How to be clothed and in your right mind: “And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” Colossians 3:14 MSG
A must for balancing ambitious attitudes. “Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense.” Colossians 3:13 MSG
The righteous fashion statement: “…dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.” Colossians 3:12 MSG
Transformation 101: “Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it..old fashions are now obsolete.” Colossians 3:10 MSG
Handle with care. “Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk.” Colossians 2:8 MSG
Theology 101: “School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:7 MSG
Have you been given a gift? Paul writes: “My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given.” Colossians 2:6 MSG
Having thoughts of loneliness? “Know that I’m on your side, right alongside you. You’re not in this alone.” Colossians 2:1 MSG
The Message Bible has an interesting thought on this verse. Deep nuance doesn’t equate mature. “To be mature is to be basic.” Colossians 1:28 MSG
“…And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” Romans 10: 14-15; ESV
There are people who are natural born salesmen. They know the challenge of marketing and are able to convince folks to buy. And then there are individuals who passionately promote because they’ve discovered something has improved life. These don’t look at souls as if they were marks with ‘bulls-eyes’ painted on the back of heads; they reach folks because they’ve discovered something life changing.
Selling is not for everybody, but a passion behind a transformed life is. To someone who’s received the infinite value of salvation helping others becomes second nature—they are messengers of good news: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Let’s think about the anatomy of this ‘new-life’ messenger. In Isaiah 53, verse 7, we begin with:
- The Feet
“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.’”
The point being—all good news begins with a publisher of hope and peace! God is looking for publishers, folks that will ‘walk’ the message of The Writer to others. It really doesn’t matter whether you’re carrying the good news to a remote village in India or a fashionable living room in Beverly Hills; the idea is to move your feet and spread your passion: “your God reigns!” Secondly, we have:
- The Knees
The messenger must have the knees of prayer. Even the apostle Paul realized this! In Ephesians 6, verses 18 and 19 he formulates: “…making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,”
Are you shy about sharing the good news! You’re not alone! Paul needed folks on their knees to add boldness to his words. Publishing good news isn’t as easy as Paul made it look. A messenger needs knees. The third element of the anatomy of a messenger is:
- The Hands
When writing to the Thessalonians, Paul puts this third thought this way; 1 Thessalonians 2, verse 9:
“For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers.
He’s saying something like, “you saw firsthand our hands working and involved in your life.” There’s something about working side-by-side with others, with our hands, that’s proof of the life of Christ. Now, it can’t be only our hands doing good deeds for others, there also must be the fourth element of the messenger’s anatomy:
- The Mouth
We actually need to engage words with our hands. This can be a tough one. Generally I find it’s difficult because of a lack of something significant to say at the right moment. Isaiah seems to indicate he learned a secret. We read in Isaiah 50, verse 4:
“The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.”
What I hear from God I can speak with my mouth throughout the day—why not? Starting the day with a verse from heaven can create something of significance for others. It gives the mouth a weighty word to speak. And the final element, and most important of all the anatomy of the messenger is:
- The Heart
We read in 1 Corinthians 13, verses 1 and 3:
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
All other parts of the messenger’s anatomy hinge around this one key—the heart of love. I can have feet to walk mountains, knees to pray up a storm, hands of action, perfect words—but without a heart of love there is nothing. I can burn all my hours as a messenger of Christ, but without love it’s futile, nothing is gained.
Here are five elements to experiment with and put the passion of new life to work—it the “The Anatomy of a Messenger.”
J. Robert Hanson