|God speaks and the Holy Spirit comes to Jesus after he was baptized.|
“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)
Several years ago, a man at our former church used this verse as a way to instill interest in missions in our youth. He equated Jerusalem to our city, our neighborhood, or our part of town. He likened Judea and Samaria to our state or our region. He explained the phrase, ‘to the ends of the earth.’ as the work done worldwide.
Recently, as I prepared to work on this blog entry, I paused at the phrase, in all Judea and Samaria. “In Samaria?” I thought. That’s the region Jesus and all the Jews tried to bypass in their travels. The Jewish people believed they were the ‘chosen ones of God.’ Yes, they were and still are. But in Biblical times, they acted haughty about it. They considered the Samaritans inferior because some of ‘their’ people intermarried with inhabitants of that region.
The first Century Christians received the promised Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Because of this they were able to carry the message of God to all they met. From the world they experienced persecution. Because they had the Helper promised by Jesus Christ, their numbers grew.
*Is there a Samaria in our lives?
*Is there something we don’t believe we can do for the LORD?
*Is it something we don’t feel equipped to do?
*Or is it something that scares us when we think about it?
I believe, if we were honest, we would all say, “Yes.” I learned we can trust God’s Holy Spirit to lead us through these feelings of fear into a place where we can work for Him and help enlarge His Kingdom.
Dear Lord: We look to You for guidance. We lean on You for strength. Please help us as we decide on how to approach our personal Samaria, whether physical, mental or emotional. In the name of Jesus, we pray. AMEN