When I was younger, I was convinced I would become famous. I didn’t know how it would happen; I figured it would just happen. Maybe a talent scout or tv producer would notice my charisma and outstanding sense of humor and put me on tv. Perhaps a tennis instructor would see my potential, and I’d soon be playing Wimbledon. I knew I wouldn’t get famous playing golf. Those of you who have golfed with me know that’s the truth! Maybe a record producer would hear my deep, rich voice, and I’d be accepting Grammies in no time. Regardless of how it happened, I’d become famous and change the world.
Fast forward to today. Obviously, I’m not famous. I’m still trying to get people to spell my name correctly. I’ve replaced tennis with pickleball. The term “joyful noise” best describes my singing voice, and not even my wife laughs at all my jokes. So, what does that have to do with changing the world?
Today’s world is very strange and only getting stranger. Things that I thought were wrong are now considered “ok”. Values, morals, beliefs, and kindness are becoming notions of the past. Sadly, most people only care about themselves these days. So, what’s my point?
There are people in this world who have the wealth, power, and connections to see the whole world and interact with millions of people and change nothing. I don’t have those types of resources, so I know I won’t change the world like that.
Consider this verse of Scripture where Jesus is speaking to His followers after He had risen from the dead.
“And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” Mark 16:15 (NLT)
Here’s the dilemma. We don’t have the resources to reach the whole world, but Jesus has commissioned all believers to share the Good News. What do we do?
In this verse, Jesus is addressing His disciples. We know them now as The Rock, Doubting Thomas, the Sons of Thunder, and the Tax Collector. They would go on to share the Good News with everyone, write books of the Bible, and even die for their beliefs. At the time of the Great Commission, however, they were just average men. They had all recently abandoned Him during His toughest hours, yet here Jesus is telling them to take this great message to everyone.
When we have great news to share, who do we tell first? Our closest friends and family. I’m sure the disciples all had those people in their lives, just like we do. Wives, children, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and close friends who know all about us and still love us! We all have that sibling who beat up on you even though you were the older brother. Or that uncle who played catch with you in the backyard or the best friend from school with whom you got into a lot of trouble. I’ll bet you have someone in mind right now!
You see, nobody can tell your testimony better than you! You know what God has done for you better than anyone. I have an awesome testimony that I don’t tell nearly enough. Ask me about it sometime. Our worlds consist of our families, friends, co-workers, church members, neighbors, the coffee baristas you see all the time, doggy daycare workers, and store cashiers. This is our mission field! This is the world YOU can reach!
I’m hoping at this point, we are going through our mental catalog of these people. Do my co-workers see Jesus in me? Have I invited my family to a church service or Bible study, or am I worried it will be awkward? What about the other parents at your child’s sporting event? You see them every week. Have you even talked to them?
You may be saying, “C’mon man. Nobody wants Jesus forced on them.” That may be true, but we aren’t shy about sharing our political views, opinions of our favorite sports teams, the pizza we ate, parenting tips, or the cute thing our dog did. I struggle with trying to reach my world too. I let the distractions of life keep me from sharing the Good News with others, but I’m reminded of this verse in Matthew 10: 32-33,
“Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.” (NLT)
Some of us will or have traveled to different areas of the world, but for most of us, our world, our people, and our areas are where we are right now. I believe God knows how to use His army; because of that, we may be the only ones capable of reaching certain people. For instance, I will most likely never be able to reach your grandmother, and you may never meet my co-workers, but maybe, just maybe, we’ve been put in these specific situations and certain people placed in our paths because God is asking us to share the Good News with them.
Lastly, there will be things you may say to yourself, like:
“My testimony isn’t very powerful.”
“I’ve done too many things wrong to share Jesus with anyone.”
“I don’t know how to witness.”
“I don’t have anyone to share Jesus with.”
These statements are all lies whispered to or told to keep us from really going out and changing our worlds! Don’t believe those lies! God has given us the same power the apostles had when they changed their worlds.
There are so many people in all of our worlds who need Jesus. So many broken, hurting, scared, sad, angry, and sick people who need their worlds changed by the Miracle Worker! If you want to see a change, you need to go out and be that change.
Rahl is an integral part of Refuge Church and he can be found serving in many areas. If you get a chance to spend time in his company, you will appreciate his quick wit and willingness to be transparent about all Jesus has done in his life.