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The Difference Maker - Sermon Series - Pastor Mike Stephens
The Difference Maker – Sermon Series

This series is based on the Nelson Searcy book of the same name.
The official description of the book is as follows and should describe this sermon series as well:

Use Your Life to Make a Difference

If you’re like most people, there’s something about sharing your faith that makes you clam up. When you think about talking to the unbelievers in your life about God, you worry that you may say the wrong things or that they may think negatively of you. But those thoughts are whispers and lies from an enemy hoping to keep you trapped in a life of little impact.

God has uniquely positioned you to influence those around you for him. He wants to partner with you in changing people’s lives both now and for eternity. This practical guide will show you how you can begin using your everyday life to make a difference in the lives of those who don’t know Jesus.

Are you ready to be a Difference Maker?


Part 1: ‘The Easiest Way to Make a Difference’ –  Pastor Mike Stephens

The Easiest Way to Make a Difference – The Difference Maker (pt1) Pastor Mike Stephens

Follow along and fill-in the blanks for greater understanding:

John 1:40-49
40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone). 43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

Section 1 – Why do we struggle? We forget:

  1. Invitations make people feel .
  1. We don’t have to everything.
  1. is not the only outcome.
  1. God has positioned you He you.

Section 2 – Four keys to a successful invitation:

  1. Believe that Jesus can lives.
  1. Recognize that God to use you.
  1. Identify the God wants you to invite to church.
  1. Care enough to an invitation.

Part 2: ‘A story to tell’ – Doug Dillon

A story to tell – The Difference Maker (pt2) Doug Dillon

Acts 20:24 – But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

  1. tell it?

1 Peter 3:15 – But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

John 8:14 – Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.

  1. do we tell?

Mark 5:19 – Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.

  1. do we tell?


Part 3: ‘Ready to Make a Difference’ – Michael Stephens

Ready to Make a Difference – The Difference Maker (pt3) Michael Stephens

Act.8:26-40

  1. Be willing to up. ( Readiness)

Act.8:26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet.

  1. Be ready to up. ( Readiness)

29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this:

“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.”

  1. Be prepared to up. ( Readiness)

34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”

And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

1Co.3:1-3 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?

Rom.10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

  1. Be . (Everyday Preparation)

38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.


Part 4: ‘Tools to Make a Difference’ – Michael Stephens

Tools to Make a Difference – The Difference Maker (pt4) Michael Stephens

Romans 10:9-10

“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Tool #1 – The

Romans 3:23 – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
James 2:10 “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Tool #2 – vs.

John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Tool #3 – The Morality

Romans 3:10 “There is none righteous, no, not one”.

Tool #4 – The Road

  • Admit you are a sinner.
    “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
  • Realize that sin separates us from God and leads to hell.
    “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
  • Understand that God loves you and that Jesus died to save you.
    “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
  • Know that the only way to be saved is to call on Jesus.
    “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13

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