Coming off our Disciple Now weekend, themed Impacting My Space With God, I made a new discovery about what my “space” really is. There is a banner on our Youth room wall that displays Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my (Christ’s) witnesses is Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” We have been trying to embrace this as a major goal in each of our lives, as well as a unified group, thus creating the idea for this past D-Now weekend. When we consider being a witness for Christ in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the end of the earth, we must dial in exactly what and where those places are and how we (personally) can make an impact. Through talking with many of the Youth who attended D-Now God has brought me to the conclusion that everywhere we go is our Jerusalem. Let me break this down, and I’m going to start with the world-view.
“The end of the earth” is pretty self-explanatory, in that it lets us know, as Christ-followers, that we have a duty to spreading the Word of God for the sake of His kingdom. The Youth program at Quinault is heading to Haiti during late July and early August to make sure we’re meeting this call. Haiti, for us North-westerners, is considered to be part of this world-wide vision that Christ describes in the passage. We feel it is important to answer the call to take the message of Jesus to the ends of the earth, and Haiti is one way we are doing that.
“Samaria” would include a viewpoint that isn’t quite so broad as “to the end of the earth,” but it certainly does imply a rather large physical territory for us to reach. It describes a land mass (and people group) that is part of the United States and/or even North America. Another group of students (and adults) at Quinault is heading to Salt Lake City, Utah on July 3rd, 2009 for a mission trip organized by World Changers (WC). This trip may sound familiar to you as many of the Quinault Youth went of the same mission trip last summer. We are going down there to repair/build homes for the less fortunate. We felt very strongly the hand of God being present last summer, and we are excited to be getting back there to serve in this manner.
“Judea” would be an area consisting of the Northwest and its surroundings. Places like Seattle, Bozeman, Spokane, Portland, Boise, northern California, and even parts of Western Canada would be considered part of this geographical area. Certainly it is part of the world, and part of North America, but it has a much more localized focus. If you don’t already know, the Pacific Northwest, in conjunction with the North-eastern United States (which is a recent development), has the least evangelized communities and the least number of Christ-followers per capita than anywhere else in the nation. These are a couple of very tough eggs to crack as people become more and more secluded from human contact. People in these areas are truly becoming introverted with a few very close friends and very little human contact. The Youth of Quinault have been working on ways we can reach out to the people in our current day Judea.
Jerusalem for Jesus’ disciples was their immediate surroundings of the city they lived in. This would translate, for us, as the Tri-Cities and Columbia Basin area. I would put a 50-75 mile radius on this one to keep us pretty close. Specifically, this would include Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, Benton City, Finley, Burbank, and other “very close” communities.
What impacted me the most during our D-Now weekend was this:
~Wherever we are physically located at any given time, we are in Jerusalem. What I mean is, whether I’m in Kennewick, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Haiti, or China, my immediate surroundings are the “Jerusalem” that I am charged by Christ to witness to. This is huge! This means that no matter where I am in the world Jesus wants me, since I have received the Holy Spirit, to be His witness... right there... Not just when I get back to Kennewick; not just when I get to church on Sunday; not just when I’m with my friends. He wants me to be His witness no matter where I am! The impact I have on my immediate surroundings are what Jesus wants me to be concerned with! “My space” is right where I am whenever I’m there.
Whether I’m walking along a dirt trail in China, or a sidewalk in Richland, whoever I come into contact with is someone I can be a witness to... someone I can show the light and the love of God to with my words, attitude, and actions. God has sent the Holy Spirit to empower us, and keep us from fear, while we are telling His story. Shine the light that God has given you, and don’t be afraid to share His story, His love, and even your story to people you encounter in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the rest of the world!