Practice: GO TOGETHER
WHAT’S THE POINT: The call on every single Christian’s life is to be Jesus’ witness everywhere they go.
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But 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.”
Share a story of where in your life you have shared your faith with someone and what their response was.
WHY DO I CARE?
Christianity in its nature is not about consuming but about sharing. It was really clear from the life of Jesus that one of his primary goals was to share the Kingdom of God. Those close to Jesus would have experienced before their eyes what it meant to know the Kingdom. Being a follower of Jesus, we are called to be his witness, filled by the power of the Holy Spirit so that everyone we encounter also gets a taste of what the Kingdom of God looks like. What does the kingdom of God look like? “The kingdom” is a big theme for Jesus. In the ESV translation, “kingdom” is mentioned 126 times in the Gospels. The basic meaning of the word “kingdom” in the Bible is God’s reign — R-E-I-G-N — not realm or people. The kingdom creates a realm, the kingdom creates a people, but the kingdom of God is primarily God’s reign. The purpose of God’s kingdom for us is to redeem and deliver us. To make us new. So, the easiest expression for us to experience the Kingdom of God is by knowing Jesus who came to redeem us and make us new. This is what it means to GO. It is simply sharing with those we encounter that Jesus came to make us new and that we, today, can experience is reign in our lives which brings freedom, joy, love, and purpose.
WHAT DO I DO?
As Christians, we can sometimes fall into two traps. The first is believing that ‘GO’ is for someone else to do. It’s for the missionaries, or the bible scholars, or the pastors. But Jesus’ earliest followers were not marked by their prestige or skills, but rather that they simply spent time with Jesus. The call on every Christian’s life is to spend time with Jesus and from that place, be empowered by the Holy Spirit to share the kingdom. Acts 1 gives us a good model as Jesus tells his disciples, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” In other words, Jesus is saying to his followers you will start in Jerusalem (your hometown/city), Judea (province/country), Samaria (where non-believers are/people you don’t get along with well), and the rest of the world. The second trap is thinking we must do this alone, or that we are not good enough to do it. This is why Jesus tells us that our power comes from the Holy Spirit and not ourselves. God partners with us as we represent Jesus. This means the pressure is off you. It’s not your job to make Christians… it is your role to represent Jesus well.
That call is for you. To represent Jesus to everyone you encounter, loving people well, sharing the good news that God can redeem us and make us new. That’s what it means to follow Jesus… so will you?