July 13, 2022
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Hey. it's a huge job to try to keep the roadsides of interstates and major highways from looking like garbage dumps. That's why someone came up with this great idea: have clubs, and churches, and schools, and civic organizations volunteer to maintain just one mile of the road near them. You've probably seen the signs: "This mile maintained by the Forest Grove Garden Club, or a Boy Scout troop, or the Busy Hands Presby-Baptist Church, or whatever. Maybe it's a family. Separately, none of those groups could ever maintain the entire roadside in their county, but they could do a mile. And if each group makes sure their mile is covered, the whole area will end up looking a whole lot better.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Why You Are Where You Are."
Someone could look at the miles and miles of highway running through their area and say, "How in the world are we going to take care of all this?" But it's getting done because many people say, "I'll take care of the area around me."
Now the job of highway cleanup is nothing compared to the assignment left to us by the Lord Jesus, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation" (Mark 16:15). Wow! Well, each generation of believers is responsible for their generation of lost people. How in the world are we going to reach the lost people of our generation? The same way you clean up a long highway; we each take the responsibility for our stretch of the road.
In our word for today from the Word of God, the Old Testament leader, Nehemiah, has called the people of Judah to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem - a massive job - like telling our town about Jesus. Yes, it is a massive job! They were surrounded by people who were hostile to them, didn't want them to accomplish that mission, like our world today. But here's how it got done; Nehemiah 3:23 and following. Now, here's some names you haven't heard, but let's go with it. "Beyond them, Benjamin, and Hasshub made repairs in front of their house, and next to them, Azariah made repairs beside his house. The priests made repairs, each in front of his house. Zadok made repairs opposite his house." You think, "What are we doing here?" Well, here's the idea. The entire city wall got rebuilt by each person taking care of the area around them.
Which brings us to your piece of the eternal rescue work Jesus gave to all of us. There's a reason you live where you live. Jesus assigned you there to that block, that neighborhood, that apartment complex to be His personal representative among the people who live there. The reason you work where you work, go to school where you go to school, belong to the organizations and clubs you belong to is because Jesus wanted you to be those people's link to Him. In Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 5:20, "We are Christ's ambassadors."
So how are you doing with your stretch of the road? Jesus gave His life on the cross for the people on your stretch. He's left you responsible for them finding that out. And while you may think He should get someone better, guess what? He decided you're the one for those people. And they're a lot more likely to listen to someone who walks their road and lives their lives and their issues - a peer like you - than to some skilled evangelist they've never met.
So let me challenge you to begin to claim the people on your block for Jesus, on your team, in your building, in your office, at the gym, your workplace, in your circle at school. Begin by praying for them every day. And on more and more blocks across the country, I know believers are picking up the challenge of going on a Prayer Walk to pray for the residents of each home to hear about Christ there.
Also, band together with any other believers you can find on your "stretch of the road." Pray with them. Plan outreach dinner parties or block parties or video outreaches. Find ways to love them, serve them in ways that would really mean something to them. Ask them to let you know if there's anything they would like you to pray for. And pray for natural opportunities to tell them about life's most important relationship.
Imagine what would happen if every believer said, "Lord, I will step up to praying for and sharing Christ with the lost people on my stretch of the road."