Our words can have a lasting impact on someone as they have the ability to lift up a person or pull them down. I have reflected on what I have said in the past and wished I had never said it. But equally there have been things I said that really helped a person and encouraged them. It happens to all of us and this is the reason why the Bible talks about ‘Taming our Tongue’. James said “But no man can tame the tongue… With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the image of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing…” James 3:8-10a
However, there has been a lot said that has been memorable and even changed the course of an event or situation. Famous quotes have motivated us for years and still today are used to encourage and inspire people to achieve something great.
Do you remember what these people have said?
Never, never, never give up. Winston Churchill
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It always seems impossible until its done. Nelson Mandela
The things which are most important don’t always scream the loudest. Bob Hawke
If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman. Margaret Thatcher
Jesus also said many things that are life changing to us which help with our circumstances and encourage us to be all we can as we live in Him. One of the last things He said before ascending into Heaven is found in Acts 1:8
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Jesus Christ
What Jesus said to the disciples that day changed everything for them and the way Christianity would spread around the world. These words were the catalyst to starting the first church and still help the church today to pursue mission through obedience to the Great Commission of preaching the Good News everywhere.
The promise Jesus said in Acts 1:8 was fulfilled:
The disciples received Power…
Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared to them tongues as of fire, being distributed and resting on each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to speak. Acts 2:2-4
The Gospel was preached in Jerusalem…
So the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples grew rapidly in Jerusalem, and a great number of the priests were obedient to the faith. Acts 6:7
The church scattered…
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem. And they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. Acts 8:1, 4
Through Paul and friends, the Gospel spread further…
For thus has the Lord commanded us: ‘I have established you to be a light of the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And all who were ordained to eternal life believed. The word of the Lord was spread throughout the entire region. Acts 13:47-49
We go into all the world through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit as He “…will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” Luke 12:12 We have the Holy Spirit enabling us to be obedient to what Jesus said to do by being salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), so people will have the opportunity to follow Jesus anywhere in the world.
Where we go is just as important, as Jesus told the disciples of four locations they will be going to be His witnesses. The four locations mentioned in Acts 1:8 are unique as it indicates a “going out” from the local location to the furthest parts of the world. The application for our church is preaching the gospel to our local community and extend it further to places that require time, money and travel to meet people we do not know, so they can have the opportunity to follow Jesus.
Taking the four locations form Acts 1:8, we believe that our church should have a mission presence in these locations:
Our Communities (Belmont, Bannockburn and Bendigo)
Our Nation (Australia)
Our Region (countries that neighbour to Australia, Asia Pacific)
Our World (countries that are a great distance from Australia)
This strategy for the four locations will help us decide what countries we should go to with our mission activities. We are a small church and the world is so big with needs that are even greater. We cannot go everywhere, all the time, so it is wise to seek God and allow Him to present the places to us and the opportunities for us to serve. Whatever we do in these locations should be about building the Kingdom of God and making Jesus known to those who may never have heard His name before.
During our Missions Month in August we will be talking a lot about these locations and what Jesus said about going into these places to preach the gospel. We have room to improve what we do and I am open to new ideas that could lead us to reach out effectively in our own nation and other parts of the world.
Let’s continue to pray together and ask God how we can better serve Him through mission activities. I pray that we all have a desire to reach out to people who have never heard the gospel, that we can continue to empower people and help them in a meaningful way.