Do you ever wonder how you can possibly make a difference in this world? You! With your one life! But the reality is that you can have practical influence in culture and other lives. You can make a difference.
Since we live in difficult days, you need help, hope, good action steps – and they need to be tenacious. The problems and circumstances of our current world are pretty significant. It’s hard to believe that one life can make a difference with so much “big stuff” that’s gone poorly.
So, the problem is two-fold: 1. the actual state of things around you, AND (believe it or not) 2. the idea that you can’t make a difference.
It may seem super small when you compare the impact of your life to the needs of a community, a nation, or the entire world. However, your one life is what you have to offer each day. If more people would identify this and begin to do small things that matter each day, there would be a shift in this world. In other words, your one life really does matter. You can make a difference.
Your Biggest Resource To Make A Difference
If you examine all the resources and tools at your disposal, which one(s) would you select as most powerful? Most influential? With broadest impact? Most flexible?
The Scriptures say God’s grace is the greatest resource for making a difference in small ways and global challenges. It is powerful, influential, has broad impact, and is flexible – when applied in one life each day. That one life can be yours.
General dictionary definitions of grace include things like, “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration. A state enjoyed through divine assistance. A special favor…or act…of kindness, courtesy, goodwill, or clemency.”
Wow. From regular dictionaries! Those definitions suggest grace is:
- Possibly divine.
- Assistance in need.
- For people as they seek unmerited divine assistance.
- Special favor.
- Acts of kindness, courtesy, goodwill, or clemency.
God’s Grace Will Make A Difference
In addition to general dictionary definitions, how much more convincing is grace defined by God – and made freely available?
- God’s grace gives you power to live pleasing to God.
- It also allows you to accomplish and carry out your life purpose.
Those two statements are the nutshell of today’s content. Please read them again!
There is a verse that calls you to pro-actively engage God’s grace. In fact, it commands to lean so deliberately into God’s grace to find a strength you didn’t have before. And guess what. It’s the same arrangement God always has. This application of grace is only activated by faith!
Here’s the verse. “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 2:1) Notice it’s a command. You so strongly choose the resource of God’s grace in Jesus that you literally become stronger than you were before! You choose. God strengthens!
Why not plant yourself in God’s grace? Why not train to be tenaciously stubborn about staying in grace? Here’s what you do to accomplish that:
- You start.
- Next you explore God’s grace.
- You apply it by faith in practical ways of daily life.
- And while you are doing all this, you begin to master it. It becomes normal to you.
What Does God’s Grace Do?
From our previous discussion, God’s grace is powerful, influential, has broad impact, and is flexible. It encourages you and helps you endure hardship. God’s grace also develops incredible character you could never attain otherwise. In other words, God’s grace will really make a difference.
All these things happen when you become a living sacrifice. We said – you choose. God strengthens. Surrender is the proof of your faith! God takes your surrender seriously, and He responds with transformation.
Because God’s grace also helps you “clue into” other things immediately around you, it helps you be more “present.” Things to enhance your community, nation. And things – small as they may seem – to reach into the world. Let’s look at these three categories.
Things Immediately Around You
What kinds of things fall in this category? Let me try to prime your pump a bit. How about things like:
- A smile lifts your heart and might be a life-line to someone else.
- A kind word to inspire hope in a family member or friend.
- Cleaning up an area in disarray.
- Helping with menial tasks that must be done (without grumbling).
- Talking about things God is teaching you as you humble yourself and receive from Him.
- Writing a card, email, or text to someone God brings to mind.
- Even accountability is encouraging and needed, if it’s done kindly.
Community and Nation
Sometimes this is harder to figure out. But, let’s consider things like:
- Getting out and voting.
- Providing finances or specific materials when you hear about a need.
- Reaching to a neighbor who had surgery. Perhaps a note, cookies, or even a meal.
- Returning books and resources in good condition to public libraries and other centers.
- Praying for leaders at every level – from community to the nation’s president and cabinet.
- Researching the best, safest organizations that contribute to people in poverty.
- Writing encouraging messages, asking law-makers to hear your voice on important matters of a healthy nation.
Reach Into The World
Since reaching beyond your borders takes a little work, what about these starter ideas:
- Listen to the news updates. Be sure the news is unbiased.
- Put yourself in the shoes of those suffering in other nations. What would you want someone to do to help you?
- Give what you can to financially help world hunger and poverty. This is our responsibility.
- There may be a time it’s appropriate to “go” to another place in the world to show love, provision, and give hope.
- Participate in organizations that send packages to cheer the children of the world.
- Pray with an informed interest. This requires some research into needs.
- Stand for individual and community principles and government policies that match Scripture. Stand against anything that tears down people and the freedoms God created them with.
- Care about earth’s climate.
So you see – these are “starts” in Things Immediately Around You, rippling out into your Community and Nation, and then proving you are wide-eyed about the conditions of The World.
So – Make A Difference
Now that we’ve explored practical applications of how your one life can make a difference, let me ask – have you begun to identify possibilities of involvement? What is your portion? It helps to look at things going on inside you to partner with God and make a difference.
Things mentioned so far, and things you add to the lists, are like the pull cord on a lawn mower. They actually start your motor to get the job done. Plus, they center you in God’s grace – where you need to be to make a difference.
All this starts with:
- Surrender to God. Because God sees what needs to be done immediately around you, in your community and nation, and in the world, He has creative ideas to make a difference.
- Reach for God and His strategies to meet needs and increase hope, close by and globally.
- Lean into God in all issues for wisdom, discernment, action steps, and practical tools to make a difference. God cares about this stuff. He will direct you if you lean into Him.
- Trust God completely as you move closer to what needs to be done, even when things go wrong. He sees around the corner, over the horizon, to the other side of the earth. If you are willing, He will empower you.
These simple practices inside you prove your desire to make a difference, whether in small bite-size chunks or bigger pieces.
Two Focuses Needed To Make A Difference
There are 2 focuses needed to make a difference with your one life:
Everyone must address daily temporary issues (food, clothes, bills, plans, chores, etc.). However, eternal issues are critical, too (salvation, encouragement, hope, purpose). God cares about both focuses.
God’s economy of scales is different than the world’s. Let’s look.
- Nutritional food.
- Fresh, clean water.
- Climate appropriate clothing.
- Supplies for family living.
- Community interaction.
- Medical intervention.
- Fair representation.
- Equal opportunity.
In addition to these noble standards, God also focuses on:
- Nourishment of souls from His Word.
- Living water.
- New spiritual garments to anyone who trusts Him for forgiveness of sins.
- Resources for all living scenarios.
- Wisdom and knowledge.
- God created fellowship for His people.
- Healing of the whole person.
- Fair representation for all people through Christ’s cross.
- Equal opportunities that will never end for all people.
- Freedom that will go on forever.
While the work of practical things is easier to invest in, work of the heart/spirit is often undervalued and not well-marketed in the world. But it’s still yours (and mine) to address.
Since God’s economy of scales is active now and focuses on-going, both eternal and temporary matter.
Practical Application and Questions
- Do you believe you make a difference with your one life?
- What practical temporary and eternal things can you do to share hope wherever you go?
- Do you show His grace by your conduct each day? Do you live in His grace?
- How can you be more grace-oriented using your personality, skill sets, resources, interests?
Content developed from More E-pistles For An i-Generation – a practical devotional guide available in our bookstore.
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