You Make a Difference

Look anywhere you wish in the Bible and the significance of the individual servants of God stands out. There is Noah surrounded by wickedness. Abraham in Canaan, a land of idolatry. Joseph in Pharaoh’s prison. Moses in Pharaoh’s court. Samson surrounded by the Philistines in Gaza. Elijah against all of the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. Esther in the palace in Persia. Paul and Silas in the jail in Philippi. The Apostle John taking dictation on the island of Patmos.

In each of these instances one person of faith made a great difference. All of these cases belong to ancient history. They are separated from our lives by so much time that they may appear unreal or not applicable to our situation. But the principle is still valid: You, with the help of God, make a difference in your world. You are important. God is counting on you.

Each day that we live is filled with meaningful activities, because we are on task with God. Thus, we realize the importance of “making the most of every opportunity” in life. (cf. Ephesians 5:16) We really need to keep this in mind as we reflect on our life’s purposes.

Think back over your own experiences. Aren’t crucial things often done by one person? One player sparks the team’s comeback. One teacher inspires an entire staff. One member energizes the committee. One nurse lifts the quality of service on a hospital floor.

Contemplating the importance of the individual may suggest the need for change in our lives. How can we continue to complain about the way things are, without making a personal contribution to change? When you see trash strewn across the street in your neighborhood is your first response, “Whom should I call to report this?” Why not just pick it up? Changed people make a changed neighborhood. Changed neighborhoods produce a changed community. Sometimes, we are so busy complaining about what is happening to us that we do not have any time or energy to consider what could be happening through us.

It is so important to remember that God is working through our lives. This is underscored by the Holy Spirit when He guided the Apostle Paul the words of Ephesians 3:20-21, “20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Just as God has worked through the great movements of history to accomplish His purposes, He also works through individuals who are part of these movements. One person with faith in God in any situation, in any place, in any time, can make a difference!

© Bill Williams, September 18, 2006

About a fellow sojourner

a sojourner in life, trying to follow in the steps of Jesus.
This entry was posted in Blogroll, Christian Living, Following Jesus, Kingdom Living, Missional Living. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to You Make a Difference

  1. ksreyes says:

    Hi Bill,

    This principle is so true. And, as always, I am amazed at your timing. Our pastor spoke on this very topic this past Sunday in a series of sermons regarding our God given “gifts.” I believe he is trying to encourage more people to participate – even if it is just stacking up chairs at the end of the service (we meet in a school cafeteria!)

    In his sermon, he reminded us of Kennedy’s famous quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what YOU can do for your country…” I believe this applies to our ‘Godly kingdom’ as well. We are often petitioning God for help, sometimes forgetting that we can be asking Him to show us how to help Him here on earth – where can we join in; how can we participate in a way that brings honor and glory to our Savior?

    I believe, however, that God truly equips us for certain tasks. Once we find the ‘match’, it feels so right – like two puzzle pieces coming together and locking into a perfect fit. For instance, I felt very drawn to the Prayer Ministry at our church. I attended our prayer nights during the summer, talked to the Prayer Pastor and attended a training session. Yet, during that training session, I still felt a sense of ‘unease’ as thought I wasn’t sure if this was exactly ‘my thing.’ I have a heart for prayer, for sure. But I felt a check in my spirit. So I arranged to have a meeting with our pastor to discuss it. Long story short – we kept missing each other.

    In the meantime, the Pastor of the Worship Arts had been praying for an assistant. My name kept coming up to her. So she went to our pastor and asked him, if he were to choose, just off the top of his head, two people to help her serve in the Arts Ministry, who would those two people be. My name was one of them. With that confirmation, she then approached me and asked me to pray about it. I knew immediately in my heart that this was my answer from God! My heart lept at the joy and possiblities opening up before me. I now understood why I had felt that ‘check,’ regarding the prayer ministry. I still participate in the ‘boiler room’ praying for the service once a month, but I have thrown myself whole-heartedly into the Arts Ministry. It seems like such an obvious fit for me, and God is allowing me to utilize and tap into the creativity he has blessed me with – all to serve Him and bring Him glory!

    I guess the point of my long rambling comment is that you will ‘KNOW’ when the fit is right. So I encourage others to continue seeking opportunities and praying to God to show them exactly the way He has for them to serve…….!

    peace+
    kiersten

  2. Cecil Walker says:

    I am amazed after teaching for 26 years, how many times a former student will remind me of something I said or did that inspired them and at the time, I didn’t give the comment or action a second thought.

  3. Dee Andrews says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, Bill, about the value of individual action. I don’t think a lot of Christians, especially older ones, were taught the importance of their value as the person they are.

    I know in my own Christian life for many years I was made to feel that I was supposed to totally and completely “give up” myself and who I was to become someone different so that I could be and would be acceptable to God. And I don’t mean that in a good way. This idea of “emptying” ourselves and/or “pouring out” all we are seems totally opposite to me of what God and Christ truly expect and want for us – t0 truly be who and what we are to the fullest in God’s service.

    Once I began to truly see who I was, what I was, how I was and I could serve God with my God given talents and abilities to their fullest, I became a much better, happier, more fulfilled Christian and found that my happiness spilled over on to all I met. Rather than being forced to be “emptied out” I learned that God truly wanted for me to be filled to the brim and pouring out His love all around me as I experienced it. It brought a life changing understanding into my heart and made me whole.

    So thanks for your thoughts today on this subject. They are very dear to me.

    Dee

  4. Please forgive my intrusion, but I figured this is the best way to get a hold of all of my Blog Buddies – just going down my list! I’m calling all prayer warriors to PRAY FOR MY DAUGHTER tonight — PLEASE!!! Thank you!

    P.S. I did link you as a Blog Buddy, BTW.

  5. Bill says:

    No problem at all, Liz, for you to request our prayers here!

    You and your daughter are in my prayers!

    bill

  6. Bill that is a very encouraging post. I thank you for it.

    Shalom,
    Bobby Valentine

  7. Mark Wilson says:

    Hallelujah Bill. Keep on keeping on, this is tremendously good writing.

  8. Greg England says:

    It’s an amazing thought that we, too, are just as much a part of God’s unfolding story of love as anyone we read about in the pages of Scripture. One of my favorite radio expositors was Dr. J. Vernon McGee. He sounded like Jimmy Stewart preaching. His translation of Heb.4:1 was: “Beware lest you think that you have arrived too late in history to enjoy the rest of God” … meaning the grand days of God are not all in the past.

  9. Kathy says:

    Aren’t we lucky!! Jesus gave each and every one of us a commission to be used by God – making disciples for Him.
    May I quote what Don McLaughlin said at my church Sunday morning [blockbuster sermon, btw].

    He asked how many of us, including himself, have asked the question, “How do we reach the lost – of the world, in our neighborhood, in our family and friendship circles?”

    Don says that’s the wrong question, and that he also made that mistake for many years. He helped us see that the right question to ask to be used by God is: “How do I TREAT people?”

    the way we treat people will show we’re following Jesus and His way. He used the example of wait persons in a restaurant. How many have said, “Sure I’ll tip ’em when THEY give me good service, but I’m NOT going to tip bad service or getting my order wrong!!”

    His retort? “Oh yeah! How about telling Jesus, don’t bless me or give me of Your grace unless I get it right, don’t mess up. It’s how we treat people.”

    Wonderful entry Bill! We all can be thankful that God has included us, uses us in His work. He certainly doesn’t NEED us, but He surely does WANT us. PTL!

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