Subject: Heaven’s Applause: For one person at a time
Luke 15:7 “There is more joy in heaven over 1 sinner who repents than over 99 persons who need no repentance.”
Do you know God’s will for your life? Do you sometimes feel like you’re existence on this planet makes no difference in the ‘big picture’ of life? Living in today’s America, where God has been put on the shelf, you may not even notice He’s systematically being removed from the public square. But the Bible says He has a very simple agenda: He is not interested in a popularity contest, or in drawing crowds to Him. He is interested in individual people, like you and me. As a matter of fact, He is totally absorbed in using you personally to make Him known.
And if you already know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, He says He has a very clear purpose for you: to share Him with just one person in your circle of influence. God says He is all about saving people, one at a time, rescuing them from their sin, and it doesn’t matter what that sin is. His only interest, while each person is still breathing, is to restore that person to Him as His child. As a matter of fact, in Luke 15:7 Jesus says heaven throws a party every time one single person turns to Him to be restored.
The incredible thing – He wants you to be actively involved in what He is doing, one person at a time. So you can make a huge difference in the life of people you know. Loren Eiseley, in her 1991 essay entitled ‘The Starfish Thrower’, gives us a beautiful illustration of how you can make a difference in a person’s life, for eternity, by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with them:
“I awoke early, as I often did, just before sunrise to walk by the ocean’s edge and greet the new day. As I moved through the misty dawn, I focused on a faint, faraway movement. I saw a boy, bending and reaching and waving his arms – dancing on the beach, no doubt in celebration of the perfect day soon to begin.
As I approached, I sadly realized that he was not dancing, but rather bending to sift through the debris left by the night’s tide, stopping now and then to pick up a starfish and then standing, to heave it back into the sea. I asked the boy the purpose of the effort. ‘The tide has washed the starfish onto the beach and they cannot return to the sea by themselves,’ he replied. ‘When the sun rises, they will die, unless I throw them back to the sea.’
I looked at the vast expanse of beach, stretching in both directions. Starfish littered the shore in numbers beyond calculation. The hopelessness of the boy’s plan became clear to me and I pointed out, ‘But there are more starfish on this beach than you can ever save before the sun is up. You can’t expect to make a difference.’
He paused briefly to consider my words, bent to pick up a starfish and threw it as far as possible. Turning to me he simply said, ‘I made a difference to that one.’”