When Jesus Came In People were Changed

This summer I asked Aaron Prosser to find examples of “When Jesus Came into places or situations.” He sent me 91 instances of which I want to just use three as an example.

When Jesus Came In Lepers were Healed. Mark 1:40 – 45. We see often that When Jesus came in physical needs were met and people were encouraged because Jesus had been there.

When Jesus Came In He placed people in places of ministry and service. Mark 1: 14 – 20 Fishermen leaving their nets, Mark 3:13 – 19 the apostles were appointed, Luke 9:1 – 6 He sent out the twelve disciples to preach and teach.

When Jesus Came in He many Samaritans believed, John 4:39 – 42, Doubt was turned to faith, John 20:24 – 31, Sins were forgiven, Matthew 9:1 -3.

When Jesus Came in things changed for the good. There was no complaining, no passing the blame to someone else, no protecting ourselves. There was forgiveness, peace, contentment and love. The Lord made a difference in lives of real people and today, as Christians, His followers, may we make a difference in people this year. I want to share a presentation with you that was given at the First Engstrom Leadership Institute this year By Ken Blanchard. He was using an illustration by Barbara Glanz entitled Johnny the Bagger.

Every one of us can make a difference and create meaningful memories for our students attending Toccoa Falls College. And that will motivate them to stay, complete their education, and recommend the college to their friends and others.

We need to go home tonight and think about something you can do for students at TFC that will make them feel special—a memory that will make them enjoy their time here and share it with others.

There are a lot of ways you can give your own personal signature to your work. A baggage attendant for an airline decided that instead of throwing away luggage tags that fell off customers’ suitcases, he would write them a note and say, “Thank you for flying with us” and send it back to them.

A motivational speaker, Barbara Glanz, shares this story with us. About a month after I had spoken to supermarket folks, I received a call from a frontline customer contact person, a nineteen year old bagger named Johnny. The caller, who proudly informed me that he was a Down Syndrome youngster and told me his story. He said “Barbara, I liked what you talked about but I didn’t think I could do anything special for our customers. After all I’m Just a Bagger.”

Then I had an idea. He decided that every night when he came home from work, he would find a thought for the day. “If I can’t find a saying I like, Johnny proudly said, I think one up.”

When Johnny had a good saying his dad helped him enter his “Thought for the Day” six times on a page in the computer. Each night he printed out fifty pages, cut them apart and put his name on the back of each one. When I finish bagging someone’s groceries, I put my thought for the day in their bag and say, “Thanks for shopping with us.”

Here is a young man, doing a job that most people would say is not important, but he had made it important by creating precious memories for all his customers.

A month later the store manager called me. He said, “Barbara, you won’t believe what happened today. When I was making my rounds and got up from where the cashiers are, I found the line at Johnny’s checkout was three times longer than anyone else’s. It went all the way down the frozen food aisle. I was concerned, and so I announced, “Get more cashiers out here, get more lanes open.” All the while trying to get people to change lanes. But on one would move. They all said, “No, it’s okay, we want to be in Johnny’s lane, we want his ‘Thought for the day’.” It was a joy to watch Johnny delight the customers. One woman came up and grabbed my hand and said, “I used to shop at your store only once a week, but now I come in every time I go by because I want to get Johnny’s Thought for the Day.

Who do you think is the most important person in our whole store now. Johnny of course. And that spirit of service began to spread throughout the store, and all because of one young man with Down Syndrome, who decided he could make a difference. Every one of you can make a difference, an impact in our students lives. Our Mission Statement is that we “develop Christian Servant Leaders who will impact their world with the love and message of Jesus Christ.” That just doesn’t mean our students, that means all of us.

No matter what your job or position in this college, the real question is “are we going to be a Johnny today.” Are we going to change our surroundings as Johnny did.

And when we look at the Word of God where Jesus came into people’s presence, we find that Jesus is our true example of impacting our world. For when Jesus entered the place, nothing was ever the same again.

May we, this year, go forth and let others see Jesus in our lives. May He be our focus, not our circumstances or situations, but Jesus, and may we reflect that to our students and to each other this entire year.

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President Emeritus Toccoa Falls College

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