Jonathan's Perspective  

Jun 12

'Purpose and Power'

"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." ~ Jesus (Acts 1:8)

The Holy Spirit was and is sent for a purpose: To empower the disciples (and us) to witness to Jesus' life, death and resurrection from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth.  I can't imagine the disciples undertaking the incredible task of sharing the good news to foreign lands under persecution.  Thomas embarked on one of the most amazing journeys to share the gospel.  He traveled all the way to India talking about Jesus and inviting people to enter the Kingdom of God.  My wife met someone from India some years back.  The fellow said that he was a Christian so Mary Kay asked how he became a Christian.  She expected a story of British or American missionaries, but was stunned when the man told her that his family gave their lives to Christ when Thomas came to India.  In other words, the gospel shared by Thomas 2,000 years ago continues to bear fruit throughout today! 

Today in our culture we do not face anything like the persecution of the early church, and, yet, we often are timid to talk about Jesus to family, friends and coworkers.  However, the same mandate given to the first disciples is for us contemporary disciples.  What is your Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth? 

I think of Jerusalem as being the core of my family.  I am called to share the gospel with my wife and children to help them faithfully walk with the Lord.  Judea is my set of friends.  These are the ones who know who I am and what I believe.  This is the next circle of influence.  The next circle as we move outward is Samaria.  This is a place where people have mixed values, priorities, and thoughts about God.  This group is your coworkers.  This becomes a bit more difficult for us.  But God does not expect us to start a work bible study, or prayer group.  Our witness comes from seeing the hurt, frustration, and brokenness in our colleagues' lives.  Taking a minute or two to ask about what is going on and how you can help is a great witness to God's love.  Asking if you can pray for them is even better.   Finally, the ends of the earth are those opportunities for you to go to other places in the US or abroad.  These include building projects, medical missions, children's ministries, and evangelism.  The most practical way we can participate in bringing Jesus to the ends of the earth is through praying for missionaries and mission partners abroad.  You could also sponsor a child through World Vision or Compassion International.  Mary Kay and I have sponsored children in Hattie since the first year of our marriage some 27 years ago.

You play a unique role in sharing the good news of Jesus.  You have influence in people's lives that no one else does.  You have trust and respect among people that you alone touch.  The only way you can fulfill your mission is to share the gospel with your family, friends, colleagues, and the ends of the earth is to be empowered by the Holy Spirit.  I encourage you to pray for the Holy Spirit's power to show you who he wants you to witness to, and give you the words to say.  God wants you to do great things for the Kingdom.  When you do, you will find deep joy and a fulfilling life.

Seeking Life that is Truly Life,

Jonathan

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