October 03, 2005

Can I Make a Difference?

Luke 10:1-20

1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. 5"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' 6If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. 7Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. 8"When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 9Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.' 10But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.' 12I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. 13"Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. 16"He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." 17The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." 18He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."


"I have given you authority ... to overcome all the power of the enemy." Luke 10:19

The job of sharing our faith and making an impact on the world for Christ is a daunting one. We live in a society that is morally and spiritually adrift. And sometimes we look at our own meager resources and say, "What can we really do about it?"

If you have ever felt this way, here's a story told by Loren Eisely that may help lift your spirits. One morning after a heavy storm at the seashore a man was walking along the beach. It was low tide, and he noticed lots of starfish and debris littering the shoreline. He also noticed a boy in the distance tirelessly bending over, picking things up, and throwing them into the sea. "What are you doing?" the man asked as he walked up to the boy. "I'm saving the starfish," the boy said. The man looked along the shore and replied, "Don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach, and starfish along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!" The boy picked up another starfish and flung it into the ocean. "It makes a difference for that one," he said.

You and I may not be able to reach everyone for Christ, but we can reach some. Today there are so many lost people seeking spiritual direction, so many hungry people seeking spiritual nourishment, so many lonely people seeking spiritual community. By God's power and authority, we need to do all we can to help.

Lord, may we reach out in confidence, knowing that you go before us and are with us. Help us remember that our labor for you is never in vain. In your powerful name, Amen.

About the author — Dan Jongsma

Daniel Jongsma serves as an interim pastor in Fulton, Illinois. He has pastored congregations in Elmhurst and Fulton, Illinois; in Dearborn, Michigan; and in Nashville, Tennessee. Dan also served as a church planter in the Chicago area. He and his wife, Gloria, have three daughters and four grandchildren.

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