Jump Start # 2172
Romans 10:15 “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.’”
Preaching—it isn’t always easy. Oh, it looks easy. The finished product on Sunday inspires, encourages, fills the heart, chases doubts away and brings God to the forefront of our eyes. The people of God love sermons. The world that isn’t committed to God doesn’t have the same taste for sermons. For them, they want to be entertained. Comic relief, sprinkled with a few bits of wisdom is what the ear tickling community hungers for. But for God’s folks, it’s that preached word that they want to hear. They never tire of hearing it.
Last night, we finished a summer series of preaching. Each Wednesday evening for the past two months we had a different preacher come and present a specific lesson on a theme. The topics and the preachers were matched on purpose. Many churches are doing this. For us, we fly preachers in from all over the country for one evening. Young preachers. Old preachers. All talented, gifted and amazingly passionate about the Lord and His word. It ended for us last evening. It ended well. You could see and feel the joy and enthusiasm among the congregation as folks left. Some, with tears in their eyes, were saying that this series was some of the best that they have ever witnessed in their lives. EVER. What we did takes enormous planning. It is very expensive. The upside benefits simply cannot be measured.
And, all of this takes us to our verse today. The beautiful feet of those who preach. The Holy Spirit is quoting an Isaiah passage about bringing glad tidings, or good news. The beautiful feet is not in references to how lovely the toes are of preachers. It’s about how wonderful it is that they come when they are sent for. And for generations, this is the message of God. Preachers go and preach. They travel long and far to preach to whoever will show up. Sometimes the meeting place is filled. Other times, there are just a handful. But it’s the preached word intersecting with honest and good hearts that bring glory to God. Long ago preachers rode on horseback, often scribbling a few notes as they traveled down roads. Then it was riding trains. Today, it’s by car and airplanes. Preachers have preached in front rooms of homes. They have preached in tents. They have preached in store fronts. A church was renting a room out of a funeral home. I came and preached for them. Out in the county and in the midst of busy cities, preachers come to preach.
Good things happen when God’s word is preached.
First, it reminds us once again that the world doesn’t have the final word. Satan doesn’t win. Even though some days may seem very dark and God’s people may seem very few, the message of hope, goodness and salvation in Christ is what will triumphant in the end. There is a coming judgment. Jesus is victorious.
Second, preaching reminds us of what is right. Our times sure has that upside down and inside out. But it just isn’t our times, it’s always been that way. Isaiah wrote about those who call evil good and good evil. That’s backwards. That’s all mixed up. Jeremiah talked about seeking the old paths and the people would have nothing to do with that. Folks today are so confused. They frown on smoking tobacco, but embrace smoking marijuana. Strange. They want to endorse marrying anything and anybody, except one man to one woman. Strange. They want to keep criminals alive but they are for aborting innocent babies. Strange. They deny the existence of God, yet they believe in aliens. Strange. Our times will tolerate anything except what is right and decent. They take a pill for everything and drink alcohol as if it were oxygen. There are a thousand channels on cable but nothing worthwhile to watch. We blame everyone except ourselves. Social media has taken private things and made them too public. No wonder people are confused and mixed up. Nothing is wrong and everything is right. Then comes along some really good preaching. Stakes are put in the ground right where God wants them to be. Things are defined. Terms are set by Heaven. A sense of stability, absoluteness, and boundaries are established. Some things are just wrong, because God says so. Others things are right, because God says so. Laws come and go. Loud voices come and go. But God’s word remains the same. We need that. We need that kind of preaching. We need to know that some things are simply wrong, Period. There is no way you can make wrong right.
Third, preaching teaches us that we control our own destiny. Our marriages can be good, right and an illustration of Heaven itself, if we choose that. It takes work. It takes some effort and want to. But it can be done. Our families can be wholesome, good and right. Our homes can be a positive refuge from this crazy world we live in. But more than that, you can be holy and righteous. You can please the Lord. You can be a child of God. You can live differently. You can live better. You can change. It doesn’t matter what you have done. It doesn’t matter what your past has been. Don’t hang your hat on those nails. You can be a spiritual leader in your home and in your community. Preaching brings us to Jesus. He is so holy and we are not. He’s right and most times we are not. But through His grace and mercy we can change. We can repent. We can be molded and shaped like He is. We can think like He thinks. We can please God and preaching shows us just how that is done.
Fourth, preaching puts us before the cross of Christ, the greatest event in the world. His sacrifice. His death. His resurrection. His ascension. His reign. His victory. We can forget about the Lord in our busy world. Meetings. Phone calls. Deadlines. Hurrying here and there and before long, the day ends and we’ve not given much thought to the wonderful blessings of the Lord. We haven’t thought much about the Lord. Preaching changes that. It puts within our heart the glorious love of God. The Lord who never gave up on us. The Lord who wants us to spend forever with Him. This kind of preaching helps us with our perspective. It helps us with our priorities. It helps us understand that He is the center of the universe and of our lives and it’s not about us, but it is about Him. More, more about Jesus, is what we need.
Preaching, God’s kind of preaching, changes lives. We need to crave for this kind of preaching. We need to find every opportunity to put this kind of preaching in our lives. Good things will happen if we have a honest and good heart. Changes will come. Goodness follows. Forgiveness, grace and kindness are the by products of hearts that have been touched by the Gospel of Christ.
There are a lot of good preachers out there in the kingdom. They love the Lord and are just doing their best to help God out. Say a prayer for these men. Encourage them, when you can. Help others to become one of them. And, more than anything else, bring an open heart, listening ears and an open Bible as they stand before you.
When my kids were small and at home, they’d take their little Bibles and have visiting preachers sign them. They still have those Bibles. Those names are our heroes. Good men with beautiful feet who traveled the world to preach the saving message of Jesus Christ.