Blog: The greatest service | Oklahoma Baptist Messenger


Today, everyone wants to be an “influencer”, that is, to make a difference. In fact, many marketing strategies are built around this very principle.

Let me explain. If a farmer grows coffee beans, he can sell those beans for pennies. If he turns them into a “value-added product,” like coffee, he can now sell those same beans, in the form of a cup of coffee, for a few dollars.

If he constructs a building and creates an intriguing atmosphere, he can sell those same beans, for hundreds of dollars, to those who wish to visit his cafe for a memorable experience.

Finally, if he attaches a “cause” to why he is doing all this and promises to contribute a portion of his earned income to that cause, he can sell those same beans for thousands of dollars to those who support or sympathize. with him. shared cause.

This is why you see so many companies supporting and promoting cultural causes. It’s a way to bring about social change, in their words, ‘give back’. It eases the conscience and, coincidentally, it generates money – lots of money. It’s brilliant! These business owners seem like geniuses. When in fact it is just a grand plan with perhaps an underlying program.

The founding fathers were real difference makers. Their stories are incredible and their sacrifices and contributions are unparalleled. Did you know that in addition to being president, from 1776 Thomas Jefferson (04/13/1743 – 07/04/1826) had an “absorbing interest” in agriculture and gardening? He also kept a consistent record of his weather observations in America, Europe, and around the mid-Atlantic up to six days before his death. He did not get lost in the details but precisely kept these archives for 50 years.

Throughout his life, Jefferson strove to introduce useful new plants into cultivation, including corn brought back by Lewis and Clark exploration, many varieties of peaches and grapes from Italy, and peppers from the Texas. He saw plants as a means of social change and a means of transforming the social and economic culture of a young republic.

According to Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, edited by Edwin Morris Betts, “In summarizing what he considered his most important services to man, Jefferson mentions the introduction of the olive tree and dry rice into South Carolina He ranks them with the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, his defense of freedom of religion, the abolition of the Implications Act, and strives to disseminate knowledge more widely.

In fact, Jefferson concludes the note on his effort to introduce dry rice to South Carolina with these words: “The greatest service that can be done to any country is to add a useful plant to its cultivation; in particular, a grain of bread; next in value is oil. Let it sink in.

Amédée François Frezier (1682-1773) was also one of these contributors to social change and useful plants. According to Stafford Whiteaker’s The Compleat Strawberry, “Frezier was a French officer who was sent as a spy to South America, and there, with some natives, found the Fragaria chiloensis strawberry variety in the foothills of the Andes near Quito and dug up some plants to take home. France was at war, however, and the sea voyage therefore lasted six months. During the long journey, fresh water becomes more and more precious and he has to share his meager ration with the plants. When in August 1712, the ship finally called at Marseilles, five plants had survived the voyage. Frezier gave two to a colleague on the ship who had saved some of that water ration for the strawberries. Frezier plants became the basic strain of Chilean strawberries growing around Marseille; two of them were sent to the king’s gardens in Paris and in 1727 their offspring reached England. Many of the strawberries you and I enjoy today are varieties that were developed from Chilean strawberries.

The heroes of faith were true difference makers. In Hebrews 11, known as the “Hall of Faith,” we read about many spiritual pillars that contributed to social change. Through their faith and their lives, they have had lasting cultural impacts for the future of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The groundwork they laid was not the same as going to Washington DC with posters, a megaphone and an opinion. It was sacred. Many times it was silent or invisible. It was fear and obedience to God.

Somewhere along the way, we have lost the holy, the devoted, the wise, the insightful, and the sacrificial. After you leave, will people be able to compare you to the Founding Fathers or the Heroes of the Faith? You decide. Will your contributions and your voice still speak?

By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, by which he was testified to be righteous, God testifying of his gifts, and by faith, though he died, he still speaks“ (Heb. 11:4).

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