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“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.” (I Thess. 2:19-20). As Paul writes, he is thinking of certain ones he led to the Lord. He knows he may never see them again, but one day they will be together forever. Many that he never met or even knew about will be able to say, “Because you were there – I am here.” Illustration: During World War II, Oskar Schindler was a member of the Nazi Party, but he had a deep compassion for the condemned Jews of Krakow, Poland. He sought to save those that the Germans sought to kill. He could not save them all, but he could save a few. He used his factory to become a haven for eleven hundred fortunate Jews on what became known as “Schindler’s list.” At the end of the war, it was declared what he did. He had to escape for his life from the vengeful Germans. As he left the factory for the last time the Jews were lined up with their Jewish families and many friends. As he walked by, they each personally thanked him and presented their families whom he had never met, who were also very grateful. They said, “Because of you, I am here, and so are my family and friends. Thank you!” They presented him with a letter which was signed by all, and a special gold ring made from gold from their teeth. As he put the letter inside his coat and put on the ring, he leaned toward Isaac Stern, his foreman, and whispered in a voice so low that he had to repeat it, “I could have done more.” One day as Christians, we will see those we won and influenced to Christ in Heaven. One by one they could say, “Because of you, I am here.” Others could say to missionaries, “Thanks for coming to my country. After you left, I and my family were later saved,” or “Your life influenced me and I have been able to influence many others.” One day as you look upon the faces of those you impacted and influenced, you know that in a heavenly heartbeat that you would do it all again. At that time, you will fully realize that the most important things were not things, but people. God is only interested in people. One day when we stand before the Lord, some could say, “Because you were there, I am here.” At that time we all could say, “I could have done more.”

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