My wife and I watched, 'It's a Wonderful Life' again and it got
to me, again.
At first I thought this movie was about one particular man, but really it was about each individual.
you haven't seen the movie you are missing out.
Bar its Catholic connotations it is really a good movie, a classic.
This movie was put together in 1946, and the main actors were
Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed.
Rather than just being about how tragic life would be without this one man, it was really
about how tragic it would be without each individual.
Of course we Christians know that each individual has to also
be directed by God, or his life though influential and meaningful in the earthly sense will lack any lasting effect and will
one day fizzle out.
The Angel, called Clarence, in the movie says, "Each man's life touches so many other lives, and
when he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"
This gets to me everytime.
How often are we told
that the individual is insignificant.
This is a lie. The individual under God will have a great, lasting and positive impact
on the world in which he or she lives.
It might not be apparent until he or she is gone.
Pardon my quotes from
fictitional sources but I am finally going to end up quoting from biblical sources.
When I watched the Lord of the
Rings, which supposedly has some parallels to the Christian faith, I remember the following statement.
Frodo I believe, someone said, 'even a small person can change the future'
Frodo was a little hobbit that was responsible
for getting 'the ring' to a place where it could be destroyed.
He had some help but he was just a little guy with a
job to do.
We often look at the mission we have, and think it is too much for us to handle. In one way this is true.
with a lot of help from our friend we will succeed.
If it were not for this one God man everything else certainly would
So how do we do it?
One chinese guy said, 'The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first
Now, this seems like an obvious statement, but how many of us fail to put one foot in front of another, simply
because we looked at the whole journey and were overwhelmed.
This chinese guy was right, he was just taking his thousand
mile journey in the wrong direction.
The scripture says, 'Thy word is a lamp unto my feet', but if you don't put one
foot in front of the other having a divine flashlight serves no purpose.
Enter the apostle Paul. He was a 'tentmaker'
and 'apostle to the Gentiles' He was given a great task to perform.
He even recognized that he was the least of the apostles.
(1 Corinthians 15)
Before he even did anything the power originated in who God made him to be, even before what he
'But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured
more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.'
(1 Corinthians 15)
the natural representative of God's purpose concerning the body because he was himself a Hebrew and a Roman in one person
(See Acts 26:16-18, New Tr.), an enemy reconciled to God and His Christ,
the "pattern" whom God chose to "show forth all
longsuffering" (I Tim. 1:16) and "one born out of [before the] due time" (I Cor. 15:8) as both Jews and Gentiles are today."
http://geocities.com/protestantscot/ttd/chapter4.htmlThe apostle Paul was a bridge between Jew and Gentile because
he was a Hebrew/Jew and Roman Citizen as well.
He used this effectively.
His mission fit his nature perfectly.
mission fits our new nature as well. We don't create our mission, our mission fits our new nature.
You could very well
be a bridge between groups or individuals, and meant to reconcile people to God and to each other.
We each are 'ministers
of the reconciliation' in our particular sphere of influence. (2 Corinthians 5)
So how do we do it?
Do we campaign
or solicit funds, so that we can build a big church where the masses can congregate and hear the truth?
through mass evangelization and/or by reaching out to individuals?
Don't let anyone fool you into thinking that only
big churches and specialized ministries can effectively minister.
If anything, they create ministry myopia that cannot
recognize the needs of the ones outside the church or outside the particular ministry that one is a part of. This
is similar to the Priest and the Levite in the parable of the good samaritan.
It creates group think.
on that go to google and type in 'Group Think' and 'Irving Janis'
"...Jesus ministered in ordinary everyday places
and didn't build or even suggest the necessity to build special centers or headquarters...The setting for the development
of true discipleship as we see it worked out in the New Testament is not in large numbers. The making of a disciple is a costly
personal process feasible only in small groupings where the right kind of attention can be given" (Cells For Life, pg. 18,19
The emphasis in small groups in peoples homes should be personal and up close. Too often Pastors of churches
are so focused on numbers that they miss the importance of quality of relationships. The bigger the congregation the bigger
the offering. However, in the long run this might not even be true. The following quote aptly demonstrates my point.
say for example that a gifted evangelist is able to lead 1,000 people to Christ every day. Each year he will have reached
365,000 people, a phenomenal ministry indeed.
Lets compare him with a disciple who leads not 1,000 people a day to
Christ, but only one person a year. At the end of one year, the disciple has one convert; the evangelist, 365,000. But suppose
the disciple has not only led another person to Christ, but has also discipled him. He has prayed with him, taught him how
to feed himself from the Word of God, gotten him into fellowship with like minded believers, and shown him how to present
the Gospel to other people. At the end of that first year, this new convert is able to
lead another man to Christ and follow
him up as he himself has been followed up.
At the start of the second year, the disciple has doubled his ministry-the
one has become two. During the second year, each man goes out and leads not 1,000 people per day to Christ, but one person
per year. At the end of the second year, we have four people.
You can see how slow our process is. But note too that we
do not have only converts, but disciples who are able to reproduce themselves. At this rate of doubling every year, the disciple,
leading one man per year to Christ, will overtake the evangelist numerically early in the 24th year. From then on the disciple
and his multiplying ministry will be propagating faster than the combined ministry of dozens of gifted evangelists.
like the dad who offered his two sons the choice of either taking one dollar a week for 52 weeks or one cent the first week,
and the amount doubled every week for 52 weeks. One son took the dollar. The other son said, 'Well, Dad, I will try the penny
to see what will happen.' We all know who wins: the son who takes the one penny and has it doubled each week. The degree to
which he wins is absolutely astounding. By the end of the year, the son who began with the penny will have enough money to
live comfortably the rest of his life."
(DISCIPLES ARE MADE NOT BORN, Henrichsen, pg. 136,137)
So there it is,
your inspirational message for the decade.
Don't think that the job is too big or you are too little because if God be
You know the rest.