by Pastor Tim Burt
One morning, I was having breakfast with my son Peter. He was in college full-time but also working full-time as a manager at a fast-food restaurant. I asked him how things were going at college and at work and he began to share a story with us.
"Dad, I work with this one guy. He doesn't come across as the most intelligent person and that seems to have hindered his getting promoted. But dad, he is the nicest guy I've ever worked with! He has two kids and doesn't make that much money. He has a pair of shoes that have got to be ancient. They're old and absolutely worn out. I am going to buy him a new pair of shoes!" At that moment, I was so proud of my son. He was a full-time college student and money was extremely tight for him. Even so, he saw someone else’s need and decided to do something about it. It seemed as though a powerful truth I had tried to impart to him over the course of his life was manifesting—one person can make a difference in life even if it's just one person at a time.
If Jesus ever taught us anything, and the truth is He taught us countless things, He taught us that one person can make an immeasurable difference. His life on earth is the greatest example of that truth we will ever know. So many people want to do great things! Too often, people have good intentions and want to do good things for others. The problem is, they imagine doing such grandiose things that in all likelihood they won’t do, that they let the little opportunities that they could do, pass by. The result being good intentions but little to nothing being done. What a shame because people can make a difference in small ways in someone’s life every day!
James 1:17 NLT says, "Whatever is good and
perfect comes down to us from God our Father..." Everything good comes from God! Never forget that! This means when you feel your heart being prompted to do something good for someone—it’s most likely being steered by God. In 1 Corinthians 4:7 NLT the Apostle Paul put it like this, "...What do you have that God hasn’t given
you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a
gift?" The point here is this; if the good we receive or do is from and with the help of God, then why do we want the credit? Why don’t we forget about whether anyone ever knows the good we do and just do it unto the Lord giving Him credit and thanks for helping us to be this way?
Jesus teaches us that there is great blessing in making a difference but not looking for public credit or glory. We read it in Matthew 6:3-4 NIV, "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
Making a difference in the lives of others can be a daily thing. It's sacrificially touching one person's life with some random act of kindness. It may be the giving of moral support or taking time to pray for someone or the giving of resources or time. It may be making an even greater sacrifice you feel prompted to make. The bottom line is, learn to follow those promptings from God and watch your heart and life change. You'll become more generous by God's doing and you'll receive more of His grace and supply enabling you to be that way. But it won't begin when you feel like you have the resources or time. It will begin when you just follow the prompting and make the sacrifice to obey God.
In Ezekiel 22:30 NKJV, we see that this was a cry from God's heart to His people at a time when they had appeared to have lost their way. It says, “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap for me… but I found none.” We dream about changing the whole world. It starts by trusting that God will lead you and work through you to stand in the gap in small ways for others.
This made me so proud of my son Peter. God was working in His heart and He was paying attention and acting on it. It's a critical spiritual truth to grasp and one God would love for us all to learn. Stand in the gap and do what you can—even in the smallest ways!
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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