The Difference One Makes
We’ve all heard stories of someone who rose up to stop injustice or was the hero of a seemingly hopeless situation. Maybe that person got credit or maybe what didn’t, but what always struck me was the heart of one who chooses to intervene. They don’t think about their own peril. They just do what needs to be done. One person makes a difference—good or bad. Each one of us makes an impact for Jesus. The difference one makes cannot be enumerated. What kind of imprint will we leave for others to follow in?
Bible Reading of the Day: Numbers 25-28
Picking up in the book of Numbers after Balaam has prophesied only blessing for the Israelites and Balak left cursed instead of Israel, The Israelites curse themselves by caving to sin and awful immorality. The culture surrounding them dragged away and enticed them. In the midst of the plague where 24,000 people died because of immorality, idolatry and unfaithfulness to God, one person intervened. Sometimes it only takes one to stand in the gap and turn the tide the other direction. Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron the priest, dealt with sin in the camp and he did it with zeal. The difference one makes changes many.
“10 The Lord spoke to Moses, 11 “Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the Israelites because he was zealous among them with my zeal,[d] so that I did not destroy the Israelites in my zeal. 12 Therefore declare: I grant him my covenant of peace. 13 It will be a covenant of perpetual priesthood for him and his future descendants because he was zealous for his God and made atonement for the Israelites.”
The Difference One Makes—Living Boldly for Jesus
Sometimes we can be apologetic for our faith. Afraid to speak out because someone might be offended. Meanwhile, sin is ravaging all around us. That is not loving. We need to boldly follow God’s word – and that means not just talking about it – but setting the standard unapologetically. We can still be gracious and hold the line. And having a godly zeal informed by truth helps others to catch our passion and follow, too.
Scripture says that sin is treacherous. The one who makes another stumble will suffer greatly. As it says in Luke 17:1-4 (ESV):
The Difference One Makes—Overcoming Temptation
“And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
Don’t cave to sin, or you will be a slave to sin!
The Difference One Makes—Sin is Treacherous
Fellow believers, we need to rise up against sin and not be apologetic about what we believe. We can’t reach the world if we are double-minded.
In Numbers 26, there was a census taken, and as it says in Numbers 26:64, “But among them there was not one of those who had been registered by Moses and the priest Aaron when they registered the Israelites in the Wilderness of Sinai. 65 For the Lord had said to them that they would all die in the wilderness. None of them was left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.”
Sin kills. Sin separates us from God. If we don’t rise up above it, we will be taken in by it. Following the world will have dire consequences. Jesus already overcame the world so we, too, can rise above worldliness and live for One. The difference one makes affects eternity.
Scripture of the Day: Numbers 27:12-14
“One day the Lord said to Moses, “Climb one of the mountains east of the river,[a] and look out over the land I have given the people of Israel. 13 After you have seen it, you will die like your brother, Aaron, 14 for you both rebelled against my instructions in the wilderness of Zin. When the people of Israel rebelled, you failed to demonstrate my holiness to them at the waters.” (These are the waters of Meribah at Kadesh[b] in the wilderness of Zin.)”
The Difference One Makes—Intervene for Others
In Numbers 27, Moses is about to die and makes a request that God appoints a shepherd for his people.
“15 So Moses appealed to the Lord, 16 “May the Lord, the God who gives breath to all,[c] appoint a man over the community 17 who will go out before them and come back in before them, and who will bring them out and bring them in, so that the Lord’s community won’t be like sheep without a shepherd.”
The Difference One Makes—Through the Holy Spirit
18 The Lord replied to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man who has the Spirit in him and lay your hands on him. 19 Have him stand before the priest Eleazar and the whole community, and commission him in their sight. 20 Confer some of your authority on him so that the entire Israelite community will obey him.”
Joshua had the Spirit of God within Him. We have the Spirit of God within us. God intervened for us so we could intervene for others. Jesus has us to be an influencer in our own spheres of influence so we can help others find Jesus. May we intervened and stand in the gap to keep people from sin and to introduce them to our Savior.
- It only takes one. One person can make a difference.
- What imprint of faith are we leaving for those who follow us?
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #253: Numbers 25-28
Scripture of the Day: Numbers 27:12-14
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