This world is a crazy place. Violence and hate seem to permeate almost everything. Changing it can seem so overwhelming. Where do you start?
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
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Watch the video of this teaching at https://www.celllifechurch.tv/the-impact-of-one/
There seems an uptick in terrorist attacks lately coupled with the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Christians in Pakistan and India are being unduly charged and persecuted. Churches and Pastors in China are being targeted. Christians in America are being censored as hate speech, and the list goes on. There is a lot of unrest in our society today.
We need this encouraging message, The Impact of One. We have hope that the best is yet to come.
Hope of Things to Come
Among perfectionists, there is an attitude that says, “It can always be better”. It does not matter what a perfectionist is looking at or doing, they will seldom be satisfied because it could be better. Whether you are a perfectionist or not, you cannot help but see that the world needs to change. We all see that our world can be better and must get better.
One part of the world is suffering from food shortages while another part is experiencing extreme health crises from overeating. One part of the world is in extreme drought, and another part of the world has unending rain causing flooding.
We have leaders telling us one thing one day, and another thing the next day. Both contradicting themselves. People are confused by not knowing what to believe. In some parts of the world, people are being ruled by fear and intimidation while another part of the world is open and free with no sense of right and wrong. In other words, our world is in utter chaos and there is no doubt who is truly in charge, the devil.
It is not difficult to look around and see that the world has several issues that need to be resolved by clear-thinking, godly people who have the best intentions.
If you take your focus off yourself and place it on others you will see the true needs of people around you instead of your own. It is easy to get caught up in your current situation that you neglect to see the circumstances of others.
When we do finally take the time to notice the needs of others, it is pretty easy to get overwhelmed by the view and all that needs to be accomplished to make this world better. We ask ourselves, “What impact am I making?” “How can I make a difference?” Unfortunately, many people give up at that point; return their focus on themselves; and live their life in a bubble, ignoring everything and everyone else.
We all want that one person who can come lead the world to be a better place. We want someone to make that positive impact. Some of us want to be that one person or think we are that person.
Jesus’ Impact on the World
That one person already exists and was born more than 2000 years ago. Ancient Israel was watching and waiting some 2000 years ago, too. The world was not in any better shape then either. But Israel had not heard from God in 400 years. There had not been any prophecies, nor instructions, nothing. In fact, Israel had been overrun and their land had been occupied by foreigners who did not serve God.
Their heritage, customs, and sacred laws were being preempted by this occupying government. They were being held in bondage and desperately wanted to return to the days of their freedom and the ability to worship God freely and completely. They were crying out to God for a savior. And God delivered his son to them to be that savior.
But when Jesus was born, there was controversy. There were political and social challenges.
Who Jesus was and how he came to them defied the experts in the law, the Pharisees. They could not see the fact that he fulfilled 353 of their prophecies. They were too focused on themselves, and on maintaining their positions of power and prestige.
The people were looking for a great general to rise and lead Israel to a huge military victory over Rome and to keep them safe afterward.
God gave them a son. A son who was a carpenter. A son who valued peace and meekness over conflict and aggression. A son who knew the only way to change the world was to start with individuals and change their hearts one at a time.
Jesus knew the only way to change this world was one person at a time.
Investing in Others
Jesus did teach to thousands at a time. Jesus did go through crowds healing the lame and sick. He did bring sight to many blind people and open many deaf ears. But he invested greatly in 12 people. He spent most of his time with 12 people. These 12 he poured his life into. These 12 he taught and explained things to. These 12 he shared the meaning behind his parables with.
You see friends, I know you want to make an impact on the world. I do too. But the best way to impact lives is not always to work your way up to the tallest stage or biggest pulpit. It is not to become the great political leader with the most camera time. The best way to impact the lives of those around you is to invest yourself into a handful of people around you. The best way to change the world is to teach others that they are not number one.
The best way is to live like everyone else comes first and teach that to the people around you. If you truly want to make an impact, do what you can for people in your neighborhood, in your school, in your workplace, and in your own family.
Be the Church
This is what we here at Cell Life Church call “being the church”.
We want to impact the world too. We see all the problems in the world. We see the famine, the wars, the greed, the hunger, the disease, the gluttony, and many other ills of this world.
We also know there is but one answer for this lost and dying world, Jesus.
A person’s view of this world is skewed by their perspective and past experiences. Our view of the world from America is very different from the view of the world from Pakistan, the view of the world from Kenya, or the view of the world from Brazil. If we only see the world from our point of view, the solutions we come up with will only work from that point of view.
Instead, we must believe and trust that Jesus is the son of God. We must believe and trust that he is at the right hand of God the Father right now interceding for all of us. We must believe that Jesus is the savior of this world. In believing and following Jesus, we must not judge those around us, but serve them in kindness with love and compassion.
Let’s look at an interaction the Apostles Peter and John had at the temple after Jesus ascended to be with the Father in Heaven. Let’s read Acts 3: 1-10
(1) One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer–at three in the afternoon. (2) Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. (3) When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. (4) Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” (5) So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. (6) Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (7) Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. (8) He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. (9) When all the people saw him walking and praising God, (10) they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Peter and John are great examples of being the church. They stayed alert and aware of those around them. When the man called out to them, they looked straight at him and made sure he saw them. They were about to share what they had received from the Lord with him. They did not give what he asked for, they gave him what he needed.
God will give you gifts to use to serve others. What Peter and John did is not important. Why they did it is what is important. They used the power Jesus had given them through the Holy Spirit to bring healing to this man who could not walk. They were being the church. That is what being the church is all about. Sharing what Jesus has given you for the benefit of others.
Here is the catch. Sometimes there is a cost to sharing Jesus with others. Let us look at Acts 4:8-12.
(8) Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! (9) If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, (10) then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. (11) Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ (12) Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Peter and John got called in and questioned by the religious leaders. They wanted to stop what was going on, but Peter and John would not be deterred. They were doing exactly what they had been equipped and trained to do by the Lord himself.
We must never lose sight of who Jesus is and the power we receive through the Holy Spirit to act in his name. If we are going to impact the world, we must work on our piece of it, in Jesus’ name. Love Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and serve others out of the overflow of that love.
We leave you with this encouraging verse on impacting the world, James 1:27 says:
(27) Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Be the church and impact someone else in Jesus’ name.