It all started with a plate of cookies brought to some new neighbors in Arlington Heights in Chicago. The Lee Strobel family had just moved in. That led to an invitation to church. Mrs. Strobel (Leslie) went with the neighbors to their church where she responded to the pastor’s message by trusting Christ as her Savior. Lee, who was an avowed atheist, responded by contemplating divorce but he saw such positive changes in his wife that he spent the next two years investigating Christianity, applying his training as a journalist and lawyer (Lee had a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School). Lee saw the evidence for the claims of Christ and the validity of Christianity and he too trusted Christ for eternal life. The Strobels’ children and grandchildren have all become Christians through the influence of Lee and Leslie.
Lee, who had been the award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, became a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois from 1987-2000 before shifting his focus to writing and hosting a television program called “Faith Under Fire.” He also has a video apologetics (defense of the Gospel) website. He wrote a series which addresses challenges to a biblically inerrant view of Christianity. The series includes : The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, The Case for the Real Jesus, The Case for Christianity. He has also written some children’s books.
Probably thousands of people world-wide have come to Christ through Lee Strobel’s books, his television program, his website and his speaking engagements. And to think, it all began with a plate of cookies from a Christian neighbor when the Strobels moved to Arlington Heights! Little did the lady who baked the cookies realize what all would transpire as a result of her act of kindness that ultimately led to the salvation of her neighbors and a ministry that has in turn brought the truth of the Gospel to thousands who have made a choice for Christ.
I’m reminded of a promise Jesus made recorded in Mt. 10:42 and Mk. 9:41: “And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward.” We may think that we have little to offer in service to the Lord, but, as someone aptly said, “Little is much when God is in it.” When it is willingly offered to the Lord it is amazing what He can do with it. Think about the young boy who gave up his “sack lunch” of five barley loaves and two fish which Jesus used to feed a group of 5,000 men plus women and children and even had 12 baskets of leftovers! (Jn. 6:1-13). As a result of that boy’s sack lunch, offered in service to the Lord, it says, “When therefore the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, ‘This is of a truth the Prophet who is to come into the world.’” (v. 14). Undoubtedly many of them believed in Christ.
Don’t ever underestimate the power of a small act of kindness done in the Name of the Lord. Only eternity will reveal the results of such acts. Even a plate a cookies given to a new neighbor may open the door to the Gospel and where it goes from there, as with the Strobel family, only God knows. There will be thousands in heaven because of that one plate of cookies!
What act of kindness could you show someone today in service to Christ?