In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (Luke 15:10)

OUR CHURCH HAD a few baptisms each year, mostly the children of current members who reached an age where they could profess their parents’ faith as their own. But Ben’s baptism was special because of his past. Ben was a large, rough-looking man who once owned and ran a bar. He was big and strong enough to finish any problems started by his patrons. Not possessing much formal education, this business had been his best job prospect.

Once Ben met Christ, everything changed. He sold his bar and took a menial job, wanting to leave his past environment. He became the permanent greeter at every service, his unpolished demeanor enthusiastically welcoming everyone with a massive handshake or hug. He expressed thanks to God every day for his new life in Christ.

God is seeking the lost. Each person who is redeemed and transformed by Christ is cause for celebration in heaven. Ben was what many would consider an unlikely candidate to accept Christ. Once in the church, he never became the photogenic model greeter, just a man thankful to know Christ and delighted to see anyone come to church.

Never underestimate the power of God to reach into and transform a life. The very person considered to be far from God might be the person who has just realized he or she is a sinner in need of grace.

Take the love of Christ to the person you think is furthest from God.

Terry Magee lives with his wife in central Pennsylvania, where he teaches in his church. He enjoys both reading and outdoor activities.