8 “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 1:8 (NIV)
These were the last words Jesus spoke to His apostles before He was taken up to heaven. This is the commission to bring the gospel to the world. Starting in close proximity (Jerusalem) they were then commanded to go and widen the radius of influence until all the ends of the earth were reached.
In Old Testament times the Holy Land was a center of civilization. I always wondered what the big deal was about Israel. It’s a tiny piece of land (250 miles north to south, 80 miles east to west). Why were so many wars fought over it? Why do so many people want this particular piece of land? I took a class on the Old Testament and the first few lectures answered my questions.
This piece of land was very strategic. To the west there was the Mediterranean Sea and to the east was the Arabian Desert. The quickest way to travel from the north of Mesopotamia to the south of northern Africa was through this tiny piece of land. Whoever controlled this strip of land controlled the trade route. It would be like owning a toll bridge. If someone wanted to pass, they had to pay you a toll.
But God had a different purpose in mind. This strip of land, the Holy Land, was where God’s chosen people were to reside. He knew people would be going through from the north and people would be going through from the south. People would walk through His Holy Land with the potential to be exposed to His holy gospel.
Athlete, what if we thought of the piece of land we’re standing on as a strategic piece of land? How many people pass by us every day? What if we viewed those people as people coming across our path with the potential to hear the gospel? As we travel, what if we viewed the location we’re currently in as a purposeful position -- as a place where God specifically has us for a purpose?
Prayer to consider today: Father God, I believe You do everything with a purpose, including putting me in the location where I am today and in the places where I will be tomorrow. Give me Your eyes and Your ears to be attentive to those around me. Help me to not get so caught up in my own world that I miss those people around me and a chance to show them Your love by serving them.
Reflect: How might you think differently about your physical location if you view it as a purposeful position?
Challenge: If you are in a small group or Bible study or meet with a few people on a consistent basis, ask those people how you together can have a purposeful position.
Outreach Challenge: Who are people you see on a continual basis throughout your week? Think about someone at the grocery store, your favorite coffee shop or even the gym. Who can you start building a relationship with? Start by initiating conversation and just getting to know more about that person.