The region I’m in is going through a drought right now so if you’re anywhere near an outdoor arena, you’re going to be in a cloud of dust every time a horse runs or a bull bucks.
Filling up for gas at after a rodeo, I looked down at my feet for the first time and was actually surprised at how thick the dust was and how far up my jeans it went.
Dust has a significant role to play in scripture in both the Old and New Testament. Disciples were told by Jesus to shake the dust from their feet when leaving a town in which the gospel was rejected.
It can be described as leaving the people cursed to their fate, which is the wrath of God, left unforgiven for their sins by rejecting the forgiveness that repentance can bring through a saving faith in Jesus’ death on the cross.
It more clearly is in instruction from Jesus to move on from where they are not wanted, knowing they shared the gospel and that they are not responsible that it was rejected.
Matthew 10:14-15 says, “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”
It’s hard to see people reject the message of Jesus and what he did for us when you understand the consequences of eternity in a perfect heaven or forever separated from God. It can truly be soul-crushing if we feel responsible for someone’s decision to reject the gospel.
I used to feel that pressure and sometimes still do, especially when it’s someone I know and care about personally.
But as Christians, our task is to share the gospel, not to force someone to see it out way, and the reality is, many people won’t.
At the end of Matthew, Jesus gives us all what’s called “The Great Commission” - to share the gospel and make disciples everywhere.
All of us share this responsibility; not to see that someone accepts it, but that it is clearly and lovingly communicated.
Most of us appreciate the value of hard work and getting our hands dirty. We can all be encouraged to get some dust on our boots by going out there somewhere to meet someone where they are to share the message of hope found in a saving faith in Jesus.
If you’re not sure how, let’s talk about it.
Scott Hilgendorff is the pastor for Cowboys of the Cross is a rodeo/bull riding ministry that leads cowboy church services and seeks to make disciples among the ranch and rodeo community. Find the organization online at CowboysOfTheCross.com .