Article From the Magazine:

Where We Touch the World

By David Jeremiah

“This is Bernie Shaw. Something is happening outside. Peter Arnett, join me here. Let’s describe to our viewers what we’re seeing. The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated. . . . We’re seeing bright flashes going off all over the sky.”1

These words fall into the same category as Alexander Graham Bell’s words to his assistant, Thomas Watson, in 1876: “Mr. Watson—come here—I want to see you.” Those words—the first transmitted by what we now call the telephone—were incidental as to their content, but monumental for what they represented: a revolution in communication.

The same could be said for the words spoken by CNN correspondent Bernard Shaw on the night of January 16, 1991. He and a CNN crew were broadcasting live television around the world at the start of the first Persian Gulf War. CNN had already rocked the world of communication by becoming the first 24-hour news television channel in June 1980. In a day when Americans were used to getting their news from newspapers, radios, and, most importantly, a half-hour nightly newscast by one of the three major networks, CNN changed all that forever. Now, simply by tuning in to the CNN cable channel at any time of the day or night, one could discover what was happening all over the world.

When the CNN broadcast sent live images from Baghdad, they leapfrogged over the three major American networks. No other network was transmitting a live broadcast from halfway around the world at the beginning of a war. It was a watershed moment, not just in communication but in the size of the world. Suddenly the world became the size of our TV screen—the world for whom Christ died.

As technology has progressed, the world has become even smaller. The Internet has shrunk the world from the size of our television screens to the size of the palm of our hand. Our smartphones now keep us wirelessly connected to the whole world. A stone tossed into a cultural pond anywhere in the world sends ripples that wash over us wherever we live.

This calls to mind the kingdom principle expressed by Jesus Himself: “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required” (Luke 12:48, ESV). We have been given the world. The question is, What are we giving back? We have more ways to impact the world today than at any time in history. We have more stones available to toss into the pond of this world . . . we have more ways to send kingdom ripples to wash over the nations of the world. We must ask ourselves in this month’s Turning Points, Where and how are we touching the world for Christ?

If you are a Millennial, you grew up with this small-world perspective; the rest of us have witnessed the shrinking of the world due to technology. Either way, our task is the same: to cause a ripple effect with our lives that spreads around the world. We need to reach out and embrace the world that is so important to God that He gave His only Son for its redemption.

Information is no longer the issue; the world is at our doorsteps: our neighborhoods, our workplaces, our communities—all are cross-cultural mission fields we can encounter face to face. The aforementioned communication revolution lets us know where there is a need we might help to address.

Implementation methods are unlimited. We can be involved personally by sponsoring evangelistic and Christian relief work around the world. We can pray, partner with others, and get involved in local ministries. The stone we toss into the world can cause ripples of God’s love to wash over those who are near and those who are far away.

Remember: We have been given much knowledge and many means. And from us much is required. This month we’re going to explore the different ways we can touch the world. And it all begins with looking for opportunities and embracing them. Instead of keeping the world at arm’s length, let’s wrap our arms around this world. Our mission in life is Christ’s Great Commission. The farther we reach, the greater our ripple effect will extend.

This article was first published in Turning Points Magazine & Devotional.
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