One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf.
Then, smiling at the man, he said…..“I made a difference for that one.”
I love this simple story by Loren Eisley, it is filled with wisdom, compassion, and at the very heart of it is love. The boy knows that there is not enough time to save all of the starfish, instead, he is content to be helping one at a time. I think our walk with the Lord can feel very much the same. I know I spend too much of my walk with the mindset of the man and far too little with the compassion of the boy.
Ministry Happens One Soul At A Time
1 Timothy 2:1–4 offers us the following reminder… (1) Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, (2) for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. (3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, (4) who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth… Are we going to go out on a Sunday afternoon and save all men? Absolutely not! Now, don’t get me wrong, people can be saved in very large groups as we have seen at the Billy Graham revivals, but most people come to the Lord through singular conversations. Our hearts may be to see thousands saved at any given time, but each soul won for Christ is more valuable than we will ever understand.
Everyone Plays A Part
Mark 16:15–16 commands us… (15) And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (16) He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned… If the Lord has commands us to preach the gospel throughout the whole world, He is certainly not speaking to just the disciples, He is not speaking to just me, He is not commanding only you, we all play a part in this vital commandment. We travel miles and miles each day, and pass by hundreds of lost souls, it is time for us to care about those lost souls, even if we can only save one of them at a time.
No Such Thing As A Silent Witness
Is it hard to talk to friends about Christ? Yes! Is it difficult to talk to strangers about Christ? Absolutely! Can we remain idle and watch people as they sprint toward their eternal punishment? No! I have heard many people talk about being a silent witness, what good is that? They think you are a good person, wonderful, how does that change their mind? How does that lead them to salvation? Jesus’ return is closer today than it was yesterday, we cannot afford to remain silent any longer. Romans 1:16 encourages us… (16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek… We have the power of God, we have His promises, we must stand unashamed for the furtherance of the gospel! Your effort will matter to that one!
Ministry does not have to be waves of unbelievers giving their lives over to the Lord all at once, it can be much more simple than that. Set your sights on saving one, then move on to the next one, then the next one, and the next one. The shoreline of our lives stretches long and wide, there are hundreds of lost souls around us each day… make a difference for one of them!
John 3:16 (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.