Recently I had the privilege to go back and preach for a congregation I frequently visited for two years of my life. I experienced a wide array of thoughts and emotions as I pulled into the parking lot and began to walk into the church building. I was immediately greeted with firm handshakes and warm smiles. As I looked around the auditorium the memories of this place came rushing back to me. I was being reunited with people that I had not seen or had any form of communication with, in over ten years.
Then a young man in his mid twenties came up to me. “Do you remember me?” I responded, “Why yes, yes I do.” He then asked, “Do you remember that time you asked me if I wanted to go to church camp with you down in Lawton, OK?” To be honest I really didn’t remember that conversation. Then he continued, “Because you asked me to go with you to church camp; a seed was planted and now I am a Christian.” My heart jumped, and I felt this deep sense of humility and joy.
After returning home, I learned that his Christian young man is currently enrolled in some classes to aid in his continued spiritual growth by equipping him to be able to do some missionary work. It warms my heart to see how the Lord and His gospel made a difference in His life. However; what if no one had ever asked him to go to camp? What if no one had spent time encouraging him? What if no one had taken the time to study with him and to allow him to see the life that is available through Christ? How tragic would that be? (Many people had a profound influence in his decision to follow Christ)
I am constantly reminded of the power of the gospel to save men from eternal punishment because of their sin. The gospel deeply impacts the lives it touches unlike anything else that we know.
On that Sunday evening, in that small town, with that group of Christians, I was reminded that anyone and everyone can make a difference in the spiritual state of our friends and families. There is nothing more important than being able to make a difference in someone else’s life and nothing makes a difference more than the gospel of Jesus Christ.
You and I can make a difference:
In someone’s ETERNITY. In John 1:35-42 we learn that Andrew lead his brother Simon Peter to Jesus by telling him that he had found the Messiah and took Simon Peter to meet Jesus. It was because of Andrews love and concern for his brothers soul, that he took the time to introduce Simon to Jesus. I was once asked, “Who will you thank when you get to heaven?” This is a great question which we all can spend some time contemplating. However; I want you to consider it from a slightly different angle, “Who will thank you for telling/teaching them the gospel when we all get to Heaven?” What a joyous day that will be!
In someone’s NEAR FUTURE. Many in our culture are going through immense struggles. Many are battling with depression, trials, or tribulations of various types and degrees. There is also a large group of people that are struggling to find proper direction and purpose for their lives. Jesus stated in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” I am strongly convinced there is no greater life to live than to live the life of a Christian. To be able to have access to His forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love (just to name a few) is a joyous feeling. It is also great to realize that God has given us everything that we need in order to be successful. ”His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence (2 Peter 1:3). The gospel will make a difference in someone’s near future.
In someone’s FAMILY. We don’t have to look very far to realize that many marriages are under attack. To divorce rates are staggering. The deep emotion scars which couples and often the children acquire are saddening. God has given us a blueprint for successful marriages. Where things often get complicated is when a spouse or both individuals go outside of God’s decrees. In Ephesians 5:21-33 we find that selflessness and submission are two vital aspects to improve our marriages. The gospel will make a difference in our family.
By enlarging the KINGDOM OF GOD. There is nothing better than having a large family which loves and cares for each other in a genuine way. I am thankful for those times in which my church family has aided in my spiritual growth and development as well as the emotional and spiritual support offered.
There is no greater task set before each and every one of us that to help carry out the Great Commission – God’s commission. To go into all the world and make disciples; baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe everything that God commanded. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Redemption is the main theme in Scripture from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation. This one plan is God’s plan to bring mankind back into a covenant relationship with Him. That message is a very important message that we are commanded to proclaim as ambassadors for Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:20).
You and I can make a difference in the lives of those we meet and teach. We can make a difference not only in this world, but in the world to come. People need saving and Jesus has done His part by dying on the cross for mankind’s sin (John 3:16); but now it is our turn to love God and keep His command to go and tell others about Jesus.
On that particular Sunday, I thought I was the one who was going in to preach to that congregation about Jesus; but in return I was the one who was reminded that simply asking someone to come and meet Jesus would make an eternal difference in someone else’s life – and ultimately it has made a difference in mine!
Go make an IMPACT!
Don’t spend your precious time asking,
“Why isn’t the world a better place?”
It will only be time wasted.
The question to ask is “How can I make it better?”
To that there is an answer.”
- Leo F. Buscaglia