Making A Difference
A pastor wore a carnation on his lapel and after church a little boy, who was a visitor, asked if he could have it. As the minister handed it to him, he asked why he wanted it. The boy said that when his parents divorced he went to live with his mother. But when she remarried, her new husband didn’t want him around so they sent him to live with his dad.
But his dad was too busy so he sent him to live with his grandmother. He wanted the flower to give to her. The pastor told him that for such a special lady, he needed a bunch of flowers, so he gave him the beautiful bouquet of flowers that sat on the table in front of his pulpit. As the happy little boy walked away, he heard him say, “What a wonderful day. I asked for a flower and got a bouquet.”
How often do we brighten up the lives of others with acts of kindness like this? Do we really look for these kind of opportunities? This morning, I want us to realize that we can make a tremendous difference in the lives of others. All we have to do is be willing.
The first question we need to ask ourselves is: “Why should I try to make a difference?”
- Can you imagine a world where nobody cares about anybody else?
- Can you imagine a world where nobody helps anyone else?
Well, that world is coming and after Judgment Day…it will be here. But for now, our world depends on people helping people. We are never told how the Good Samaritan felt after helping the man alongside the road. But I have to believe he felt good. I believe that he did what his scriptures taught him to do and that pleases God!
Everyday, people need help but not just any help. They need helping hands that are filled with love. There’s no better way to strengthen your heart than to lift someone else up in the love of Jesus. The Bible says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)
God expects us to reach out and help others. Jesus tells us to “Go, therefore, and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19) To me, that means that we are expected to reach out to others and make a difference in their lives; to make a difference for God. Because if we will introduce others to Christ, He will make a difference in their lives.
Jesus didn’t say to go and be happy. He didn’t say to go and make money. He didn’t even say go to church and then go home. He said, “Go, therefore, and make disciples…” According to the dictionary, a ‘disciple’ is “one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another.” Isn’t the Gospel of Jesus Christ that doctrine? And what better way to help someone…than to share Christ with them.
The second question we need to ask is: “What kind of people make a difference?” Look through the Bible. The difference makers weren’t people with great talent or knowledge or anything else. They were just everyday, ordinary people…like you and me.
I’ve heard that to work for God, you have to be F.A.T. (Faithful, Available, and Teachable) A lot of Christians are ‘faithful’ in their belief that Jesus is God’s Son and their Savior. But many don’t make themselves ‘available’ to help others. In truth, most don’t let themselves become ‘teachable’. Because if they did, they would have to open themselves up to new ideas, which might change some of their old ways, and they don’t like change….they’re comfortable right where they are. They like their ‘rut’.
But I have faith in my brothers and sisters in Christ. I believe there are many who will do what is necessary to help others. Isn’t that what all of us are supposed to do. But many resist helping others because it’s not convenient. They are busy and life is hard. But I caution you, as children of God…because He is watching you. The Bible says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)
Beloved, never forget, we were “saved to serve”. I know it’s hard and many resist at first…but so did many in the Bible:
- There was Moses. He did not want to go and see Pharaoh. But when he finally did what God told him to do, he made a huge impact for the Lord.
- Then God told Jonah to go to Nineveh…but he didn’t want to go…so he got on a ship and sailed the other way! When he finally did what God wanted…an entire city was saved.
When given the chance to serve…most are afraid and feel they aren’t qualified. Why even Billy Graham almost quit early in his ministry because he doubted. What a great loss that would have been. We have to realize that God doesn’t call the qualified…He qualifies the called. We don’t have to be perfect…only forgiven.
Now you can refuse God’s call to serve…but you will pay the price for your decision. The Bible says, “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.” (Proverbs 21:13) But our reward comes in answering God’s call to service. We read in Deuteronomy 5:33, “You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days…”
- David was “a man after God’s own heart”. But he was just a shepherd and so unimportant that his own father forgot to mention him when Samuel came looking for the next King of Israel.
- Look at Mary, an average young peasant girl. There was nothing outstanding about her, yet God chose her to bear His Son and look at the difference she made on the world.
In fact, look at the differences all these people made. None were qualified. None were super smart or rich or talented, or anything else. They were all different…yet they did have one thing in common. They all had hearts that loved God and they wanted to serve Him.
Too many today don’t ‘work for God’ because it isn’t comfortable for them. They try to dictate to Him how they want to work. It’s been said, that we will uproot our families and make sacrifices for our job and the income but we won’t take a step outside our comfort zone for the one we call Savior. God expects each one of us to make a sacrifice…after all He did! By stepping out of our comfort zones…we will learn to depend upon Him.
God is love and the most important lesson He wants you to learn is how to love. It’s by loving, that we are most like Him. Love is the foundation of every command He has given us. The Bible says, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11)
God uses people like us. Will you allow Him to use you? I once read this on a sign: “Only God can turn a Mess into a Message. A Test into a Testimony. A Trial into a Triumph. A Victim into a Victory.”
Will you allow God to use you…like He made you?