Thursday, September 18, 2008

None of Your Business!

"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (John 7:37b)
Feeling a bit parched? Searching to quench that thirst with an iced tea or Diet Coke? Dive into the Word for real refreshment!I try to be diligent in my Bible reading and am often rewarded by God's speaking to my heart through particular scriptures. I pause and sometimes even write them down. The reflection usually ends there, however. This year, I would like to pursue the verses that God lays on my heart by pondering how He wants me to apply these verses in my life.
Here is what spoke to me this week:
Last Sunday evening I attended a church-wide Bible study led by our pastor on the book of Acts. It was scholarly, thorough, and intense, but the most impressive thing about the session was the application that we could make to our own lives. Two powerful points from just a few verses have lingered in my mind this week.
So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 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."
Acts 1:6-8
When the disciples asked when the Old Testament prophecy of the Messiah's restoring Israel to its privileged place would be fulfilled, He basically replied, "It's none of your business." With all of the speculation about the end times lately, this statement is a surprising punch. There are signs all around us that the end could be near; however, almost every generation since the time of Christ has anticipated that it would witness the Second Coming.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we shouldn't eagerly anticipate Christ's return. In fact, it should give us hope (Titus 2:12-14). We simply shouldn't let our anticipation overshadow our mission.
A few verses down, the disciples are wistfully staring into the heavens after Christ's ascension, wishing, I'm sure, that He were back on earth to lead them. Two angels appeared and redirected their attention to where it should be--the mission field (Acts 1:9-11).
Christ promised his disciples (and us) power through the Holy Spirit, and this power was to fulfill our mission of witnessing to others. Jesus then goes on to describe three concentric circles of our mission field. Let's start with the largest one first. We know that there are some people who have a heart for missions abroad. These people are attending to "the ends of the earth" mission field. Although we may not be in a situation where we would go abroad, we can still support this mission by supporting missionaries sponsored by our church and participating in activities like Operation Christmas Child.
The disciples' "Judea and Samaria" would be a smaller concentric circle, more locally concentrated, but not immediate. These efforts should be made to share the good news, in word and deed, to those closer to home but not in our everyday sphere of influence. Finally, the smallest concentric circle of the mission field is those with whom we come into contact every day: strangers we come across during our errands, acquaintances, friends, neighbors, and family.
I pass on to you the challenge that was given to me last Sunday: Are you going to stand looking at the sky wondering when Christ will return, or will you find a way to fulfill the mission that He left us?
So, what verses have spoken to you this week? Post those verses on your own blog, along with how you see that God wants you to apply them in your life. Then, provide your link below so that we can drink from one another's wells of scripture.


Kathryn said...

Excellent way to drill that down, Celly. While we should all be living in hopeful anticipation (and expectation!) of His second coming, we must be about His business in the meantime.

Jenn said...

This has been on my heart lately. I know I need to share God's word more freely. Thanks for a great post.

Deidre said...

Loved these words - they really spoke to me this morning :)

melissa said...

Beautiful thoughts~you are using your blog to witness to others every day. I love the word 'power' in vs. 8 that is used that we can receive from the Holy Ghost of how and where we can testify in our own sphere of influence. That is where true power comes from.
Anyway, thanks for filling my cup tonight~and for stopping by my blog~