The Power of One Person

by Laurie Nichols

love (1)I remember a missionary friend present our reason for witnessing clearer and more simply than I had ever heard it before. Here is what this woman said:

My decision to become a missionary was not magical or dramatic or remarkable at all. It was just logical: I love Jesus, I love people, there are people who don’t know about Jesus, most of them are Muslim, that’s not fair, so I ought to go tell them.

ABC. A: I love Jesus. B: I love people and many don’t know about Jesus. C: This isn’t right, and I want to do what I can to change that. As I followed her thinking, I was reminded of the younger generation’s extraordinarily strong sense of justice. We care about people, these people are being abused, that is wrong, we must do something about it.

In a world so big, we are so small. What can one person do? we often ask. Well, a lot. The Message version of John 1:14 sums up what one person did, which…oh yeah… changed the world: “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish.”

ABC. A: God loved the world. B: The world was drowning in sin and sadness. C: God sent his Son, Jesus. Oh, and then there’s the D: Jesus changed the world.

That’s what one person can do.

My missionary friend above is serving in a Muslim-dominated area of the Middle East. She is one person who each year touches the lives of more than four hundred men desiring to learn the English language. Entire families and communities are quietly coming to faith through hers and others faithful service in a land which appears desolate.

That’s what one person can do.

A pastor friend once shared about a man in his neighborhood. After months of faithful Bible study with his man, my friend finally saw him come to put his faith in Jesus. ABC. A: We love Jesus. B. We love people and they don’t know him. C. That’s not right and we must invest our time and share the hope of Christ.

That’s what one person can do.

There’s a saying that goes, “Pity weeps and walks away, but compassion comes to help and stay.” Because we (a) love Jesus and (b) love people and know they are hurting and lost, doesn’t it only make sense that we (c) tell them and show them what the love of Jesus is all about? It is illogical to not include the action component, however that looks.

Brazilian Roman Catholic Archbishop Dom Helder Camera once said, “No one was born to be a slave or a beggar. No one.” Not to the world and not to darkness. Not to sin and not to others. Each person was born to know and to love God. And we who have that great and marvelous privilege are called to engage in the simple ABCs so that those who do not may find hope in this life and in that which is to come.

Let’s pray that God would give us the love and confidence to be the one person who can help change a life. Pray that we would know and remember the ABCs of witnessing: we love Jesus, we love others and they don’t know Jesus, that’s not fair, and we ought to do something about it.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16


Laurie NicholsLaurie Fortunak Nichols is editor of the Gospel Life blog. She is also director of communications at the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College and managing editor for Evangelical Missions Quarterly (EMQ).