Summary: Making a difference in someones life from Jude 23
Text: Jude 23
Title: Will you make a difference?
Dominant Thought: Must be willing to make a difference in someone’s life
Does anyone have 57 cents in their pockets, if you don’t ask the people around you for the change they have? 57 cents isn’t much money but it changed a small church for the better and it all started with little Jenny Smith.
Jenny stood just outside of the small church from which she had been turned away because it ’was too crowded.’ "I can’t go to Sunday School," she whimpered just as the pastor walked by. Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. When Jenny got home and went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.
Some two years later, Jenny lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings and the parents called for the kindhearted pastor, who had befriended their daughter, to handle the final arrangements. As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note scribbled in childish handwriting which read, "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday school." For two years she had saved for this offering of love. When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building. But the story does not end there! A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered it for 57 cents. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years Jenny’s gift had increased to $250,000.00, a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.
If you ever visit the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300, and Temple University, where hundreds of students are trained. Have a look; too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday school building which houses hundreds of Sunday scholars, so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time. In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor.
That story just blows me away. She was willing to give up all she saved simply so more kids could come to Sunday school. She was willing to give 57 cents. How willing are you to make a difference like Jenny?
I sat just outside of a small rundown church camp chapel when I meet Greg. Greg rushed off to the basketball court to get a pick up game going. Now back then I wasn’t the athletic superstar that you see today. I was a skinny 5’4 kid that had not talent at basketball and knew it too. Standing on the out of bounds line like so many times before I knew I had no chance of being picked for this five on five showdown. But to by surprise I was not left to watch on the sideline Greg, one of the sponsors pick me last on his team. As you can imagine I asked like I had won the lottery, screaming, running, yelling the whole time, in fact the other kids on the other team where afraid to guard me because I was acting so wild. Just imagine how much of a difference you can make when you get in the game.
I’m sure most of you have a story of someone that made big difference in your life. And I bet most of us can think of someone in the Bible that made a difference but I bet you forget one guy tucked way back in the back of the New Testament. He is likely the brother of Jesus mention in Mt. 13:55, it is Jesus younger brother of Jude. If you would go ahead and turn in your Bibles to Jude? We’ll find out why we are called to make a difference.
Jude vs. 21-23 gives us two main questions, Will you make a difference in your life to live in God’s love. Secondly, Will you make a difference in those who need to be encouraged and rescued from being pulled way from Christ?