“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Almost 8 billion people inhabit this blue marble called Earth and every individual needs to hear the gospel. That’s a staggering thought. But there are more statistics to consider. Out of that 8 billion, over 150,000 people die every day. A quick calculation determines that’s over 6,000 souls that slip into eternity every hour, with many never hearing the gospel. If this doesn’t serve as a wake-up call, then I cannot think of anything that will arouse you!
With all these people, how are we to “win the world” for Christ? Thankfully, Christ didn’t leave us to our own devices in fulfilling the Great Commission (Mt 28:19-20). He promises empowerment from on high in Acts 1:8. However, this verse not only gives the promise of the Holy Spirit’s enabling power but also gives a practical paradigm, too.
Notice the progression from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria, then to the remotest part of the earth. The Apostles began their gospel witness where they were in Jerusalem. The key to winning the world for Christ is starting in your neighborhood. If you aspire to be a foreign missionary, don’t panic. The Apostles didn’t stay in Jerusalem, but they were faithful to present the gospel where they were located. Who knows, God may call you to serve on distant shores, but regardless of if you ever receive that call, be faithful to serve Him in your current city or context. There are people that need Jesus everywhere. Be the salt and light (Mt 5:13-16) and start next door.
Golden light filters its way through fiery leaves struggling to keep there grasp on life. You can smell the aroma of earth as farmers turn peanuts over for harvest. Hunters are seen with fluorescent orange vests, sipping steaming coffee, at crowded convenience stores in morning; heading to or returning from their tree-stands. Can you believe it’s already October in South Georgia, again?
This time of year brings images of pumpkins, candy corn, and fall festivals to the forefront of my mind. Also, it brings to mind the endless debate over whether or not Christians should participate in Halloween. I know people have strong opinions on this topic and I don’t want to down play their convictions. If your conscience won’t allow you to engage in any of the festivities, then by all means don’t! But personally, I think we have a prime opportunity to share our faith in creative ways!
Think about it! What other “holiday” (I use the term loosely) brings people to our front door? We could use this to our advantage. Here are 4 ways we can see Halloween turned into a true “Harvest time” for souls:
- Give “Testa-mints” or candy with Scripture on it. God said, “My Word will not return void”!!
- Give out glow sticks with the words, “Light of the World”, taped to it. As you distribute them, share the gospel message with all who receive them. Also, this is a practical gift! It makes kids visible to traffic.
- Simply hand out gospel tracts to those who appear on your steps.
- Finally, pray over the kids as you put candy in their bags. Don’t be afraid… think about it, they’re on your porch! Pray for a safe and fun night for all.
Of course this is not an exhaustive list, but please share your idea(s) on how to redeem the Halloween season in the comments below!