There was an old action show I remember that was based on the phrase, “One man can make a difference.” And we see that here. I should probably amend that phrase, however, to, “One man filled with the Spirit of God can make a difference.”
Paul and his shipmates landed on the island of Malta, and cold as they were, they built a fire. Paul, being the kind of man he was, instantly volunteered to help build the fire. But as he put some wood on the fire, a viper came out and bit him, literally hanging on his hand until Paul shook him off.
When the islanders saw this, they said,
This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live. (4)
And they waited for him to die. When he didn’t, however, they changed their minds and said, “He must be a god.”
I’m sure Paul quickly disabused them of that idea as he introduced them to the one true God.
Then, Publius, the chief official of the island welcomed them onto his estate, and when Paul saw that Publius’ father was sick, he prayed for him, and immediately, he was healed. When the people on the island heard of this, they came from all over to be healed by Paul. The result of this?
Malta eventually became a Christian nation, and remains so to this day.
The point? When the Spirit is working within us, we can make a difference. We may not be shaking off poisonous snakes or healing people, but when the Spirit is working in us, people will notice and lives will be changed. So as Paul once put it, let us continue being filled with God’s Spirit day by day (Ephesians 5:18) that others may see him in us and come to know him themselves.
Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit today. When others see me, let them see a definite difference in me and wonder why. I want to be used by you. Make me your vessel and a channel of your grace this day and every day. In Jesus name, amen.