Amidst the recent excitement and buzz of members of our church leaving for a mission trip to Belize I started thinking about Acts 1:8 where Jesus said:
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. NIV
For me, this verse conjures up the image of concentric circles. You know, the ones formed when a pebble is tossed into a lake. When I was a kid, I spent weeks at Lake Benbrook with my grandparents. My grandmother, Memaw, was an avid fisherman. (She would not approve of the term fisherwoman). Fishing isn’t my game but I tossed many a pebble into the water. I would watch as the pebble broke through the glass-like surface and started to radiate a series of concentric circles, growing, one after the other. Acts 1:8 is like that.
In the Great Commission Jesus tells us what He wants us to do. He commands us to make disciples of all nations:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you… Matthew 28:19-20
Acts 1:8 shows us how we are to accomplish the Great Commission, and then it goes on to explain the power behind us as we obey. God personally equips each of us through the power of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
First, He equips us to share His message in our Jerusalem: our homes, our community, and the city where we live and work. Next, He instructs us to reach Judea and Samaria; this is our state, region and country. Last and certainly not least, He commands us to witness to the ends of the earth. This was His plan to saturate the world with His message. But how can we be all around the world at one time? (We aren’t omnipresent.) We can equip and send others, and financially support their endeavors to take the Gospel where we cannot go.
We are like the pebble thrown in the lake. God has placed us where we are and He wants us to be the center of our own concentric circles, spreading His word and radiating His love outward to those around us.
Start today, talk to someone about God’s love, do what you can to send others willing to go, and give financially to support missions and share the love of Jesus. The Gospel has the power to change someone’s destiny. How can we not share that message? How can we keep it a secret? If you’re not quite ready to talk to someone, read Acts 1:6-11. Study and pray for God’s insight on how to start your own concentric circles.