You Make a Difference
Updated: May 23, 2020
William Booth was greatly stirred by the needs of the poor of London, and realized that most churches were doing nothing to reach the “undesirables”—drunkards, morphine addicts, prostitutes, and the poor. He set out to reach them with what he called the 3 Ss: soup, soap and salvation. Thousands were saved, among those, that most churches had no interest in reaching. Booth gave his life for the cause of reaching others.
In his 80s, Booth’s work began to be hindered by blindness. He briefly lost his sight and then recovered it, but later he lost his vision permanently. His son, Bramwell, came to bring him the bad news that he would never see again. Booth replied, “God must know best, Bramwell. I have done what I could for God and the people with my eyes. Now I shall do what I can for God and the people without my eyes.”
It is Friday and we have come to the end of another week. As we close our week, I want to leave you with an encouraging note. I want to say thank you again, as your Pastor and friend, for all the ministry that is taking place during this historic period of world history. So many are reaching out, trying to share the love of Christ through so many avenues of ministry. Our website, our church, our fellowship that we share at this present time with each other is held together by the glue of service. God bless you. As you serve, may His grace and love keep you strong.
This story about William Booth struck me, in many ways, as I read it. I know, from reading historical accounts, that often times Booth faced opposition, trials and obstacles that made ministry far from easy. In the early days, they faced glaring opposition and many times were arrested for “disturbing the peace.” But Booth did not give up. He had a passion for the poor of London, caring about their physical and spiritual plight. I think there are some things that can encourage us about Booth’s story as we close our week.
Respond to the opportunities where God has placed you. We are not all going to be William Booths nor I am going to be a David Jeremiah or Charles Stanley. BUT, we can bloom where we are planted. When I pastored in Nova Scotia, our community undertook the building of a new, state-of-the-art fire station. It was a daunting task. One of the gentlemen in my church got the idea that he would sell bricks for an interior wall that people could purchase with their names engraved on them for something like $25.00. They sold like hot cakes and raised an incredible amount of money. The fire station stands today as a testimony to those bricks and what seemed like insignificant acts of love making a huge difference to the overall picture. My friends, what you and I are doing does make a difference and it is folks like you and I that God uses to piece together His kingdom!
Stay attentive. Nothing worth building is done overnight. God is working. Stay focused and patient. The old devil will try and discourage you and persuade you to get off track. Tell him to take a hike! Stay focused and think of the Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 11:23-30 NIV)
Realize that it is possible that you might not see all the fruits of your labour. My mom prayed for me, stood with me and modelled what it meant to be a follower of Jesus Christ, yet she passed away before I went on to Pastoral ministry. God is faithful. Things will come to pass in His time and His way. Have faith - keep plugging along. You are part of the plan. Trust Him.
And finally, enjoy the journey. Look for the positives and blessings in light of the problems. Don’t be scared to take your challenges to the Lord in prayer and be honest - He doesn’t mind - and be loving. I know sometimes it is hard but as Paul says, it is “The most excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31 NIV) Remember, in the end, it empowers us as much or more than others.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday – keep up the good work and take note, “When you help a person up the hill you find yourself closer to the top!”
Keep safe and be encouraged - Pastor Ralph