Making a Difference
by Danna Appleby
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And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him. Col. 3:17
What is life all about? Why did God create me? What earthly good am I? When I leave this world, what will others have to say about me? What is the purpose for living? I get up. Go to work. Come home. Go to bed. Then, tomorrow start the whole process all over again. Questions like these bombard all of us.
Some time ago, my husband and I toured the Ink & Blood exhibit when it came to our city. As far as the title goes, “ink” stands for the ink used to print Bibles; “blood” stands for the blood shed so common people can have a Bible translated into their own language.
The exhibits were filled with ancient Bibles and artifacts, including fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were found in 11 caves at a site called Qumran between 1947 and 1956. Needless to say, for anyone who appreciates the Word of God, it was indeed amazing.
As we sat waiting to see another demonstration, I was caught up in the wonder of what I had seen. Tears filled my eyes as I thought of the sacrifices men such as John Wyclif, William Tyndale and Miles Cloverdale made, risking death all for the sake of someone like me to have my own Bible. Mine has given me comfort over the years, so I gave God thanks for those men who made a difference to me personally.
William Tyndale lost his life making sure there was an English translation of the Bible for the common people. Tyndale saw a true need for people to have a Bible in a language they could understand. He was imprisoned for 500 days before he was choked to death and then burned at the stake.
At the time of John Wyclif, it was illegal for Scriptures to be spoken in what they called “the vile language called English.” If anyone was suspected of even having a Wyclif Bible, they were hunted down and burned . . . along with their Bible.
The things I saw had a great impact on me because it made me realize even more that there is a need to do something to make a difference in our society. I was inspired to not sit back and do nothing while lives go unchanged and became even more determined to make a difference no matter where I am or what I am doing.
We can make a difference in some way or another. Every single one of us has a calling from God and we can use whatever He has gifted us with to be of help to someone, somewhere. No matter what we do, no matter how irrelevant we may think it is, we can make a difference.
The Apostle Paul made a tremendous difference and sacrificed greatly. I’m reminded of a particular passage from 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 which verifies his sufferings all for the cause of Jesus Christ and for the sake of the early Christians. Paul said he had been in prison, flogged, beaten, stoned and shipwrecked. He said he had been in danger, had gone without sleep, had known hunger and thirst, had been cold and also without clothing. Even though Paul suffered all of these hardships, he continued to have a tremendous burden for all of the churches of God of his day. In fact, he wrote some of his greatest letters from prison and in chains!
Recently, I spoke with a lady who told me that she and three other women visited churches and collected $15,000 so they could purchase land in Guatemala for a village to have a medical facility. These ladies loved the people there and longed to make a difference in their lives.
Some time ago, I heard a story about an 11-year-old boy who made a tremendous difference. The young boy became concerned about the hungry people in his city so he asked his principal if the leftover food from the cafeteria could be distributed to hungry people. The principal consulted the school board and they were so much in favor of it that it decided to allow the leftover food from all of the schools on the district to be distributed to the hungry in their area. What a difference that little boy made!
James 4:14 tells us life is a vapor, that it appears for a short time and then vanishes away. In other words, our lives pass by very fast. One night, I was looking up into the sky watching large fluffy clouds move quickly across the sky. Right before my eyes they suddenly dispersed and were no longer visible. That is what we are like, we’re here one day and then suddenly we must go back to the dust from where we came.
It is my hope that you will be encouraged to go and speak words of encouragement to someone. Send someone a beautiful card just because. Or, touch someone in a way that only you can. Whatever you feel God leading you to do, do it with all your heart and as unto Him. (Col. 3:17) I can tell you that you will be blessed more than you can imagine as you make a difference.
Father, I thank You because of the ministries you call us to. I know that what we do for You is important no matter how insignificant we feel it is. I pray You will bless and help us to do Your divine will when we feel the nudge from the Spirit. Lord, calm every fear that would hold us back from moving forward and pursuing the calling of God on our lives. Touch us Lord and help us to always trust in You as we strive to make a difference in the world. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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