Does Nike make Gospel Cleats? ~ blog

 In Daily Encouragement

OK, I need to issue another apology. Not all guys with old pickup trucks with a gun rack, confederate flag, and dog in the back are racists. I guess with something this serious it was in poor taste to use that illustration, so if I offended you, I apologize. Now you can go and floss your tooth in peace. Oh, crap there I go again.  Preemptive apology offered.

For those of you who are new to receiving my emails of encouragement just to let you know I try to inject humor into these writings to bring some comic relief to a subject that is very serious. I know many of you are hurting from what this sin has brought into your life. I do not mean to make lite of that at all because I went through some of the darkest days of my own life when my sin was exposed, and I confessed all to my wife.

The reason I write these emails is to encourage you on a daily basis so let’s get to that today.

I have been writing about how to put on the full armor of God because we are all in a battle with our flesh and demonic forces daily.  We are told to flee youthful lusts, but we are also told to stand strong against demonic forces. In order to do that God has told us we must daily be putting on the full armor of God. To ignore that command is to not take your reality seriously, think that you can deal with it, or do not take the time to pray on your armor.

Might I suggest that in not doing that you are foolishly ignoring one of the most important things you need to do on a daily basis? I have had many men tell me that learning how to do this and then actually doing it has helped them in powerful ways in their recovery.

So, we learned that putting on the belt of truth means we need to know the truth and tell the truth. Knowing the truth is not referring to Bible reading only but knowing the truth about yourself and the world going on around us. And may I suggest there are a lot of half-truths and even lies to be heard on the news stations today. So, if you want to know the truth you may need to do a little research and fact-finding before forming your opinions.

Yesterday, we learned that putting on the breastplate of righteousness means two things. Understanding that God has declared us righteous and holy already because of the finished work of Christ. Then, as we go through our day, we need to do the next RIGHT thing when we are being tempted. I have learned to do this by simply asking myself this question;

“John what is the next right thing you need to do right now.”

At first, it was a little odd and it took repetition to make it my response to temptation, but as time has gone by it is now almost automatic.

Next in the full armor of God is looking at the shoes you are wearing;

“…and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”

This one is more difficult to figure out exactly how to do this. Perhaps we need to have a pair of “gospel shoes” we wear when telling others about Christ. I believe the key word is “readiness.”  And the shoes the Roman soldiers wore were the forerunners to cleats with nails driven through the bottom, so they were not slipping on the ground of battle.

Sometimes we as Christians find ourselves on slippery ground. Those times when you are with non-believers and the discussion turns into sexual conquests or glorifying some kind of sinful achievement that men sometimes boast about. What do you do?  What do you say?

Just joining in becomes a bit of a challenge and just turning around and walking away would seem strange or even rude to the others. You know God does not ask us to carry around with us a 10-pound large print King James Version of the Bible and bash people over the heads to make a point. We are called to be salt and light.

So, I believe what putting on the shoes means is that everywhere we are and with anyone we are with we need to take a stand for Christ by being His representatives. We are called ambassadors in 2 Corinthians 5:20;

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

This means that as we live our lives, we are to represent Christ. Are there times we might need to not involve ourselves in ungodly conversations or activities? Yes, but please do not do it in a self-righteous way that offends others. Take a stand as Christ showed us in the Gospels. He was a friend of sinners and spent time with the “ungodly” people of his day and showed us the real ungodly were the ones who appeared to be the godliest, the Scribes and Pharisees.

In these days of turmoil and the culture wars that are raging it seems to me that some Christians have moved to the far right and have become right-wing extremists. This has happened in an effort to counterbalance the left-wing extremists. People on both ends of the debates often become offensive and are attacking the others.  My friend this is not how we are to be representing Christ.

It is a delicate matter to be in the world and not of the world. So, finding the place to stand strong against demonic forces is one thing we need to do daily. However, relative to the world we are told to share the gospel in such a way that we are representing Jesus and do what He did while on earth.  He was known as a friend of sinners for He came to seek and save the lost and did it with love and kindness.

In our efforts to take our stand against demonic forces let us stand strong but in our posture in dealing with others may we create the opportunity to share Christ by being like Christ in all we think, do, and say.

Stand strong in the strength of the Lord today and represent Jesus as He would have us do.


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