In Acts 1 v 8 we hear Jesus’ commandment to his disciples just before he is taken to heaven through the ascension…
“Tell people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”
Jesus was telling his disciples to spread the Kingdom and tell of him in these places but we can still learn from this today. Jerusalem was their home town; he called them to be witness in their own town, Judea was their country; he called them to be witnesses in their country, Samaria was the enemy nation and he called them to be witnesses to their enemies and the ends of the earth well that’s the rest of the world. Jesus still calls us as his disciples to be witness in our home towns, in our nation, to our enemies and to the ends of the earth. It’s important we answer his call despite where he calls us, whether it’s to the far ends of the earth or to the streets of our own local towns, we still have to go with the same attitude of “Expressing faith through love” – Galatians ch5 v.6
For us as young people no matter where we’re called to go it’s important with keep 1 Timothy Ch 4 v 12 at heart…
“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith and your purity.”
We may be young, but in Gods eyes we’re certainly not useless. Jeremiah 29 tells us of how God has plans for us and these plans are regardless of age. We can achieve great things in life even at a young age. We may be looked down upon by people of this world but God won’t look down on us for being young, he wants us to live for him, reach out for him and share the gospel message age regardless.
In Luke Ch 11 v 28 Jesus said
“But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into action”
Surely then we should each feel it our duty not just to hear the word of God every Sunday but to live our lives in a way honouring to Christ. Throughout the New Testament we learn of Jesus love of sinners and the marginalised, therefore living life like his example is putting the word of God into action and how we should be living our lives to receive more blessings from God.
In the Tim Hughes song God of Justice it says
We must go
Keep us from just singing
Live to feed the hungry
Stand beside the broken
We must go
And this is how we should be living our lives, we should be stepping forward not just singing, we should be moving into action standing beside the broken feeding the hungry because as Jesus said in Matthew 25 When he talks of the final judgement
“When you did this to the least of my people you were doing it too me”
We’ll all be called to serve and witness for the Lord, for some this will be easier than others, but we may be called to give everything up for the Lord to sell up and go to distant lands and serve God there. It may simply be for a summer or for many years but throughout all our outreach we have to remember the words or Isaiah Ch 41 v 10 -13
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand…I am holding you by your right hand – I, the lord your God. And I say to you “Do not be afraid. I am here to help you”
From this we learn that if we put full trust in the Lord he will give us strength, he will help us and we need not be afraid because he will help us.
When we go out to witness and serve the Lord we’re provided with strength from God to do all things, he gives us the gifts of the Holy Spirit to help and aid us and in both the Old and New Testament God promises to give us strength. In Psalm 61 v 12 it says…
“With Gods help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes”
And in Philippians Ch 4 v 13 we learn that we can…
“Do all things with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need”
We should never fear being called by the Lord to serve him. We should remember that Christ said who ever wanted to follow him should shoulder his cross; ultimately (although unlikely today in our society) we should be prepared to die for our faith and love of God. Many of the first Christians and all of the disciples bar John and Judas, died as maytars for the faith. Still around the world, in countries where the Gospel is persecuted like China and the Philippines, many Christians are still killed for their faith and love of the Lord. (For more on this topic suggested reads include The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun, Jesus Freaks 1 and 2, And The God Smuggler by Brother Andrew)
In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul tells us of how the human body and the church body is made of many parts, he reminds us that in our lives we must work together to serve God, and how it’s the parts which seem to have the unimportant jobs which actually have the most important jobs. When it comes to our outreach and serving of the Lord we should work together, we shouldn’t want to take the job which gets the glamour and the earthly praise but we should take the job the Lord gives regardless of if we’re noticed on earth for doing it or not because as we’re reminded in the sermon on the mount God sees what the world doesn’t see and will reward us in heaven for that.
My final thought for the day is from the words of John. Near the end of his Gospel in Ch 16 v 33 he says
“Here on earth you will have many trails and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world”
We know we will face trails and tribulations, live isn’t going to be easy for us, we will be persecuted but we should never give up, we should follow the disciples example and live fully for God because he has overcome the world and will come again to judge the living and the dead.
So now I ask you the question, are you ready to answer the Lords? Will you go where he sends you? I challenge you to get up and go out there, we’re not just called to go to the ends of the earth but we’re also called to our home towns so do something, get yourself organised and get out there be witness in your own towns today!!