Recall what we read last week. Jesus, before he ascended to heaven, says to his disciples:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem (Here), throughout Judea (Near), in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Far).”Acts 1:8 (NLT)
Jerusalem was basically where the original followers of Jesus were from. We believe that every Christian is called to where they are from. We are planted by God here in the Marion/Polk County region, into our particular neighborhoods, workplaces and schools. There is no doubt about it: in God’s creative sovereignty, he wants you right where you are. Our job is to ask the Holy Spirit what our role is right here where we are. We never have to look very far to be the Light of the World. Our mission is right around us!
Judea and Samaria described the region near to the disciples. Samaria was the first cross-cultural influence that Jesus followers were called to. It wasn’t very far away, but the Holy Spirit would equip them to witness Jesus’ love and power across cultural lines.
Our world is constantly dividing us against each other. The Jesus follower recognizes the mission we have to lay aside our differences for the sake of being Jesus’ witnesses. Of course, this means being ready to cross ethnic and racial lines, but it also means that we are willing to engage with those who think politically differently than us. If Jesus called his original disciples to the ends of the earth, he is certainly calling us to build bridges with those who have an opposite political opinion than us.
I am convinced that the world could get a much more accurate picture of what Christians are, as we model respect and civility with our politics. This is a part of how we are witnesses of Jesus Near.
Every Christian has a role in the Kingdom expanding FAR—to the ends of the earth. Earlier this week, you read/heard more about my first experience in Guatemala.
We have a team headed to Xeo, Guatemala in May. Would you take time to pray over every team member today:
- Lacey Carlson (Leader)
- Alan Hopkins
- Tangye Hopkins
- Ashley Gerber
- James Gerber
- Alyssa Bowlby
- Jessica Doherty
- Dominique Ortega
- Caleb Harrison
- Kathy Petit
- Kristina McKay
Another way we are being light to XEO is by sponsoring children from the community. So far, we are sponsoring 50 children from the community, but there are dozens more who need to be sponsored. You can learn more AND sponsor a child right from our website: inewhope.org/ministries/missions
Take a few minutes to watch this recap video from our Fall 2019 XEO team. Don’t disqualify yourself from future teams. Pray first!