I found this quiz on the internet recently. Take it and see how well you do:
· Name the ten wealthiest people in the world.
· Name the last ten Super Bowl winners.
· How about the last ten Academy Award winning movies?
· The last five Nobel Prize winners?
Well? That’s okay, I didn’t do well either. With the exception of a few trivia nuts, none of us remember the achievements of yesterday too well. And the achievements listed in this quiz are certainly not second-rate. If we want to make a difference, maybe great accomplishments is not the best answer.
I think all of us yearn for something more permanent. Do you want to make a difference? Then you must look beyond your achievements. God has something else in mind.
Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:7 says: “That is why we live be believing and not by seeing.” If we live by believing, then we must look past the achievements of today for something else. Verse 9 has the answer: “So our aim is to please him always…” That is where we look to make a difference. We concentrate our creative energy in pleasing God, not in satisfying our own personal goals.
Pleasing God is a good goal, right? The question is: How do we do that?”
Paul gives us the answer again in verse 11, “It is because we know this solemn fear of the Lord that we try to work so hard to persuade others.” The word “fear” in this case refers more to loving respect than terror. So if we want to make a difference, Paul gives us two steps to follow:
1. Work on fearing God or developing our relationship with God.
2. Try to persuade others or influence them in a Christian way.
Let’s look at another quiz. See how you do on this one:
· Think of three people you enjoy spending time with.
· Name 5 friends who helped you through a difficult time.
· List two churches that made a difference in someone’s life.
· List three teachers who influenced your education.
Easier? It was for me, too. In our church, “making a difference” means many things for many people:
* Justine felt called to lead the youth in ministry.
* Cindy felt the call to help hundreds discover their spiritual gifts.
* Fay visits shut-ins and works with our older adults.
* Jim leads an organization that repairs run-down houses for the elderly and poor.
* Frank and his crew do construction chores for other churches and those in need.
Do you still want to make a difference?
Þ Work to improve your personal relationship with God:
Þ Join a Bible Study and spend more time in prayer.
Þ Look around you and ask God to help you see who is hurting.
Þ Don’t depend on others; actively help where you see a need.
Þ Say something encouraging to at least one person daily.
Þ When others gossip…walk away or change the subject.
Þ When someone asks you for prayer…pray with them…now!
Þ Remember you are called to be involved in your church, your community and your world.
This is certainly not everything, but it’s a good start. Maybe together we can work to make a difference with our friends, our family, our fellow employees, our local church, our community, our needy world and especially with our loving God! What a relief. I can’t even remember this year’s super bowl winner.