Everyone Can Spread The Good News
"One Puerto Rican lady, after getting saved in church, came to me with an urgent request. She didn't speak a word of English, so she told me through an interpreter, 'I want to do something for God, please.'
" 'I don't know what you can do,' I answered.
" 'Please, let me do something,' she said in Spanish.
" 'Okay. I'll put you on a bus. Ride a different bus every week and just love the kids.'
"So every week she rode a different bus--we have fifty of them--and loved the children. She would find the worst-looking kid on the bus, put him on her lap, and whisper over and over the only words she had learned in English: 'I love you. Jesus loves you.'
"After several months, she became attached to one little boy in particular. 'I don't want to change buses anymore. I want to stay on this one bus,' she said.
"The boy didn't speak. He came to Sunday school every week with his sister and sat on the woman's lap, but he never made a sound. Each week she would tell him all the way to Sunday school and all the way home, 'I love you and Jesus loves you.'
"One day, to her amazement, the little boy turned around and stammered, 'I-I love you, too.' Then he put his arms around her and gave her a big hug.
"That was 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon. At 6:30 that night, the boy was found dead in a garbage bag under a fire escape. His mother had beaten him to death and thrown his body in the trash.
" 'I love you and Jesus loves you.' Those were some of the last words he heard in his short life--from the lips of a Puerto Rican woman who could barely speak English.
"Who among us is qualified to minister? Who among us even knows what to do? Not you; not me. But I ran to an altar once, and I got some fire and just went.
"So did this woman who couldn't speak English. And so can you."
Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching
Spread The Good News With One Person At A Time
A friend of ours was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the distance. As he grew nearer, he noticed that the local native kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean.
As our friend approached even closer, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water.
Our friend was puzzled. He approached the man and said, "Good evening, friend. I was wondering what you are doing."
"I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it's low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll die up here from lack of oxygen."
"I understand," my friend replied, "but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can't possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don't you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?"
The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, "Made a difference to that one!"
The world is filled with lost souls; people who need Jesus as their savior. Although we individually cannot get to everyone, we can start spreading the good news of Jesus with one person at a time.
Chicken Soup For the Soul
Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, HCI, pp. 22-23.
Don't Let Obstacles Stand In Your Way
Survivor Eva Hart remembers the night, April 15, 1912, on which the Titanic plunged 12,000 feet to the Atlantic floor, some two hours and forty minutes after an iceberg tore a 300-foot gash in the starboard side: "I saw all the horror of its sinking, and I heard, even more dreadful, the cries of drowning people."
Although twenty life-boats and rafts were launched-too few and only partly filled-most of the passengers ended up struggling in the icy seas while those in the boats waited a safe distance away.
Lifeboat No. 14 did row back to the scene after the unsinkable ship slipped from sight at 2:20 A.m. Alone, it chased cries in the darkness, seeking and saving a precious few. Incredibly, no other boat joined it. Some were already overloaded, but in virtually every other boat, those already saved rowed their half-filled boats aimlessly in the night, listening to the cries of the lost. Each feared a crush of unknown swimmers would cling to their craft, eventually swamping it.
"I came to seek and to save the lost," our Savior said. And he commissioned us to do the same. But we face a large obstacle: fear. While people drown in the treacherous waters around us, we are tempted to stay dry and make certain no one rocks the boat.
Illustrations For Preaching & Teaching
Editor Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, p. 67.
Rescue The Perishing
The Times-Reporter of New Philadelphia, Ohio, reported in September 1985 a celebration at a New Orleans municipal pool. The party around the pool was held to celebrate the first summer in memory without a drowning at any New Orleans city pool. In honor of the occasion, two hundred people gathered, including one hundred certified lifeguards.
As the party was breaking up and the four lifeguards on duty began to clear the pool, they found a fully dressed body in the deep end. They tried to revive Jerome Moody, thirty-one, but it was too late. He had drowned surrounded by lifeguards celebrating their successful season.
I wonder how many visitors and strangers are among us drowning in loneliness, hurt, and doubt, while we, who could help them, don't realize it. We Christians have reason to celebrate, but our mission, as the old hymn says, is to "rescue the perishing." And often they are right next to us.
Illustrations For Preaching & Teaching
Editor Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, p. 152.
Nothing Makes Life More Meaningful Than Assisting With A New Birth In Christ
On his night job at Taco Bell, 17-year-old Nicholas Zenns was taking orders at the drive-up window. He heard a woman scream, turned, and saw very pregnant Devorah Anderson standing in front of him. The high-school student pulled off his headset, called the paramedics, and tried to make the woman comfortable. But the baby wouldn't wait. "The baby's head just popped out into my hands," Nicholas said.
Paramedics finally arrived and took baby and parents to the hospital. Nicholas cleaned up, "sterilized my hands about a thousand times," and finished his shift.
Nicholas says this event changed his perspective. "Things have been pretty bad in my life lately, and then I got to do this. I'm really glad."
In the same way, nothing makes life more meaningful than leading someone to new birth in Christ.
Spring 1997, Vol. XVIII, No. 2, Page 71
Spreading The Gospel
We're not quite sure who it was, but someone spent a significant chunk to promote messages from God. On behalf of an anonymous client, The Smith Agency in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, launched the advertising campaign in September 1998.
"This individual simply appeared in our office one day last spring and hired us on the spot," said Andrew Smith, the agency's president. "However, our agreement prohibits us from releasing his name. I will say he is quite well known."
More than a dozen different messages, all signed by God, appeared on area billboards and buses. Among the messages:
Let's Meet at My House Sunday Before the Game.--God
C'mon Over and Bring the Kids.--God
What Part of "Thou Shalt Not ..." Didn't You Understand?--God
We Need to Talk.--God
Keep Using My Name in Vain And I'll Make Rush Hour Longer.--God
Loved the Wedding, Invite Me to the Marriage.--God
That "Love Thy Neighbor" Thing, I Meant It.--God
I Love You ... I Love You ... I Love You.--God
Will The Road You're on Get You to My Place?--God
My Way Is the Highway.--God
You Think It's Hot Here?--God
Tell the Kids I Love Them.--God
Have You Read My #1 Best Seller? There Will Be a Test.--God