Emily Plater
Emily Plater

The disciples had just witnessed the death and resurrection of Jesus. Yet, they were asking Jesus the same question they had been asking before it all happened: “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” (Acts 1:6, NLT).

Salvation for all mankind had just been accomplished, and yet the disciples were asking, “What’s in it for me?” I want to roll my eyes and judge them, but I can’t—because they sound just like me.

Like the disciples, I tend to think about the Good News in terms of how it improves my own life, community and nation. I’ve grown accustomed to the blessings of life with Jesus and unintentionally forget that salvation is never just about me. Have your prayers and thoughts ever become overly narrow?

Jesus’ response to the disciples was part rebuke, part encouragement: “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 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 1:7-8).

Jesus responds to our tendency toward self-focus by sending us all on a mission. He makes it clear once and for all that the Good News compels us to join the mission of God.

The work of evangelism is the work of the whole church. All are compelled to go until every last man, woman and child has heard the Good News!

Prayer + Reflection

1. Ask God to reveal where you have grown self-focused in your spirituality, and confess and submit yourself to Him.

2. Pray for those around the world suffering persecution for their faith in Jesus, for mercy and compassion to be given to them and for the strength of Christ to flow through them.

3. With 3.19 billion unreached people in the world, pray for the mobilization of the whole church for evangelism, and ask God how you can personally help.

4. As spring break approaches and students and leaders prepare for short-term missions trips, pray for a mighty move of the Lord in this short window of time.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is director of Shared Mission for The Foursquare Church.