Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace

...and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace...Ephesians 6:15 (NKJV)
Alright now, be honest: how many pairs of shoes do you own? We women love shoes. We need them for all of our outfits and the different seasons. There are heels, flats, boots, tennis shoes, sandals; some are sexy, others are frumpy, some are slip-on, others are open-toed, some have straps, buckles, etc. and, of course, all shoes come in a multitude of colors. And how about that adorable pair that fit so well in the store? Ouch, it hurts to wear them even half a day at work. That’s when you yearn for house slippers. Yes, shoes are necessary, but they are meant to fit and be comfortable with firm support for as long as we wear them.
I’ve seen high school girls wearing their sexy little heels just to look good. By the end of first block (mid-morning), their pain is unbearable. Other girls have had sandals with broken straps and come to me seeking to fix them with tape or staples. With shoe problems, they struggle getting around all day long.
A soldier needs sturdy shoes. From a Roman soldier to one of our own boys/girls in Iraq, if their shoes are defective, wholly soles or broken straps for example, they are rendered somewhat helpless. A soldier must be able to march or stand firm on soles of strong support. As soldiers for Christ, we need to be able to stand firm on solid shoes, the shoes of the gospel of peace. They come in “one size fits all” and they match every outfit. When we put on those shoes, what really happens?
Shoes go on our feet and our feet represent our walk (speech, behavior, and attitude) with the Lord. When we “shod” our feet with the shoes of peace, we are preparing to receive marching orders, to be ready for whatever comes our way. A strong foundation prepares us to be ready. And who is our strong foundation? It’s the Lord Jesus Christ and He is our peace. Wearing those shoes of peace will grant us an inner peace even when circumstances around us are chaotic.
No one will be weary or stumble among them,
No one will slumber or sleep;
Nor will the belt on their loins be loosed,
Nor the strap of their sandals be broken;
28 Whose arrows are sharp,
And all their bows bent;
Their horses’ hooves will seem like flint,
And their wheels like a whirlwind.
Isaiah 5:27-28 (NKJV)
Believe and stand on the Word of God with Jesus by your side. Hear the Word of our Lord:
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For,
“All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord stands forever.”
And this is the word that was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:23-25 (NIV)
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever.”
Isaiah 40:8 (NIV)
But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers/sisters loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 (NIV)

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. Philippians 1:27-30 (NIV)

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17 (NIV) - also read Colossians 3:1-14
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
Put on the shoes of the gospel of peace, and receive Christ’s blessing from Psalm 29:11 (NIV):
The LORD gives strength to his people;
the LORD blesses his people with peace.

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