There are many troubling issues around the world today. These are just a few: the possibility of a nuclear showdown seems to be increasing, terrorism is on the rise all around the world, and this past weekend the ugly face of racism showed up again in protests in Virginia. In addition to all of this, Christians are leaving churches in droves, people are starving, homeless, broken and oppressed. These global issues have become discussion topics in many of the Christian groups I attend. Recently, referring to some of these issues, one of my friends asked the question, “What are we to do?” The answer to that question is contained in the concept of the ONE SQUARE YARD. I invite you to find out what I mean.……
I want you to think about those people who are in the space that immediately surrounds you. The list might include your family members, work colleagues, social acquaintances, friends, and those people that you come in contact with throughout the day. These are the people who are in your one square yard. It is my belief that we can change the world by impacting those people. Allow me to explain.
In your mind’s eye draw a box around yourself with each side of the box approximately one yard long (.914 meters for those in countries who use metric). Now imagine walking around all day with what is essentially a square hula-hoop around you. I invite you to conduct an experiment. At the end of each day for one week, reflect back everyone who came within your one square yard that day. Ask yourself if you brought Christ to those individuals.
I believe that if every Christian in the world would take seriously their Christian call to evangelize the environments in which they live, (their square yard) it would not take long to change the entire world. We get caught up worrying about global issues that we personally can have very little impact on, and we fail to make an impact on the things that we can change. Even worse, we sometimes through our own fault, make things worse for the people we encounter. Our actions, or our inactions, might actually drive some people further from our Lord.
It is the small gestures of caring, loving and willingly sharing our faith that can draw others to Christ. Allow me to share a clear and simple example of what I mean when I say that we need to impact others who come within our square yard.
This past week, I had an appointment with my doctor to get an MRI on my brain to assess the progression of my multiple sclerosis. As I was having the procedure done my wife, who drove me to the appointment, was sitting in the waiting room. While in the waiting room she had a conversation with a young man whose wife was also having an MRI. During their conversation my wife gave this man one of my Broken Door Ministry cards which contained my email address. I want to share some excerpts from an email that he sent to me later that day.
I was deeply moved by his letter. Please say a prayer for Z and his wife. My wife’s interaction with Z was the impetus for today’s message. Each day we are given opportunities to brighten the lives of people that we come in contact with. Let’s not miss those opportunities. I implore you to take my “one square yard” challenge, and for one week reflect on those people who come into your space. If each one of us brings the love of Christ to the people within our square yard, then together we will be fulfilling our Christian call and we can change the world!
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