I just have to tell you.
I have this fire in my heart to go to the ends of the earths with the Good News of Jesus. It breaks my heart.. no, it shatters, and pierces and tears my heart to pieces to think about someone living all the moments of their life not knowing how loved they are by our sweet Jesus.
I’m going to start right here.
You, my friend, are loved by a Love that is stronger than you could ever fathom.
Jesus died for YOUR sins and rose back to life, from the dead, three days later.
When you believe that He died for your sins, you are forgiven and saved unto Heaven and can joyfully come into a relationship with God, your Maker and your Father.
That’s amazing. I love this thing we call the Gospel. It truly, truly is Good News.
In the beginning of Acts, right off the bat, Luke writes about the appearances of Jesus after He rose from the grave. He appeared to many, many people over a time of forty days.
In His last encounter with His apostles, I can just picture Jesus smiling, maybe even smirking, while describing to His apostles that they would receive the Holy Spirit once He Himself had ascended into Heaven.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Right after this, Jesus ascended to Heaven, as a cloud took Him slowly out of eye-range from His apostles, upward and up into those blue skies.
Girl, I can’t even imagine the gut-wrenching, soul-wringing feeling His apostles must’ve endured in those first few moments. Their friend, their Lord, their God in the flesh, who they had spent years with, wept and laughed and ate and danced with, literally journeyed through death back to life with, was gone.
Oh, how they must’ve longed for the Holy Spirit, described to them as their Helper, who would be with them always. How they must’ve cried and fell to their knees, praying the deepest and most groaning of prayers in those days after.
And then, on the day of Pentecost, their precious and fragile hearts were suddenly awakened with a blaze of divine power: the Holy Spirit fell like sweet, sweet rain.
Oh, how warmly embraced and intentionally looked upon their hearts must’ve felt. God’s Holy Spirit.. God Himself, with them, inside of them, for all their little moments. Beautifully beautiful.
And now, here we listen to the words of Jesus once more,
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
The Holy Spirit has come.
So now, we must go.
We must go to tell them of the Way, the Truth, the Life!
We must go to tell of Christ Jesus and His wonderful salvation!
We must, sister, we must follow Jesus to the ends of this world, for I am confident that we will find Him even among the jungle tribes in Ecuador, the desert nomads in Mongolia.
This is my heart. But, before I hop on a little rickety helicopter to the Amazon, let me tell you something oh-so-incredible that God taught me.
When our sweet, resurrected Jesus spoke those words to His apostles, they were in Jerusalem.
“…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem…”
Just sit for a moment. Before we can get to the ends of the earth, we must go to right where we are. Simply look down the street. In that coffee shop. At the gas station. We must go to our home, to our neighborhood, our town, our city.
We must reach our Jerusalem, first and foremost and upmost.
“…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea…”
Thinking in our geographic terms now, Jerusalem would be a city and Judea would be its “state.”
As Los Angeles is in California.
Sister, we must preach the Gospel in our hometown, and then naturally, may it extend and reach past our city walls into our state.
“…you will be my witnesses in Jersualem and in all Judea and Samaria…”
Samaria was a “neighbor state” to Judea. As Oregon would be to California.
Mhmm, our city, then our state, and then the next state and the next, soon covering our whole nation.
“…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Yes. Once we’ve covered our land, every town and city, every state in our own nation and culture, then we are takin’ this sweet thing to the next nation. To the next continent. To the next culture. To the ends of the earth.
This Gospel has got to spread grassroots style. We aren’t missing any beats. We aren’t going to skip any stairs, no no. We are takin’ this news of sweet Jesus to the world in a journey of integrity and intentionality.
One man at a time. We’re starting with one; we’re starting with our next-door neighbor, and journeying on to our over-seas neighbor, one beloved by one beloved.
He put another parable before them saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”
It all makes sense. It hit me.
This work of Jesus, it starts small and grows into the biggest, most powerful and wonderful of things.
God isn’t going to call me to the ends of earth before I’ve spread the Gospel to my “Jerusalem,” to my hometown.
One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. Luke 16:10
I want to be faithful. I want to be faithful to God and to the power of the Gospel and to my hometown. Sister, let’s tell of the Good, Good News of our sweet Jesus in our very own city, because there are still brothers and sisters in our communities that need to hear it.
It’s just crazy to think that some of the very people I walk by in the aisles of the grocery store, order coffee from, work alongside, and live next to will be on fire for Jesus one day. They just need to hear the Gospel.
How amazing that we are right there; we are right here. We are with them. God has us here, sweet sister, for a time such as this.
My heart burns to tell the ends of the earth the Gospel of my sweet Jesus.
But now, my hearts burns even more to tell my neighbors the Gospel of my sweet Jesus.
May we be faithful to our Jerusalem.
And trust that He will lead us onto our Judea, our Samaria, and oh yes, to the ends of the earth.
With much, much love. And a heart that the Holy Spirit has fallen upon. –Melissa
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