COVID-19

D.L. Ellis-Johnson

Footprints

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, Your God reigns.” Isaiah 52:7 (ESV )

Rather often, we hear the word “footprint” today. Typically, a footprint is a marked effect, impression, impact, an image of the foot on a surface, or a range of operations by services (i.e., a global footprint).1 Everything in life leaves “a footprint” of one kind or another. Footprints are revealing, and they tend to tell us something about the creature, organization, or person that left the imprints behind.

Tracks can help prove that an individual committed a crime, and the picture of a child’s tiny inked foot on a birth certificate is reminiscent of new life and hope. The renowned poem, Footprints in the Sand, reveals God’s providence through His footprints during life’s grim moments. Prints may survive for an indefinite time,2 and reportedly an astronaut’s footprint can last for a million years on the moon.3 The Bible does not mention the word “footprint,” but the Scriptures refer several times to peoples’ feet.

After Moses died, God told Joshua, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses” (Joshua 1:3). As they prepared to cross the Jordan River, “Joshua said, And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing…and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water…the waters coming from above stood and rose up on a heap very far away… And the people passed over opposite Jericho” (Joshua 3:1016). God anoints our feet!

Jesus said to the seventy-two disciples who returned with great joy from every town and place where He would go “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you” (Luke 10:19). Engaged in spiritual warfare, we are instructed to be clothed with the full armor of God, which includes “fitting our feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace” (Ephesians 6:15). God is concerned for our feet. Evangelists proclaim the good news over much territory and many geographical regions!

We leave “footprints” in the very soils where we preach. However, more importantly, we leave behind indelible impressions of God’s grace, mercy, love, and salvation in the hearts and minds of people, nations, and institutions we serve. The Apostle Paul quotes from Isaiah 52:7 as he asks, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have not heard? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news” (Romans 10:14-15). Have you considered that heaven regards your feet as beautiful as you proclaim the gospel?

Initially, a “messenger of good news” (mĕbaśśēr) is introduced. The arrival of this person is a welcomed surprise and a “beautiful” sight to behold, for the people were anxiously waiting to hear what he would say…The focus is primarily on the message this runner speaks. Human proclamation appears to be the means God has chosen to spread the news of his coming; thus, every messenger of God’s salvation plays a fundamental role in spreading the good news that God reigns. The “good news” (the gospel) that God reigns gives hope and courage to all who hear this news.4

Christ commissions the church. “He said to them, go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). As evangelists, we have seriously undertaken Christ’s divine mandate, and we fulfill our calling enthusiastically (Philippians 2: 12-13). We are called, chosen, and given the grace to evangelize the world for Christ’s sake. We are God’s heralds today.

In this global pandemic that has affected millions of people, it is amazingly gracious to realize God has chosen us to be messengers of His good news. Every step you and I take in advancing the Kingdom leaves “a footprint,” an indelible impression on the hearts, minds, and souls of people. Footprints are remarkably impressive, and the footprints you and I leave will last not only a few minutes or hundreds of years, but for eternity!

 


[1] “ Footprint.”Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster. Accessed 13 Apr. 2020.

[2] Legal Match. What is a Footprint? 

[3] Ali Sundemier

[4] G. Smith,  Isaiah 40-66,  The New American Commentary, Vol. 15B, (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2009), 422-24.

D.L. Ellis-Johnson has served the church, community, and incarcerated people for more than thirty years. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, he has ministered in 26 countries. He is a Bible teacher, Christian educator, theologian, preacher, and pastor to many! The founder of Lifeline Ministries International, his vision is to change the world by helping people change. Donald is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas, and a doctoral student in Southwestern Theological Seminary, Fort Worth. He resides in the Dallas, Texas area. He is the author of a newly released book, "This Far By Grace, the incredible story of one man's journey out of darkness into God's marvelous light" by D.L Ellis-Johnson.