Summary: We can all make a difference in the lives of the lost in ouur communties.
You can make a difference Jude 1:23
Verse “22..Be merciful to those who doubt; 23…snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear-hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”
Does anyone here have 57 cents? Oh no the preacher is already asking for money…Stay with me here. Anyone have 57 cents? 57 cents isn’t a lot these days. You will do good to get a cup of coffee or a drink with this. Maybe a newspaper in the morning. But 57 cents changed a small church for the better and it all started with little Jenny Smith.
She was a young girl who once stood just outside of the small church from which she had been turned away “because it was to crowded.” “I can’t go to Sunday school” she whimpered, as the pastor just happened to walk by. He saw her poor appearance and shabby clothes and he guessed the reason so he took her by the hand and found her a spot in Sunday school. When Jenny got home and went to bed that night she kept thinking of the children who had no place to worship Jesus.
Two years later Jenny passed away in her poor run down apartment in a housing project. Her parents called the kind hearted pastor and ask for him to handle the final details. As she was taken away he found a worn and ragged little purse that she must have gotten out of a dumpster. Inside this purse was 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.” I could stop right here and preach a sermon all day long but the story gets better…. For two years she had saved for this offering of love. When the pastor read this he knew what he had to do. Carrying this note and the little purse he got in the pulpit, he told the story of this unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and start raising money for a larger building. But it doesn’t end there. A local newspaper caught wind of it. It published a story about this sweet girl. A realtor read the story and offered a large parcel of land. But the church could afford it. When he was told the church could not pay it he offered it for 57 cents. Checks started coming in from all over the country. Within 5 years Jenny’s gift had increased to $250,000, a huge sum of money at that time. Her unselfish love had paid massive dividends.
By the way if you ever get to visit historic Philadelphia make sure you stop Temple Baptist Church, which now seats 3300 people. Have a look; too at Temple University, where 1000’s of students are educated and trained. Check out the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses 100’s of children so no children will ever be told there is no room. In one of those rooms you will see the picture of a sweet face little girl whose 57 cents, made such a remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor.
She was willing to give up all she saved so more kids could come to Sunday school. She was willing to give 57 cents. How willing are you to make a difference in the life of someone? We are called to make a difference.
Effective witnessing saves people from hell. We are to snatch them from the fire. Problem is today to many churches are taking witnessing lightly. We are not serious about searching them out. We’re not concerned about the outcome of so many.
In 1Peter 2:9 “ But ye are chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should declare the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:”
If you could be President what would you different? Would make drastic changes? I think we all would find a way to lower gas prices. What would you do to make a difference in this country of ours? Now I don’t want a political debates going on so keep them to yourselves. But what would you do if you could be the most powerful man in the world?
I often think of Jimmy Carter, his contributions after his presidency way exceeds his term as president. His humanitarian efforts have made a huge difference in lives of others.
What if you could be the CEO of your company that you work for? What changes would you make? I’m sure we all have our opinions of changes we would make.
Many of you here right now have ideas of things you would like to change about our church. Worship…Sunday school…the youth minister…but you all sit back and say “I can’t make a difference.”