Sometimes it’s hard to “go to the other side.” Sometimes we get really comfortable in the places we are at. Today, we see that Jesus went to the other side. In other people’s minds, He talked to people He shouldn’t have been talking to; went places He shouldn’t have gone, and acted at times in ways which people didn’t think He should act. In almost every city or community there is “another side.” There’s the way you live and then there’s the way the “other side” lives. Some communities the other side may actually be separated by a lake; some it may be separated by a highway; in other places, you just know where the “other side” is. God is calling us as individuals and as churches to be lights and to go to the “other side”.
One of the problems for many lifelong or long-time Christians is they surround themselves in a Christian bubble. They only hang out with other Christians, spend most of their time outside of the house at the church, and when they are asked to invite their friends to church or tell them about Jesus, they pat themselves on the back because all of their friends already believe in Jesus and go to church. If this describes you, that’s not necessarily a good thing!
I’m happy that you have so many Christian friends and family, but it’s time you branch away from this. Certainly keep your Christian friends, but learn to make new friends. Meet new people. Get involved in your community in a new way. God put us in this world to grow in relationship with Him and then invite and help bring others into relationship with Him as well. How can we grow the church and the kingdom of God if we continually surround ourselves with people who already know Him?
May God give us a desire to “go towards” the other side and not “move away” from it. May we learn to move towards situations and places that may be out of comfort zone. May we learn that without Christ we were on the “other side” at one point, but because He came, lived as, immersed himself into this world, died on a cross for our sins, and rose three days later, we are now on “His side.” May we feel called to do as Christ did for us!
Idea for the Day: Go to the “other side” today. Take a walk there, pray for the people there, and if opportunity arises meet someone there.
Bible for the Day: Acts 10-Acts 11:18 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=acts%2010-acts%2011:18&version=NIV): For some time Peter and the early church believed that the Gospel message of Jesus Christ was for the Jews only, but in this story God gives him a vision and a prophet to tell him the Gospel message is even for those on the other “other side”: the Gentiles, which describes all non-Jews. The Gospel is for everyone…both those on “my side” and those on the “other side.”