Barefoot Jesus

Posted: August 31, 2012 in build up, compassion, Disciple, Discipleship, Family, great commission, Mentor, mentoring

               Over the past year or so, I have been experimenting with barefoot, or minimalist, running shoes and have grown to love the way they make me feel.  By using my feet the way God intended, allowing the bones, tendons and muscles to strengthen by using them all as I walk or jog, the pain of bone spurs and plantar fasciitis has disappeared and my feet and legs are as strong as they have been for many years!  By embracing the way God has made my feet to function, I have discovered the way to utilize movement and design of the many parts of my feet to strengthen my feet, legs, body and mind.  The more I dig in and discover the natural way God has made us to move, the healthier I get and the better I feel in serving God to the best of my ability and to the strength of the gifts He has provided!
               I see our spiritual lives in much the same way. If we see the world the way God intended us to see it (with His eyes), then we would work in tandem with God in fulfilling His work here on earth!  I believe the reason so many people have a difficult time grasping the Christian life is because we have grown so accustomed to seeing the world from a secular perspective and not from a God perspective—a Biblical Worldview perspective.  When we see the world the way God does, our faith and walk with Christ makes sense.   By using the gifts and passions God has planted in us, we can join Him is His work and do so because that is how God has wired each of us. 
               God has made us all with a desire for a relationship with Him.  He also built us in way that requires relationships with others to be key for our growth and maturity in our lives with Christ.  God tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  He tells us help the poor, visit the imprisoned, treat the non-believer like a tax collector (by the way, Jesus loved the tax collectors and prostitutes – He didn’t condemn them the way we have grown accustomed).  Every interaction we have with others is an opportunity to represent Jesus in either a positive or negative way.  Every conversation we have can and must be a mentoring conversation as we show compassion and love to a broken world…and we hopefully draw a few of the people we have conversations with to the One Whom we follow!
               Jesus made it clear in what He had left for the Church to accomplish – to make disciples of all nations (see Matthew 28:18-20).  That makes perfect sense when you see it from His perspective.  Remember, He created us in His image.  He loves us beyond imagination and that is why He asks us to join Him in drawing people to His Kingdom…to be in relationship with Him! 
               I believe Jesus has a challenge for us all…right here, right now.  I believe He desires each and every one of us to fall deeply in love with Him – the One Who loved each and every one of us enough to die for us!  I also believe with all my heart that He is calling each and every one of us to build relationships with every person He brings us in contact with – from our families to the gas station attendant!  I believe if we do, and if we represent Christ well, those in which we build relationships will be drawn to Him and the Kingdom will overflow with people who love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ! 
               If I were to strip down Christianity to a barefoot approach, stripping away all the stuff we have added to it over the years that has caused division, pain, dissention and even hatred (denominational rituals, music battles, culture wars and the like) I would say it all boils down to what Jesus said in Mark 12:29-31 – Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD;  AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’  The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
               It’s very simple, and Jesus tells us plainly that He is the One true God and we are to Love Him and Love others!  Go out and look at the world a little different today.  Watch with Spirit eyes – looking at people with compassion and love, and quietly asking God to come along side you as you lean in and begin a simple conversation…extending your life to another, and representing Christ well…just think ahead at that day when Jesus looks you right in the eye and says, “Well done!  You have loved My people the way I love them!  Time to celebrate with those whom you have invested on My behalf!”  How awesome will that day be…and I look forward to be in my barefoot huarache sandals right along side my barefoot Jesus!
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