March 2015

Making an Impact

During World War II a young lady, Irena Sender, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a plumbing/sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive. Irena would smuggle Jewish infants out of the ghetto in the bottom of her tool box. She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck for larger kids. Irena kept a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.  The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the infant’s crying and noises. During the time she worked there, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 children and infants. Ultimately, she was caught, and the Nazis broke both of her legs and arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of all the names of the children she had smuggled out in a glass jar that she buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate the parents that may have survived and tried to reunite the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted. Irena died May 12, 2008 at the age of 98 in Warsaw, Poland. 

Irena made an impact on at least 2,500 children. Likewise, believers should make a spiritual impact on their families, businesses, churches, communities, and world. We were never redeemed by Christ to sit, soak, and get spiritually sour. Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16). Just as the moon is the reflective light of the sun, we are the reflective light of Jesus Christ. Notice how important the little words of scripture are.  The light should shine “before all men.” Would it make a difference if you drop the “all?” You bet. Then we could practice selective light shining. We could have an on and off switch. Christ did not intend for us to have on and off switches, where we could selectively or conveniently let our light shine. Our purpose as light shiners is to always impact others for Jesus Christ. Thus, it is our personal responsibilities to let our light shine, so that others will see that they are different, because of our relationship to Jesus Christ. 

The product of our light shining is good work. Good emphasizes quality of work as well as attractiveness of the work. It is allowing others to see the beauty of the Lord through you. Notice that Jesus places the emphasis on actions, because actions speak louder than words. Key point- good works will be seen by nonbelievers; it is unavoidable. As a child of God, your life will come in contact with nonbelievers and they will be watching and taking note of your conduct. We are not supposed to be Christian bug lights, that draw people to us, but reflective lights that cause others to see God and glorify Him. 

Jesus did not call us to be magnificent chandeliers for people to admire, but a single bulb to make a difference in the darkness. There is a story about a missionary in India, who asked a Hindu scholar to teach him the language. The Hindu replied, “No, I will not teach you the language. You will make me a Christian." The missionary answered, “You misunderstand me. I'm simply asking you to teach me your language." The Hindu replied, “No, I will not teach you. No man can live with you and not become a Christian.” 

The Congregational Bible Church has been around 100 years making an impact on lives! As we move forward, may the church and each of us let our light shine for Jesus Christ. 

                                                                                                                            -Pastor Mike Kotrla