, or right.  But a light or  a voice can guide them to safety.  The voice: “Just follow the light.  Keep coming to the light.”  The light can lead us to safety.

The light will lead them to where they need to be.

 =====================

George Sweeting, in his book “No Guilt Guide for Witnessing”  tells the story of a man who was convicted for murder and sent to prison.  After many years, he was placed on parole and sent to a work farm.  After ten years of working on this farm, his sentence was terminated and he was sent a letter telling him that he was now a free man.  But nobody ever told him about the letter.  For for ten years he continued to work on the farm.  A parole officer discovered his plight, found him,  and told him that he was free.

Sweeting concluded that story by asking, “Would it matter to you if someone sent you an important message — the most important in your life — and year after year the urgent message was never delivered?”

We who have heard the good news and experienced freedom through Christ are responsible to proclaim it to others still enslaved by sin. Are we doing all we can to make sure that people get the message?

Our Daily Bread, November 6, 1994.

What if a friend never told you or me about our need for Jesus?  We would still be toiling under the weight of sin with no hope.  No hope in this life or in the life to come.

 

Beautiful Feet- Sandi Patti….

If we just faithfully go out and share the Gospel, God has promised that he will turn our feet into something beautiful. Sandi Patti sang a song called “Beautiful Feet.”  Check out the lyrics Here.

 

 

Keep the Faith… But don’t keep it to yourself!

 

 

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