Beautiful Feet

  “AWANA”  (which stands for “Approved Workman Are Not Ashamed” from II Tim. 2:15) is an international Christian youth program that we ran at Three Lakes Bible Church and is also conducted at Faith Bible Church where we now attend. It will be starting up again in September. It is a great way to teach children and young people God’s Word and for them to have fun while they are doing it. It is divided into three sections, “Cubbies,” “Sparks,” and “Truth and Training,” and each evening has three segments: “Handbook” time where they work on sections of a book; “Counsel Time” where they receive a Bible lesson, and “Game Time,” with fun games unique to AWANA played around an “AWANA circle.”  Clubbers earn “AWANA Shares” which they can spend at the “AWANA Store.”  Each spring clubbers also get to make pine wood derby cars to compete in the “AWANA Grand Prix.” 

     Throughout the year there are special AWANA nights such as “crazy-hair night,” and “black-out night.” When we were helping with AWANA at Three Lakes I added “beautiful-feet night” to that list. On that evening, I had each group of clubbers stand behind a partition that had a gap at the bottom.  They took off their shoes and socks and stood with their feet sticking out under the partition. Judges determined who had the most “beautiful feet.” (Have you ever really looked at your feet? They aren’t necessarily the most beautiful part of the human body. They are definitely not an object of attention in a beauty pageant but they surely play an important role!).  Then, after disclosing who belonged to the “winning feet” and giving them a little prize,  I would give a Bible lesson based on Romans 10: 12-15: “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; for ‘WHOEVER WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED’ (cf Joel 2:32). How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!'” (cf Isa. 52:7; Nah. 1:15).
     The Nahum reference had to do with the destruction of the Assyrian empire, the hated enemies of the Jews. Nineveh was their capital, a wicked city to which God had sent Jonah some 150 years earlier. God had patiently dealt with Nineveh, but now His judgment was going to fall. It was this “good news” that the messenger brought to the Jews, and this is what made his feet so beautiful.
     Isaiah used this statement for a future event–the return of Christ and the establishing of His glorious kingdom. The messenger with the beautiful feet announced that God had defeated Israel’s enemies and that Messiah was reigning from Jerusalem.
     Paul, however, used the quotation in a present  application: the messengers of the Gospel taking the “Good News” to Israel today. The “peace” spoken of is “peace with God” (cf Ro. 5:1), and the peace Christ has effected between Jews and Gentiles by forming the one Body, the Church (cf Eph. 2:13-17). The remedy for Israel’s rejection is in hearing the Word of the Gospel and believing on Jesus Christ. It is necessary to understand Paul’s position in order to appreciate these verses. The Jews, his own people, hated the Apostle Paul even though they had applauded Saul, the Pharisee. He is showing the logic of his position. They rejected his claim, or the right of any of the apostles, to proclaim a gospel that omitted the Mosaic system which had degenerated into an empty Judaism. Paul shows that there must be messengers of the gospel who have credentials from God. Paul began his letter to the Romans with the claim, “Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the Gospel of God” (Ro. 1:1).  There follows a logical sequence: preachers must be sent in order for people to hear, in order that they might believe and call upon Christ and be saved. This necessitated his ministry. Paul clinches his logic by quoting Isa. 52:7, which of course precedes the marvelous fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, which is a prophecy of Christ’s death and resurrection (the Gospel!). The law of Moses surely was not glad tidings of good things, but rather a message of death and condemnation.
     We too as believers are called to present this Good News to Jew and Gentile alike. In fact, Jesus, before leaving earth, told the disciples to take this message to “the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Everyone who has “believed in his heart” is to “confess with his mouth” (Ro. 10:9) that others might hear and believe in their hearts and confess with their mouths.  As someone said, “Every heart with Christ is a missionary and every heart without Christ is a mission field.” The Apostle Paul also wrote that “…we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (II Cor. 5:20).
     When you have good news, it is hard to keep it to yourself. You want to share it with everyone you see. Well, we have the best news ever, that God loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth, to live a perfect life, qualifying Him to take your place and die for your sin; but that after being buried, He rose again in just three days, and that through believing on Him you can have your sins forgiven and receive eternal life. Now that is news worth sharing! Are you sharing it?  How beautiful are your feet?
 
                                                                                                    Forever His,
                                                                                                            Pastor Dave
    
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About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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