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Summary: How often do we brighten up the lives of others with special acts? • Or maybe a better question is, how often do we look for these kind of opportunities?

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A minister wore a carnation on his lapel every Sunday morning.

• He never gave it much thought until one day after church,

• A visiting boy about ten years old asked him if he could have it.

• The minister handed it to him and asked him why he wanted it.

• The boy said that his parents were divorced the year before, and 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.

• Within a month, his dad said he was too busy to raise him and sent him to his grandmother to live.

He told the minister that his grandmother takes care of him and feeds him and buys him clothes.

• The boy said the reason I want the flower, is to give to my grandmother for loving me.

• The minister at this point could barely keep the tears back, but told the boy that he didn’t want the carnation.

• He said that for a reason that special, he needed a bouquet.

• So he told the boy to go up front and get the big bunch of flowers in front of his pulpit and give them to his grandmother.

• As the boy smiled and turned to go the flowers, and the minister heard him say,

“What a wonderful day – I asked for one flower and got a whole bouquet.”

How often do we brighten up the lives of others with special acts like this?

• Or maybe a better question is, how often do we look for these kind of opportunities?

• What I want us to look at today is that each one of us can make a tremendous difference in other people’s lives.

• We don’t have to be rich / especially talented. All we have to do is be loving.

• No matter what our circumstances, we can make a positive difference in other people’s lives.

The first question that we need to answer is

1 WHY SHOULD WE TRY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

• There are several reasons we should try to make a difference in other people’s lives.

• But one of the most important reasons is that the world actually depends on it.

• Can you imagine a world where nobody cared about anybody else?

• Can you imagine a world where nobody tried to ever help anybody else?

The world we live in depends on people helping people.

• We depend on the world giving food / To help when there is a Tsunami or a gigantic earthquake.

• We depend on the world to help when one nation unfairly attacks another, such as when Iraq invaded Kuwait.

• We would never survive if people didn’t try to help each other.

• Without compassionate people, this world would collapse into absolute satanic chaos.

We should also try to make a difference in other people’s lives because

• It makes such a wonderful difference in ours when we do.

• We are never told how the Good Samaritan felt after helping the man alongside the road,

• We don't know how Paul felt after he helped deliver the money to a church in Jerusalem,

• But I would think that both felt very good.

There once was a teacher who asked her third grade class to draw a picture of something they were thankful for.

• She was sure that alot of the underprivileged kids in her class wouldn’t really have anything to be thankful for.

• But when the drawing were turned in, there were pets and drawings of the children’s families,

• But one in particular got her attention. It was a picture of a hand.

• She wondered if the child was drawing a parent’s hand or maybe even God’s hand.

• When she asked the little boy whose hand it was, he said,

• “It’s your hand, Teacher, because you are good to me and you care for me."

Just like this little boy, we can always find something to be thankful for

• And there is always somebody in our lives that we can help,

• If we would just care enough to look for the many opportunities that exist.

As much as people need others to lend them a helping hand,

• There is one thing needed even more.

• People need somebody to reach out to them with a hand filled with the love of Christ.

• There is no better way to strengthen your heart than to lift someone else up in the love of Jesus.

We are talking about helping people.

• Think for a moment about all the neighbors you have had over the years

• And what kind of people they were.

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