Devotion

From Jerusalem to the Ends of the Earth

by Greg Laurie on Sep 27, 2022
And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, ‘A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.’ And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.
—Matthew 13:57–58
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The hardest people to reach with the Gospel are members of your family because they’ve known you for your entire life. When I became a Christian, it was not well received by my family. It took me years to reach my mother. In fact, 30 years passed before she prayed and committed her life to Christ.

Even Jesus didn’t reach His family before he died and rose from the dead. We read that His family would show up on occasion and say, in effect, “He’s lost his mind. We need to take Him home.”

Matthew’s Gospel, referring to Nazareth, tells us that Jesus “did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief” (Matthew 13:58 NLT). They had known Jesus, the carpenter’s son, since He was a little boy.

But when Jesus laid out for the early Church His battle plan for reaching people, it started in Jerusalem, their home, and expanded from there. He said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NLT).

Jesus’s battle plan is the same one that we should follow today. That means starting with your spouse if you’re married, and with your parents, grandparents, children, and extended family. That is your Jerusalem.

Next is your Judea, which is your sphere of influence, your larger circle. That might be your workplace or the people who follow you on social media.

Finally, go to people everywhere.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus went out of His way to reach people who were “outside His comfort zone.” Are you willing to do that? God wants us to reach people everywhere with the Gospel.

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