- When you shine your light, you make a difference (Matthew 5:16).
- When you are different, you make a difference (I Peter 2:9).
- When are steady and don’t give up, you make a difference (I Corinthians 15:58).
- When you want more than anything to know Christ, you make a difference (Philippians 3).
- When you work with passion and excellence, you make a difference (Colossians 3:23; Ecclesiastes 9:10).
- When you forgive like Christ for gave you, you make a difference (Ephesians 4:32).
- When you choose to be filled with the Spirit instead of spirits, you make a difference (Ephesians 5:18-19).
- When you worship from the heart, you make a difference (Acts 16:16-40, Acts 2:42-44).
- When kids grow up and want to be like Christ because of you, you make a difference (Ephesians 5).
- When your legacy is eternal and is more valuable than the whole world, you make a difference (Matthew 16:26).
The Star-Fish Story
Loren Eisley tells this story:
A young man is walking along the ocean and sees a beach on which thousands and thousands of starfish have washed ashore. Further along he sees an old man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the ocean.
“Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?,” he asks.
“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them further in they will die.”
“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it! You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.”
The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”
Would you make a difference for one today?
It might seem that you’re not making any difference in the world, but remember this. Man can count the numbers of apples on a tree. Only God can count the number of trees in an apple. And, it might not seem that your efforts are making a great impact, but who knows? Maybe you are changing the world. And, maybe you are changing the world of one.
Flavil Nichols tells are beautiful story about the power of one.
During the war between the states, a young woman learned the truth and obeyed the gospel. Her sweetheart, J. H. Halbrook, was a confederate soldier. He was captured by the union army and kept a prisoner in Michigan until the war was over. He was given a ticket to Nashville, Tennessee and $2.50. From there, he returned to Centerville and found what was left of his home and family. He found his girlfriend and they were married. His wife studied the Bible with him, and he soon became a Christian. He thought the truth was so good and so simple that he began to teach and baptize many of his friends and neighbors. He began to preach, but he recognized his need for more training, so he came to the original Mars Hill Bible School, taught by T. B. Larimore. Upon completing his studies there, instead of going back to Tennessee, they moved farther south, coming into Walker, Marion, Fayette, and Lamar counties in Alabama. One of his many converts was Charley Alexander Wheeler. His wife taught him to read from the Bible. Along with his wife, C. A. Wheeler obeyed the gospel and soon began preaching to others. He started more than 100 congregations and baptized more than 6,000 people.
But wait, the story is not ended! One of those 6,000 was my father, the late Gus Nichols! Twelve thousand were baptized under his preaching.
Among those baptized by Gus Nichols, no one knows, nor can know, how many began to preach “the glorious gospel of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:3,4); but I personally know several. I, Flavil Nichols, am ONE whom he baptized and whom he encouraged to preach the truth. And under my preaching, about three thousand have been baptized. A few among them preached the gospel, also!
Only eternity can reveal the total results of the conversion of that one girl nearly one hundred fifty years ago. The results are not yet all in! But this shows that TWENTY ONE THOUSAND people have become Christians through this single thread in the fabric of her influence.
“Go, and do likewise” (Luke 10:37). YOU are important, too! Dear reader, if you go to heaven, others probably will be saved by you! “For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?” (1 Corinthians 7:16). “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Each ONE is important.
So, dear reader, know that you can make a difference. I think I’ll go do that!