One day, a man walked the beach after a storm. Strong tides came in and out. As he strolled the shore, he noticed a little boy grabbing starfish from the sand and feverishly throwing them into the water. The man was intrigued. The beach was littered with starfish. What did the boy hope to accomplish? He had to ask what the boy was doing.
“I’m saving starfish,” the boy answered, breathlessly, as he continued working.
“But, son,” the man replied, “There are starfish everywhere. Do you think what you are doing will really make a difference?”
Unfazed, the boy selected another starfish and threw it into the sea. As he tossed the starfish into the water, he said, “It will matter to this one!”
Can We Make A Difference?
The many diverse and pressing needs of the world around us leave some to wonder if it is possible to truly make a difference. But we are not responsible for the multitudes that we have no control over. We are, however, responsible for the ones we can help. We must learn to do for the one what we wish we could do for the many.
The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is the mission of the church. We are to make more and better disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ in our community and throughout the nations. This is a mission that is as small as your next-door neighbors and as large as the more than seven and half billion people on planet earth.
The thought of reaching the world for Christ can be overwhelming. But the truth is the Lord has not called you to reach the world. For that matter, Billy Graham, one of the greatest Christian evangelists in the history of the church, did not reach the world. You may not reach as many people as Billy Graham did. But you can reach as many people as Graham’s parents did. They reached at least one—Billy! And the Lord used that one to reach many others.
Just Pick One
I want to issue you a spiritual challenge. Will you commit to praying for the salvation of one lost person and seek opportunities to share the gospel with him or her? It can be a friend, relative, coworker, classmate, or acquaintance. It can even be an enemy. After all, Jesus did tell us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44).
Ask God to help you identify one unsaved or unchurched person. You may already have identified your one as you read this article. Make a commitment to pray that your one will trust the finished work of Christ for salvation. For how long? Don’t stop praying until your one comes to Christ.
What should you do when your one gets saved? First, celebrate! Jesus said, “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). Then, begin to build a discipling relationship with them. In this process, help them start to read the Bible and find a church. Finally, identify a new “one” and begin praying, investing, and witnessing until he or she believes in Jesus.
Evangelism is a biblical mandate for every Christian. Yet you find it difficult, don’t you? So do it. The thought of standing on some street corner with a megaphone or knocking on some random person’s door frightens the daylights out of me! But I refuse to use my weakness as an excuse to do nothing.
I may not be able to rush into a crowd of strangers and start talking about Jesus. But I can pray for and invest in one person the Lord places on my heart that needs Christ. You can too! Start today by identifying your one. Make a commitment to pray daily for the salvation of that person. Seek opportunities to have conversations with your one about the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Who’s your one?
—H.B. Charles Jr.