My Backyard

Everybody’s life mission is unique, and only you can fulfill your life mission. The moment you become a believer, the moment you step across the line and give your life to Jesus Christ, God has an assignment for you. Many of the parts of your life mission are unique, but there is one part of your life mission that we all have in common.


It’s this: God wants you to tell other people about what’s happened to you. He wants you to share your testimony, your lifestyle, and your witness.


In other words, He wants you to share the Good News. In Acts, Paul says this to the Ephesian elders, “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” (Acts. 20:24). Once I become a Christian, a major part of my life mission is to testify to God’s grace in my life.


Jesus said in John 20:21 - "As the Father has sent Me, so am I sending you.”


What has He sent us to do?

The Bible tells us in Acts 1:8 - "You will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, in Samaria and in every part of the world.” This is a very, very important verse: it not only tells us what we’re supposed to do; it tells us where we’re supposed to do it.


First, it says, "You will be My witnesses.”


Have you ever watched a courtroom trial? You know what a witness is - a witness is somebody who shares from personal experience. "I saw this ... I heard that … I watched that ….”


Witnessing does not mean you have to be a theological expert. It doesn't mean you have to be pastor or preacher. It simply means you share what God is doing in your life. We are to witness and share what God has done in our lives and what’s happened to us since we became believers.


Where are we to do it?

We’re told to take the message to four places: “In Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria and in every part of the world.”


What does that mean? What’s your Jerusalem? It’s your family, your friends, and your co-workers. That’s your Jerusalem. You start with the people closest to you. You don’t have to go somewhere else first. You start with the people in your own backyard.


Then it says you go to Judea. Judea was like the county. What is your Judea? At First Free, we live in Hennepin County, with over 1.1 million people. And many of them still need to hear the Good News.


Then Jesus says you’re to go to Samaria. Samaritans were culturally and ethnically different from the disciples. The third place you take the message is to people of a different culture, language, ethnic group than you that live next door to you.


Do you know anybody who speaks a different language than you do? Did you know that the Twin Cities has the largest Hmong, Somali, and Liberian populations in the U.S.? My point is - you don’t have to go very far to find your Samaria. It’s right next door.


Finally Jesus says go to “the ends of the world.” Today, there are many opportunities for believers to go on a short-term trip that leads them to the “ends of the world”.


So that’s the mission. Much of it is in your backyard. Start with your Jerusalem. Move on to Judea. Then to Samaria - and then to the ends of the world. While you’re there, share the Good News. You are Christ-sent!