Youth News - January 2009
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January 2009
by Matt Kay

Oil and water don't mix, right? Of course they don't, and some people believe that Christians don't mix with non-Christians; that there should be nothing but separation between the people who belong to Christ and the people that don't - just like oil and water. Is that true? Is that the kind of movement that Jesus had in mind when He started the Church?

The scriptures tell us that "bad company corrupts good morals." That's absolutely true. The influence that our closest relationships have upon us will impact our personal and practical lives. But does a verse like this mean that we should separate ourselves from a world of people that don't know Christ? Absolutely not.

As a matter of fact, we are precisely called to go into the world as representatives of Christ. In the world but not of the world: that's what Jesus prayed for His people in John 17. Jesus prayed, "I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world."

Sent into the world to be His witnesses: that is a large part of the calling He has placed on our lives. In Acts 1.8, Jesus said, "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." God wants to bring His kingdom "on earth as it is in heaven," and part of that means that God will bring His kingdom to the world through His people; through you and me.

In many ways, you are God's plan to bring His light and life to the world, but you can't do it alone, and you can't do it in your own strength. God says that the power comes from the Holy Spirit. Allow God's Spirit to fill your life as you continue to trust in Him, draw near to Him, and surrender your life entirely to Him. Let it be the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of Christ that compel us to reach out to a lost world on behalf of His kingdom.

So where is your Jerusalem? Let's start there. It's definitely your hometown at this present time, but let's get even more specific than that. Where are the places that you find yourself on a regular basis? Your home? Your school? Your workplace? Think of the people in those places that need to know the love of Jesus in their lives... Once you've got that down, I want to encourage you to turn that to prayer. Ask God's Spirit to take you, all of who you are, and use you to bring His kingdom to your "Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Remember, you are His plan, and God doesn't make mistakes!

He left His Father's throne aboveSo free, so infinite His grace
Emptied Himself of all but loveAnd bled for Adam's helpless race

-Charles Wesley

Jesus left the comforts of heaven to give us love and life. Likewise, we too can move from our places of comfort to touch a world that desperately needs His love and life.

May God bless you and use you for His glory,

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