January 4, 2019
“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”
From Our “Here”…
These days a different kind of “footprint” is making headlines in environmental news stories — a “carbon footprint.” Your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted as a result of your energy use. Every time you drive a car, plug in a lamp, use an appliance, or fly a plane, you take part in a carbon dioxide-emitting process. Vehicles and power-generating facilities emit tons of CO2, and that gas traps heat in the atmosphere and contributes to pollution.
You don’t have to be a global-warming prophet of doom to believe that all of us have a responsibility to take care of God’s creation. So small “footprints” sound fine in principle.
But are there circumstances when our footprints should be big? Even huge? Yes.
Parents want their “footprint” on their children’s lives to be massive. There are so many godly choices to make, and sinful choices to avoid.
Spouses want their “footprint” of love to be inescapable for each other. Wives and husbands should never have to wonder if they are loved extravagantly.
In fact, love footprints need to reach everyone else we meet. That’s God’s command, that’s been His example to us, and followers of Christ are called to take that very seriously.
Godly love points to another area of “footprinting” that applies to all followers of Christ. We’re all commanded to “go into the whole world and preach the good news” (Mark 16:15). We’re to tell everyone about the good news of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection in our behalf.
…To God’s “There”
Many believers treat their “Mark 16:15 footprint” like their “carbon footprint.” They come and go at work or school or among friends and strangers, and leave little or any impression about the gospel’s life-transforming truth.
Ask yourself three very important questions: (1) Do the people around you know you are a follower of Christ? (2) Do they see that your relationship with Jesus shapes who you are and what you say and do? (3) Would they describe your life as one worth imitating, even if they do not yet have a relationship with Jesus?
As you seek to respond affirmatively to those three points, you will more closely align yourself with Christ’s mandate to preach the gospel. The remaining question, the one you should be asking yourself every day, is how might God be leading you to apply those points even more fervently? (1) How can you increase the circle of people who know you are a follower of Christ? (2) How can your public persona more closely reflect who Jesus is? (3) How can your life make the gospel irresistible to people who seek meaning and purpose in their lives?
Making the Leap
A “Mark 16:15 footprint” keeps a lost world in focus at all times, looking for an open door to be involved in outreach far and wide. Pray faithfully for missionaries who are boots on the ground around the world, give of your resources to help them expand their influence, and be listening to the voice of the Spirit for that moment when He might ask you to put your footprint somewhere new.