Wednesday, November 5, 2014

No Shoes…No Service...

(Submitted By Kerry Patton)
“Stand firm then, …having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace…” Ephesians 6:15

No Shoes…No Service…
Frequently when I am about in various places of business, I identify a familiar sign: “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service.”  Now, the no-shirt part…I get that…but shoes?  Why no shoes? 
It can’t be about ugly, dirty, or stinky feet (right?).  People’s feet are exposed all the time in stores.  Customers come in wearing their flip-flops and other assorted sandals and get no complaints from the management. 

So…it must be about safety.  Safety from some contagion bare feet might carry from customer to customer.  Safety from unseen perils on the store floor…a lost tack or exposed nail, a sliver of broken glass.  And certainly in this litigious society, the business owner would seek safety from potential lawsuits brought by customers whose bare feet might become injured by such perils.  So it would appear we have to wear shoes for our own good.

Put on your shoes!
Feet are so very vulnerable.  Remember the last time you whacked your little toe on something?  I do.  I dropped to the floor immediately and held my foot, writhing in the pain. My whole body was captive to the pain contained in a single injured toe. 

In Ephesians 6:15, Paul wants us to protect our “feet,” so he instructs us to put on our shoes…but not just any shoes.  Shoes he calls: “The Preparation of the Gospel of Peace.” 

Everything we do standing is dependent on the welfare of our feet. As Paul is using the metaphor of a Roman soldier – ready for battle to make his point, the image of the vulnerability of the feet is particularly potent!  A soldier was quickly defeated if his feet were exposed and injured.  So Paul encourages his reader to protect against attack in an area of greatest vulnerability by putting on something he called the preparation of the Gospel of peace.

But what is this Gospel of peace? 
It is curious isn’t it, that in this battle against spiritual enemies we are to clothe our feet not in a Gospel of warfare, but of peace?  The point of the battle is not the battle!  The reason we are at war is because of the Gospel itself!  Our Gospel is a message of reconciliation…the souls of humanity have been ransomed by the shed blood of the Lamb of God – Jesus Christ. Because of the power of this Gospel, all of Hell assails it…and us when we receive it. 

We who were at enmity with God have been reconciled to him and are no longer strangers, no longer aliens.  We are heirs of God, joint heirs in Christ.  We are forgiven and restored.  This is the Gospel…not of war, but of peace with God. 

In short, we have been saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus.  It is this foundation that we stand on.  It is this Gospel we are called to communicate to others.  Everything else we do as followers of Christ is built upon our ability to stand on this Gospel.  If we are shaky on the fact of our own salvation, we are vulnerable to attack and defeat in all other areas.  So, to be properly dressed and protected for battle against the forces that assail us, we are to be certain of our salvation.  Well versed, and with understanding in the facts pertinent to the ransom of our souls and our secure place with God our Father!  Or, as Paul said it: “…having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace…” Put on your shoes!

Scripture to claim:
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13

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