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In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” Luke 15:10 (NLT)

He was in his early 20’s. He had quite a reputation around the small town I’d just moved into. Most of his activities revolved around multiple girlfriends and marijuana. Jim (not his real name) and I struck up a friendship as the result of an old man we both worked with at a small factory in town.

The old guy, I’ll call him Richard, was a Bible-thumping Presbyterian who always had a good word for everyone and usually it came from the Bible. Richard had a been a Christian for over 40 years at that time and read the Bible through every one of those years. Richard didn’t just ‘love the Lord’; he walked and talked with him on a daily basis!

As time passed, Richard and I decided to make Jim our very own prayer project. Jim was interested in the Bible, but most of the time it seemed like it was just a good discussion tool and not something he took seriously.

Perhaps that’s the reason why I was so surprised one morning when he showed up at church. I’d invited him but had no thought that he’d actually attend, but there he was at Sunday School in jeans and a t-shirt (which, in this church was simply unheard of and inappropriate).

After Sunday School we talked a bit before I had to excuse myself to tend to some of my responsibilities at the church. I lost track of Jim and couldn’t see him during the worship service either. I assumed (sadly) that he left for home. At the end of the service the pastor announced that he had an introduction to make. He invited Jim to the front of the auditorium. Jim had been sitting up in the front row the whole time. The pastor told how this young man had come to him after Sunday School and prayed to accept Christ as his Savior.

I was moved to tears to say the least. As I made my way through the crowd to try to reach Jim (who was now surrounded by a crowd of ‘welcomers’) one of the deacons stopped me and said, “Say, I see you are painting your house!”

His statement still amuses me in a sense. I tried, as I was choking back tears, to engage in the small talk but on the inside I was screaming “Who cares about my stupid house! Do you realize what just happened here? A soul has come home! A life has been changed! A lost sheep has returned to the fold!”

I think of this story whenever I hear this verse from Luke. Do we, as followers of Jesus Christ, really realize the impact we can have on someone’s eternity? We admire great evangelists who can win 1,000’s to Christ, but the angel’s party in heaven over just one soul. We weren’t put here on earth to make money or to raise families. As Christ-followers, we are here to show those who need the Savior the way to repentance and joy and eternal life.

Let your light shine! Be a part of changing just one persons life today by showing them the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Rejoice in the privilege God has given us to make a difference in someone for eternity!

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for Jesus. It’s amazing to me that the angels rejoice over even one person who comes to you. Empower me to see the great privilege I have to make a difference today. Help me to show someone what Jesus is like and perhaps even have the great privilege of leading them home. Amen

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