th (43)

”But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NIV

After finishing my blog on Sunday, I sent out a few text with a link to the blog to a few people. A few minutes later my phone rings from Pastor Ab Javine, who had just gotten a text. He was in Mexico at that very moment talking with a Mexican pastor and his family. He had been sharing about his ministry in Tuscaloosa and some of the events that we host. Then the Mexican pastor gets on the phone and speaks a blessing over my family and me. Pastor Ab asks me to bless this Pastor, his family, and their ministry, whom I have never seen nor talked with before this moment. As I hung up the phone, I realized that God had given me a chance to touch the nations, while sitting in my chair in the living room.

When you are empowered by the Holy Spirit one of the expected overflow signs is increased influence among people to share the good news of Jesus. On the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came, 120 followers of Jesus were empowered by the Holy Spirit to share about Jesus. 3000 became followers that day. Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit you can expect to have a spiritual influence or impact in other’s lives.

Who should you be looking for? Jesus said lift up your eyes, the harvest is plentiful.

  • Jerusalem is your close immediate contacts in the sphere of where you live. It could be your neighbors, school mates, fellow employees, or those of whom you have a shared mutual hobby or entertainment. Are your friends and relatives all followers of Jesus?
  • Judea are the people that you know about, but have less contact with them. Usually there is already a common event, task, relationship, or job that brings you together. Conversations are easier to start because of this shared experience. If you could identify five people in this grouping, what words or actions could you display  to them to advance the “good news of Jesus”?
    • The easiest path for ministry to these friends is to listen for one of their felt needs and ask if you can pray for that situation. Tell them you believe that Jesus is alive and real, that He cares about our needs, and He invites us to talk with Him asking for His help. Most would appreciate the gesture and receive prayer. Your prayer opens the door for more conversation about the intimacy of relationship that you share with Jesus.
  • Samaritans were known as the mixed children of Israel. The  true Jews would travel a far distance just to avoid going through their towns and cities. With this imagery in mind, some have suggested that Samaria would be represented by the “others”, the people you try to avoid. This group might be revealed by your own thoughts of prejudice against a people group. Some think it could be categorized by those living in the inner city. Perhaps you have said that ministry is hard on “that side of town.” Maybe you have lumped the needy into one grouping of people being so needy that they are “hard to reach”.
    • Every city, town or nation has “Samaritans” that need the unconditional love of Jesus expressed to them. Read John 4 about the Samaritan woman and Jesus reaching out to her and the town in which she lived. Where do you come in contact with the “hard to reach”? Ask God to open your eyes to see how many times you pass them by, unnoticed. Recognize that all start in this group of needing a savior, including you and me.
  • The ends of the earth represents the people groups in which no or limited message of the gospel exists among that group. Of the 17,000 people groups on the earth, 7000 are still considered unreached. The top 50 have 1.3 billion people living among them with less than 2 percent even claiming to be Christian. Let that sink in for a moment. Without the supernatural intervention of Jesus, these people have zero opportunity to hear the message of salvation.
    • One person said, “In America, since you did not go, God is bringing the nations to you, so you still have the opportunity to share the gospel.” Here is a simple method to reach the foreigners among you.
      • Build bridges through love and acts of kindness.
      • Pray for their needs and families.
      • Invite them to read the stories of the Bible.
      • Share the invitation of Jesus to be one of His children.

As a follower of Jesus and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit you are poised everyday with impacting influence for the gospel. May you be blessed with eyes to see afresh and anew those whom God places in your path so that you can be the expression of Jesus love. Influence will impact your time. Your schedule gets interrupted. Sometimes it will feel unrewarding. Keep moving forward, you are influencing lives for eternal impact.

May you be blessed this week and beyond with spiritual power and influence.

Blessing Love y’all