Remember the parable Jesus told about the shepherd with 100 sheep? One sheep wandered away & got lost, so the shepherd left the 99 to go find it (Luke 15:4-7). Jesus is the Good Shepherd who leaves the 99 who are already in His fold to go seek & save the lost one. That’s radical outreach, & a great model for us. So we’ve been asking our fold at Southpoint, “Who’s Your 1?” There may be many people in your life that need Jesus, but who’s the 1 you can focus on? Who has God put in your path & on your heart to pray for?
1 More for Jesus!
For the past 2 months, I’ve asked people to write the name of their “1” on a ball & place it inside the big blue arrow on the wall in the church lobby (the arrow is our symbol for “Pointing People to the Way, Truth, & Life”). That arrow is now filled with hundreds of names. But there are surely more people in your life who need the Lord than just 1. And even if you reach that 1, there will always be 1 More for Jesus to reach.
Years ago broadcast TV showed the 1993 film “Schindler’s List.” It’s about a World War II industrialist in Germany named Oskar Schindler who saved more than 1,100 Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. Toward the end of the film, he’s troubled & haunted by the fact that he didn’t save more when he could have. In that moving scene, surrounded by the Jewish workers he saved, he laments, “I could have gotten more out.” One of the workers responds, “There are 1,100 people who are alive because of you. Look at them. …There will be generations because of what you did.” Schindler says, “I didn’t do enough.” He says he could have made more money, could have sold his car, & gold. He holds a gold pin in his hands, & says, “It would have given me one. One more. One more person. One more person is dead….for this.” He breaks down, crying, “I could have gotten one more person…& I didn’t.”
Who’s the person you’ve been praying for by name regularly about receiving Jesus? Tragically, evangelism has been losing steam among Christians for a long time. The Covid era made it tremendously worse. But people are still desperately in need of rescue! The fact is, without Christ, people are alienated from God, in spiritual darkness, without hope in this world, under condemnation, dead while they yet live, and headed for eternal hell. This is no the time to pull back or retreat.
A poem that I’ve quoted several times over the years still haunts me to this day:
My friend, I stand in Judgment now,
and feel that you’re to blame somehow.
On earth I walked with you by day,
and never did you point the way.
You knew the Lord in truth and glory,
but never did you tell the story.
My knowledge then was very dim;
you could have led me safely to Him.
Though we lived together here on earth,
you never mentioned a second birth.
And now this day I stand condemned,
because you failed to mention Him.
You taught me many things, that’s true.
I called you “friend” and trusted you.
But now I learn that it’s too late,
You could have kept me from this fate.
Yes, I called you “friend” in life,
and trusted you through joy and strife.
And yet on coming to this dreadful end,
I cannot now even call you my “friend.”
Convicting, right? When Henry Ford purchased a large insurance policy, the Detroit newspapers blazoned the fact because the amount was so large. One of Ford’s old friends who happened to be in the insurance business read the story. So he went to confront Ford to see if it was true. When Ford assured him it was, he asked why didn’t he purchase the policy from him. Ford’s reply was “You never asked me.” How many of our friends can say to us, “You never asked me” when it comes to sharing Christ with them?
Christmas season is here, which provides a great opportunity to share the reason for the season, & to invite them to church. Most people aren’t actually looking for a church–it doesn’t even cross their minds. They don’t even know how much they need what we have to offer–the truth, hope, joy, & peace that Jesus brings! They’re NOT coming to us, so we need to go to them. Ask God for at least 1 more person with whom to share Jesus.