Looking back, I wonder if Mr. St. Pierre knew my
situation. I was an eighth grader and my father had
recently left our family. I would see him only once
in the next seven years.
Even before this life-altering moment in the life of
a fourteen year-old, my father had not been a big
part of my life. His job as a long-distance truck
driver kept him away from us more than he was home.
His struggle with alcohol made much of his time at
home unpleasant for all of us (Praise God my dad got
saved three years before he died!).
I was struggling, needing someone or something to
fill a void in my life that I was not even
consciously aware that existed. I was in dire need
of a male role model. I needed someone to look up
to. I needed someone to believe in me. I needed
someone to make a difference in my life.
Mr. St. Pierre was my Social Studies teacher,
football coach, and baseball coach. All the
students liked him. He was outgoing, had a cool
sports car, and a beautiful girlfriend.
He probably is totally unaware of the impact he made
in my life. He allowed me to be his unofficial
assistant in his class. He made me the captain of
the J.V. football team. Most importantly, he seemed
to genuinely be interested in me and my future. He
cared. Because of this, God used him to make a
difference in my life.
Jude 22 says, “And of some have compassion,
making a difference.” This is not an optional
part of the Christian life. This verse was not
written only for preachers, deacons, and full-time
Christian workers. This verse applies to teenagers
Christian teen, may I ask you a very pointed
question? In whose life are you making a
difference? Are you obeying the command of Jude 22?
My first ministry after I graduated from high school
took my wife and I to the coast of North Carolina
where I served as a youth director, Christian School
teacher, and coach.
We arrived at a school in desperate need of
revival. We heard about a time in the
not-too-distant past when this school had
experienced a move of God. This time of revival has
been sparked by a single student, Bill Jewell.
I knew Bill, having attended Bible College with
him. He did not have the most brawn (he was
actually somewhat small), the most brains (he was
smart but not the top-of-the-class smart), or the
most bucks. What he did possess were the two key
ingredients in becoming a difference maker: he
loved God and he loved people.
God used this ordinary young man to do the
extraordinary. God used this one teen to turn a
school upside down.
I saw a statement one time that is troubling and
tragic but nonetheless true. Most people live and
then die without ever having done anything of any
Determine to invest your life, not waste it. Decide
to make a difference. With God’s help, you can do
Make A Difference With Your Family.
Many who will read this article have a close family
member who is headed for hell. What are you doing
to reach them?
I received a message from Phillip, a young Asian man
from a Buddhist background. After he got saved, he
got a burden for his family. Because of his
influence, several of his siblings trusted Christ
and recently he was privileged to lead his mother to
Christ. After her baptism, he was rejoicing and yet
still burdened to reach his father. I fully expect
to receive a message one day that Phillip has led
his father to the Lord.
You can make a difference with your family. Through
your life, your lips, and your look, do all you can
to let your light shine brightly for Jesus.
Make A Difference With Your Friends.
Proverbs 13:20 says, “He that walketh with wise
men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be
destroyed.”Are you helping draw your friends
closer to Christ or discouraging them in their walk
Lindsay was invited by some friends to a Wednesday night Teen
meeting that we had during my time as a youth pastor. I’ll never
forget that night when she trusted Christ as her personal Savior.
She became one of our best teens, faithful to every service,
activity, bus visitation, and soul winning.
She attended the public school and invited her friend Linh to our
church. Linh got saved and these two young ladies became key
members of our youth ministry, helping countless others through
their bold witness and compassionate outreach.
A friend reached a friend who in turn reached other friends. Are
you making a difference in the lives of your friends?
Make A Difference With Your Future.
Why is it that so few young people are surrendering their lives to
full-time ministry? Youth say, “Well, God hasn’t called me to be a
preacher or a missionary or a Christian school teacher.”
Two questions come to my mind when I hear a statement like that.
Are you sure God hasn’t called you? Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15,
Luke 24:49. John 20:21, and Acts 1:8 all bear record to the final
words of Jesus in which He calls all believers to a life of service
sharing the Gospel.
Secondly, has God “called” you to be a doctor, lawyer, mechanic,
engineer, or enter some other field? Scores of Christian youth
choose life occupations with no clear direction from God.
Instead of choosing to simply make money, why not decide to make a
difference with your future?
David Menasche, a 40-year old English teacher from Miami, Florida,
is dying. He has stage-four brain cancer and is losing his battle
after three operations, chemotherapy and radiation.
After a recent seizure led to brain swelling and decreased vision,
he realized he couldn't keep teaching but didn't want to sit at home
He posted a message on Facebook in August asking if any former
students had a place for him to stay, and within two days students
in 50 cities had replied.
He has visited 50 former students in 12 cities so far and says he
wants to know whether he has been a good teacher.
"I am at the end of my life," MrMenasche said. "I don't know how
much longer I have left, and I just wanted that sense of
satisfaction that the time I did have I used well."
The article’s headline read, “Dying Teacher Asks If He Made A
I have not seen Mr. St. Pierre since Junior High. If he were to
stop by my house and ask me what kind of teacher he had been, I
would quickly reply, “You made a difference in my life.”
Christian teen, I challenge you to hear, heed, and honor the command
of Jude 22, “And of some have compassion,
making a difference.”
[Tony Bazon – Park Meadows Baptist Church]