“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, English Standard Version).
I sat in my usual pew on a recent Sunday morning, joining in worship with my church family. As I sat surrounded by these lovingly familiar faces, my thoughts began to whirl. Questions flooded my mind. Not questions of doubt, but questions of “what if.”
. . . my parents had been non-believers and I’d never been taught about the things of God?
. . . I lived in a part of the world where I was forbidden to worship openly?
. . . I lived where the law forbids owning a Bible?
. . . I’d been born where no one had ever taken the gospel?
Although these questions stirred an overwhelming spirit of thankfulness within me, I also felt sadness. Why?
. . . many children are never taken to church by their parents.
. . . many believers around the world suffer persecution for their beliefs.
. . . some governments ban people from owning a Bible.
. . . untold numbers have still never heard the name of Jesus.
As I mentioned, the two emotions that rolled through my mind were thankfulness and sadness. But a third feeling began to fill my mind as well: responsibility. What does God expect me to do about those who do not enjoy the same freedoms and blessings I have? Does one voice make a difference? What can I personally do to reach those who do not know the Lord?
. . . Pray.
We are instructed to pray for workers in the harvest. So many souls need the truth of God’s Word, but more workers are needed. “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37–38, ESV). I can also pray for those who do not have the freedom to worship God
. . . Proclaim.
I may not be a preacher, but I can still tell someone about the Lord. Each of us has a testimony and can tell others what the Lord has done in our lives. “And you will say in that day: ‘Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples proclaim that his name is exalted” (Isaiah 12:4, ESV).
. . . Provide Answers.
It may be someone at work or perhaps a neighbor who has questions—and you are the one nearest them with the answers. They long for the peace they see in your life. Allow God to use you. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (I Peter 3:15, NIV).
. . . Provide Support.
Although I may not be able to travel to the far corners of the world with the gospel, I can support others who do go. God blesses the giver as well as the one who goes. “The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself” (Proverbs 11:25, NJKV).
I really am thankful for God’s mercy in my life, but I want to accept the responsibility of doing whatever possible to see others enjoy this same relationship with Him.
Prayer: Lord, You have promised power to those filled with Your Spirit—power to be witnesses wherever You place us in life. Please use me in whatever way possible to see others become Your disciple.