I was thinking back to about a year ago when I was listening to Reggie Joiner speak at Orange Conference. He made a statement that stuck with me, and popped into my head the other day. He said this, “On his way to save everyone, Jesus stopped to save someone.” I love that. In the context of what he was talking about was the story of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a man that no one liked, and he wasn’t really likable. Despite what he had done, he wanted to listen to the teachings of Jesus, and Jesus called him to be greater. God sent his son to save everyone and he started by saving someone.
I love that we are called to follow and be like Jesus, because the truth is, it’s simple. We start with someone. Think about your life and the people in it. There have been people who have needed your encouragement and you were able to give it at just the right moment. There are people all around you that you can love. In the Christian community, it’s often more valued to get the numbers. How many attend your church, how many people follow your social media accounts, how many hands were raised, but what would it look like if you started looking at the individuals. What if you didn’t care about the crowd, but got to know the faces in that crowd? We need to do what Jesus did and care about the someone’s right in front of us.
Your impact has waves.
My Dad talks about the impact we have on people. He uses this concept to help it make more tangible sense. If you think about the people you impact, remember that they impact others as well. Think of that number, now add a zero to it, then, add a zero to that, and so on. That number gets pretty big, and it’s the truth. Your impact on a few creates a small ripple, that continues to build into a tidal wave. While you may feel like you’re stuck, or that you don’t have a lot of influence, stop, and realize that your impact has waves. These waves can positively change the live of others forever.
Make love personal.
Matthew 22 has Jesus tell us what is most important. The first is that we love God with everything, and the second is that we love others like ourselves. That means we have to make it personal. For me, I used to be in a pastoral role, I’m no in a different season, but the same mindset applies. There are people in my life that I have the ability to build up and encourage, but that only works if I make it personal with them. Relationships build trust, and we need trust to step into someone’s context in order to impact everyone. We need to start getting personal with others so we can love them well.
Focus on the people, numbers are great, but true freedom is what matters most.
Jesus saved everyone by starting with someone. We need to step up and love others the way Jesus did, making it personal and realizing the weight of our impact. It’s starts with relationship. First, with your relationship with Jesus, the most important decision you will ever make. The second, your relationship with others and how you choose to love. Will you choose to shame others like the enemy, or give hope the way Jesus did? When you want to make it personal with the someone’s in your life, ask these questions:
Do you know their name?
Do you know what matters to them?
Do you know what they’ve done?
Do you know what they can do?
These questions were created by Reggie Joiner, and I think that can help you impact the someone’s in your life. Remember that on his way to save everyone, Jesus saved someone. Use your impact to make love personal for someone/everyone.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__
One thought on “Someone/Everyone”
Thank you, pastor Josh! I echo all of this! The closer I get to Jesus the more I am blessed in my attitude towards others. We are all quite familiar with “what would Jesus do?”. Well, he loved me when I was at my worst, in my mess and as far from grace as I could get. Yet he loved me anyway and took my hand when I reached out to him. We are to do the same. Be that exact same Jesus when others reach out, right where they are, in their mess, far from grace and at their worst. Travis M.