Thursday, March 28, 2013

Who Will Be the One?

I remember it like it was yesterday. I had preached my heart out at a small church in a small town in Mississippi. In my sermon I had urged each person present to be the one to pray, give and be on mission both in their own community, and in Vermont, where I was serving as a church planting missionary. At the end of the sermon I offered the challenge, "Will YOU be the one to say yes to Jesus about praying, giving and being on mission?" I asked that if they were willing to be the one, for them to come down the aisle and tell me so during the invitation hymn. During the invitation hymn only one person responded. I can still see him in my mind making his way slowly down the aisle. He was an older gentleman with white hair and a cane. When he got to where I was standing, he leaned over and whispered in my ear, "I'm the one." He then put something in my pocket and slowly made his way back to his seat. Later that day, when I looked at the piece of paper he had put in my pocket, it was a check for $10,000 to the mission organization I was serving with. That check helped that organization keep going for some time.

In the nearly 20 years since, Brother Jim remained faithful in praying. He kept my newsletters and prayed through every prayer request multiple times. He often sent me notes of encouragement or would call on the phone and lift my spirits through encouraging words. He also continued to give generously, often at great sacrifice to his own needs. There were certain years in which he and his wife were the largest benefactors for that year to our small mission organization. Many are now in the Kingdom of God due to Jim's praying, encouraging words and his giving. That was just the kind of man Jim was.

This morning his dear wife Margie called to let me know that Jim would be spending Easter with Jesus this year. He passed away yesterday. But Margie found great comfort in knowing that Jim knew the Lord in a special way and that Jim had made a difference in the lives of others. We prayed and cried together over the phone, thanking God for Jim's life.

Jim answered the call of God to make a difference with his life. We may not all be able to do it in the same way that Jim did, but we can all do something to help others. Let's pray. Let's give. Let's offer an encouraging word. Let's make a difference in the lives of those around us.

For more devotionals like this one, consider Touching the Footprints of Jesus

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