Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Gospel in Shoe Leather

Today I have a treat for you, Elizabeth, from my mastermind group. Elizabeth is an amazing woman. She has published an eBook of devotionals and she is working with a publisher on her first ink and paper book. Her writings inspire and challenge me to look to Christ-everyday.

Oh, and furthermore, Elizabeth makes awesome cards, and she tweets me about my fitness regime...i.e. am I getting up and exercising like I'm supposed to?

Elizabeth Johnson blogs at DogFur and Dandelions, where she shares devotionals, book reviews, and other real life stuff that encourages Christ-centered living. She recently released an ebook, Trust Hope Rejoice, which you can get for free by subscribing to her blog. And she’d love to connect with you on Twitter or Facebook!

What do your shoes look like? No, not your running shoes or your sandals or your high-heeled Sunday shoes. Your spiritual shoes. Even if you're barefoot {ahem}, you still wear some sort of spiritual shoes.

I'm thinking specifically of a quote by D. L. Moody, that great American evangelist from the 1800's. He was also a shoe salesman, but that's not what he was referring to in this statement:
"Every Bible should be bound in shoe leather."
In other words, the truths contained in God's Word shouldn't stay there.Every promise God makes, every command He gives, should be manifest to others by your daily life. They should be "lived out" on your own two feet! Your words, your attitudes, your actions and interactions -- all of these things tell others what you really believe. Every snapshot of your life that people see declares your own personal "statement of faith." Every moment you spend with another person demonstrates to that person what you believe about God. Your life becomes a Bible to those who may never read one. Your influence, your testimony, becomes a Bible to those who may never crack open its pages. So what Bible are others reading when they spend time with you?
  • If you constantly worry, your Bible says that God is not in control of everything.
  • If you gripe and complain about your circumstances, your Bible says that God is not good and that He has not ordained everything for your good.
  • If you live how you feel, pleasing yourself regardless of the effect on others, your Bible says that God's standards don't really matter.
  • If you reject or ignore someone based on their appearance, your Bible says that God cares more about outward conformity than inward transformation.
  • If you refuse to lend a helping hand to someone in need, your Bible says that God is not love and does not command love.
Get the picture? You see, it doesn't matter much what you say. It matters what you do. Actions really do speak louder than words, and they speak more consistently too. You can "talk the talk" until you're blue in the face, but if your everyday life doesn't back up those words... then do you really, truly believe them? Read what James says in his epistle, when writing about the need to "walk the walk" of true Christianity [2:26]:
"As the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead."
What good is a dead faith? Dead faith won't save you, and it certainly won't help anyone else. But faith that is backed up by works -- actions that prove the words are true -- will change lives. It will impact those who may never read a single verse in the Bible. It will proclaim Christ to those who may never attend a church service.

Your life may be the only Bible some people ever read. What kind of Bible are you sharing with them?

*Thanks, Elizabeth! What a great challenge for the new year.

The rest of you, my loyal readers, do check out her blog and Facebook page. Leave her some love!=)