As you can clearly see from a quick look at my life, it is nothing special, glamorous, or especially meaningful on the outside. Sometimes someone will ask me, "What do you do all day?" and I have no idea how to answer. I know that my bottom rarely hits a chair and that I'm exhausted at the end of most days, but I can't really tell you what I do. Wash clothes? Clean up toilet water from lots of other places besides the toilet? Send lots of emails because it's just about the only way I can communicate above all the noise and chaos? Cook? Sweep the floor five times a day? It all seems so lame and insignificant.

I have found myself over the last couple of years searching for the Lord, His Word, and His wisdom as for treasure, as He encourages us to do. In my pursuit of Him, I have found Him satisfying as He promises He will be, yet I also find myself always wanting more. The other night as I taught the preschool kids a lesson at church, though, I saw His pursuit of us and it tugged at my heart.

We talk of seeking the Lord, but how often do we ponder His pursuit of us? He has gone to the greatest lengths possible to find and keep us, yet we whine that there is not enough proof of His existence, or at least His goodness, for us to believe. Jesus gives the picture of the shepherd leaving his flock to find that one lost sheep no matter how long it takes and of a woman tearing through her house desperately searching for the one lost coin out of the ten she had. My mind flashed to images of me looking in every nook and cranny of our house searching for lost hairbrushes and library books. You can be sure of the fact that I’ve exhausted every effort trying to find these things and you can also believe that I’d be throwing some kind of celebration if they turned up.

Well, that’s exactly what the shepherd and the woman with the coin did. They rejoiced and they made sure the neighbors knew how happy they were. God shows us through these stories the diligence and passion with which He pursues His people and the rejoicing in heaven when he finds one. One. That’s the amazing part. The significance of one.

How many people have lived on this earth since creation? I don’t know, but it’s a lot. Billions. God created each one and knows each one intimately, so it should not surprise us that He rejoices as much over ONE being saved as when hundreds or thousands are saved at a time at a Billy Graham conference or some such event. The Word is full of instances where Jesus changed an individual life. Yes, He preached to crowds, but many of those people turned away when the rubber met the road. But the people He touched individually…you see a faith that is firm. (Okay, there was Judas, but let’s call him the exception to the rule.)

We see significance in numbers. We build bigger churches so more people will come. We measure the success of a church by the size of the crowd. I am guilty of measuring the success of my walk with the Lord by the number of people I’ve lead to Him. And while I think it would certainly be a good thing to point many more people to Christ than I have, I am trying to see the significance of my life, and all lives, in the way God does. We should mourn as much when one life is lost as when thousands are lost. And we should rejoice as much when one person turns to Christ as when multitudes do.

God sees the significance of each life as immeasurable. Each soul that escapes death is a reason to have a party, so shouldn’t we be about impacting as many Ones as we can? I will probably never teach hundreds or thousands of people at a time. Okay, I was part of sharing the gospel with hundreds in Guatemala, and we all see that as very significant. But doesn’t the Lord see reaching out to a neighbor at home with a kind gesture in just the same way?

Don’t minimize the importance of your potential impact on the kingdom. If you’re like me, and your life is mostly a bunch of seemingly insignificant, mundane moments strung together with a few highlights here and there, don’t miss what the Lord wants to do in those unimpressive moments. As we look back on times in our lives, it’s usually those moments we don’t even realize the importance of that have the most significance.

The word of truth spoken. The gesture of love. The life lived above reproach in a way that looks different than the world around you. Your attitude. Your approach to a tough situation.

If you’d like an amazing real-life example of how one life can impact another when a person just lives for the Lord and obeys His Word, read Same Kind of Different as Me. I’m sure people could drum up some doubt over some of the story or some theological objections if they dug deep enough. But I see it as the account of one woman who was afraid to miss what the Lord had for her and obeyed by doing one simple thing one day a week. And, oh my, what the Lord can do with one little act of obedience and love. With ONE heart sold out to Him. With one kernel of wheat. And it mattered so much to ONE man. And now it matters to thousands more.

Go and be the hands and feet of Jesus as He seeks that ONE.

So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”

Luke 15:3-10


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