Acts 1:8… “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.”
In this text in Acts, we see the clarion call of Jesus to be witnesses of Him in three areas: first Jerusalem, then Judea and Samaria and then to ends of the earth. You could take that as Jesus giving a mandate to spread the Gospel locally, nationally and then internationally. We take that verse and describe it like this: We need to be a witness to those who are across the aisle, across the street and around the world.
From the beginning of our pastorate at SIWC we wanted to be a church that wasn’t internally focused only, but also one that was externally focused. The Father’s business is one of growth. Growth comes through witnesses who have received the power of the Holy Spirit, traveling purposefully to the areas where hungry people are waiting.
For too long the church has been satisfied with shining our light into places that are already lit up with the Gospel. The purpose of the church and the reason you have the power of the Holy Spirit, is to take your light and spread it into the dark places. Light stands out much better in the darkness. More people can see the light in dark places than when it is just blending in with other light.
We have the power in us to fulfill this mandate of Jesus. Don’t be afraid of dark places, for you are the light of the world. When light comes in, it dispels the darkness and all that it represents. The reason the world is so dark is that all those who have light are huddled within the four walls of the church. When we break out of the church, we will break the stronghold of darkness!When we decide to be on purpose across the aisle, across the street and around the world, the world will be a brighter place.
Spreading light into the darkest of places takes a purposeful mindset. This task, at times, can seem daunting and the needs endless. Often, people disqualify themselves out of missional work for a lack of experience! The mandate Jesus gave us, was to share our experience with Him, to others. That’s the simplicity of the mandate, witness! A witness simply tells others what they saw, heard, felt and touched. If you have an experience with Jesus, then you can be a witness. Whether you witness locally, nationally, or internationally, you are fulfilling the mandate given to us.
In 2019, there will be opportunities for you to head out and be the light! That’s the sign you were waiting on! Now you must do it, and do it on purpose.